GET TO KNOW: Venar Ayar

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Venar Ayar is the principal and founding tax attorney of Ayar Law Group in Southfield, and focuses his practice on IRS and Michigan tax resolution for businesses and individuals. Cases include defending tax audits, negotiating favorable settlements for back taxes, setting up tax payment plans, arranging release of tax liens and levies, defending criminal tax fraud cases and advising those with foreign bank accounts who have not complied with reporting requirements.

Prior to opening his Michigan practice, the Detroit native was a tax attorney at RJS Law, southern California's largest tax law firm.

He earned his J.D., cum laude, at the University Of San Diego School of Law, then earned a Master of Law in Taxation, also at USD.

A big supporter of charitable causes, he recently founded a $25,000 scholarship program for students at Detroit Mercy Law School.

Ayar and his wife Jayme live in Novi.

What would surprise people about your job? It's a lot of fun. Nobody expects tax lawyers to have fun, but I have a blast doing it! It's fun to out-smart the government.

Why did you become a lawyer? In college, all my friends were taking the LSAT. I just took the test because my friends were, and I scored off the charts. So I moved to San Diego to attend law school, and found out I was really good at tax law. The funny thing is, I am the only one of my friends who took the LSAT together to go to law school.

What's your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? "My Cousin Vinny." Joe Pesci is a comic genius. We actually watched it in Evidence class to learn about expert witnesses. The rules, the system and the way that case played out in the movie has humor, but there's a bitter truth to it.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Make your decision carefully, law school isn't for everybody. Make sure you love it, and don't do it just for the money.

What's your proudest moment as a lawyer? My first case, working at a firm in San Diego. They said it would take about six months before I got a case, but it happened in six weeks. The client had a $300,000 tax bill from an audit. I negotiated with the auditor and got the debt wiped and had him issue a new report. However, I found more mistakes with the report. Even after the auditor said he'd wipe the debt, I continued to argue. I thought my boss was going to kill me. It was my first fight with the IRS, and after a lot of arguing, I asked for and got a $250,000 refund on top of the debt absolution for our client. That's how I knew I was in the right profession.

What do you do to relax? I like to watch movies, and spend quiet time relaxing at home with my wife.

What other career path might you have chosen? I knew I wanted to be a business owner regardless. I still get to own my business with the law firm. Being an entrepreneur is the only thing I was cut out for.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Don't worry about it, you'll figure it out.

Favorite music: It really changes from time to time currently classic rock, sometimes a little earlier hip hop, reggae, Sinatra, jazz, blues...

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2016. Every year seems better than the last. I got married this year, business and life are good!

What's the most awe-inspiring place you've ever been? Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. It's an active volcano in a breathtaking setting.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? I'd like to be able to freeze time, so I can get more done.

What's one thing you would like to learn to do? Ever since law school in San Diego, I've wanted to learn to surf.

What's the best advice you ever received? There are two types of problems in life, the kind that you can fix and the kind you can't. The first one gives you time to fix it and the other you can't do anything about, so you don't have to worry about either.

What is your motto? "Don't worry."

Published: Fri, Aug 11, 2017

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