Areas of Expertise
- Certified Public Accountant
- Licensed Attorney (Illinois)
- Certified Specialist in Estate Planning
- J.D., Loyola School of Law – Recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards for Constitutional Law and Corporate Tax
- B.B.A., with honors, Loyola University of Chicago
Kathy Garlow is a tax partner with Shepard Schwartz & Harris LLP where she specializes in income tax and estate and gift tax planning for high net worth individuals and their families. Providing consulting and tax expertise, Ms. Garlow advises these families with their personal income tax returns as well as investment partnerships and LLCs, trusts, estates, and private foundations. With a designation as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Ms. Garlow consults families on wealth transfers between generations as well as charitable giving. She has expansive experience working on estate tax returns, funding the testamentary trusts and planning for the related income taxes. Ms. Garlow patiently and thoroughly explains the process with the surviving spouse and/or family.
In addition, Ms. Garlow helps our clients owning professional service companies. Her clientele includes law firms, medical practices, architects, interior design firms and website design firms. For these businesses her services include:
- Income tax compliance and planning
- Implementing accounting software
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Consulting on employer-employee issues
- Cost reduction analysis
- Internal control and productivity analysis
- Management efficiency studies
- Consulting on state tax issues
- Retirement and deferred compensation planning
Ms. Garlow was honored with a 2012 "Women to Watch" Award by the Illinois CPA Society and the AICPA, which recognizes women CPAs for contributions to the profession and their firms. Kathy lectures on numerous topics including “Employee v. Independent Contractor Issues”, “Tax Tips for Investors”, “Income Tax Primer for Investment Professionals”, “Tax Planning for Start-Up Companies”, and “Creating a Tax-Exempt Organization”.
Ms. Garlow co-chaired the Chicago Bar Association Tax Law Committee for two years. She also serves on the membership committee of the Chicago Estate Planning Council. As an active member of the Chicago Financial Planning Group and the Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group, Ms. Garlow expands her network to form relationships with a variety of other professionals from the legal, insurance and financial planning communities.
For Shepard, Schwartz & Harris, Ms. Garlow established and organizes the annual women’s networking initiative, which provides a forum for women of different careers to meet and network in addition to an hour of education in a professional venue. She is also the director of the firm’s college internship program where she has successfully mentored over 100 interns by providing invaluable experience and insight into the rewards and challenges of a public accounting career. Ms. Garlow represents the firm as a member of the International Network of Accountants and Auditors (INAA) and is responsible for monitoring discussion topics that would be relevant to the firm’s clients and professionals as it relates to international trade. She was an intern at Shepard, Schwartz & Harris in 1985 and joined the firm in 1987 after completing her undergraduate studies.
- 2012 Women to Watch Award recipient
- Chicago Estate Planning Council – Membership Committee Member
- Chicago Bar Association – Co-Chair of the Young Lawyer Section Tax Law Committee (2002-2004)
- Illinois State Bar Association - Member of Federal Taxation Section Council
- American Bar Association
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Illinois CPA Society
- The Chicago Financial Planning Group
- Exclusive Professional Women's Networking Group
- Five Star Wealth Manager (2010-2015)
- Elmhurst Junior Women’s Club – Past President
- Visitation Church Lector, Elmhurst, Illinois