AR News Press Releases


Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC
227 Oil Well Rd.
Jackson, TN 38305


Alexis Long, Marketing Director


Hot Springs, Ark. — Regional accounting firm Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC (ATA) is adding a presence in the state of Arkansas through the acquisition of top local firm JWCK, Ltd., formerly known as Jordan, Woosley, Crone & Keaton, Ltd., effective January 1, 2022.

The merger with JWCK adds 14 professionals to the ATA team, including three principals and two partners, Christina Ellis, CPA and Courtney Moore, CPA. With this merger, ATA will be comprised of 220 employees and 15 locations across four states.

“ATA has had a long-standing interest in establishing a strong presence in Arkansas,” said ATA Managing Partner John Whybrew. “We believe that this strategic merger with JWCK allows the firm to grow in new markets with like-minded professionals as well as continue our multi-year growth plan.”

JWCK’s 60 years of expertise ranges from tax management and accounting services to more in-depth services such as audits, financial statements and financial planning. It is a premier firm for trust and estate tax reporting as well as one of few firms that adhere to the standards to be able to perform audits for entities who receive state and federal monies and audits of financial institutions.

JWCK ranks 14th on the Arkansas Business Publishing Group’s list of the largest accounting firms in the state. The firm has been named Best Accounting Firm in Hot Springs by The Sentinel Record two years in a row, with Ellis being named Best Accountant in Hot Springs the past two years as well.

“Our commitment to serve our community with professionals right here in Hot Springs has led JWCK to merge with ATA,” said Ellis. “Through this merger, we will be able to provide our community with expertise in subject matters beyond what we have in our local office and will be able to devote more time to client relationships by allowing ATA’s entities to handle administrative responsibilities.” 

ATA Hot Springs will operate at 126 Hobson Ave. until May 2022, when they will move into a newly-constructed space at 1720 Higdon Ferry Road. There is also a location in Hot Springs Village, Ark. at 399 Ponce de Leon Drive, Ste. 2.


About Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC (ATA)

ATA is a long-term business advisor to its clients and provides other services that are not traditionally associated with accounting. The ATA Family of Firms consists of a team of experts that can benefit every area of your business. Revolution Partners provides financial planning expertise; ATA Technologies provides trustworthy IT solutions; ATA Secure provides cybersecurity services; Sodium Halogen focuses on growth through the design and development of marketing and digital products; Adelsberger Marketing offers video, social media, and digital content for small businesses; and ATAES is a comprehensive human resource management agency. 

ATA has 15 office locations in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi. Recognized as an IPA Top 150 regional accounting firm, it provides a wide array of accounting, auditing, tax and advisory services for clients ranging from small family-owned businesses to publicly traded companies and international corporations. ATA is also an alliance member of BDO USA LLP, a top five global accounting firm, which provides additional resources and expertise for clients.

Helpful Articles Tax

What are the tax implications of buying or selling a business?

Merger and acquisition activity in many industries slowed during 2020 due to COVID-19, but analysts expect it to improve in 2021 as the country comes out of the pandemic. If you are considering buying or selling a business, it’s important to understand the tax implications. 

Two ways to arrange a deal 

Under current tax law, a transaction can be structured in two ways: 

1. Stock (or ownership interest). A buyer can directly purchase a seller’s ownership interest if the target business is operated as a C or S corporation, a partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC) that’s treated as a partnership for tax purposes. The current 21% corporate federal income tax rate makes buying the stock of a C corporation somewhat more attractive.

  1. C corporation pros: The corporation will pay less tax and generate more after-tax income. Plus, any built-in gains from appreciated corporate assets will be taxed at a lower rate when they’re eventually sold.

The current law’s reduced individual federal tax rates have also made ownership interests in S corporations, partnerships and LLCs more attractive.

  1. S corporation pros: The passed-through income from these entities also is taxed at lower rates on a buyer’s personal tax return. However, current individual rate cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025, and, depending on actions taken in Washington, they could be eliminated earlier. Keep in mind that President Biden has proposed increasing the tax rate on corporations to 28%. He has also proposed increasing the top individual income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%. With Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, business and individual tax changes are likely in the next year or two. 

2. Assets. A buyer can also purchase the assets of a business. This may happen if a buyer only wants specific assets or product lines, and it’s the only option if the target business is a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC that’s treated as a sole proprietorship for tax purposes.

  1. Preferences of buyers. For several reasons, buyers usually prefer to buy assets rather than ownership interests. In general, a buyer’s primary goal is to generate enough cash flow from an acquired business to pay any acquisition debt and provide an acceptable return on the investment. Therefore, buyers are concerned about limiting exposure to undisclosed and unknown liabilities and minimizing taxes after a transaction closes. A buyer can step up (increase) the tax basis of purchased assets to reflect the purchase price. Stepped-up basis lowers taxable gains when certain assets, such as receivables and inventory, are sold or converted into cash. It also increases depreciation and amortization deductions for qualifying assets.
  2. Preferences of sellers. In general, sellers prefer stock sales for tax and nontax reasons. One of their objectives is to minimize the tax bill from a sale. That can usually be achieved by selling their ownership interests in a business (corporate stock or partnership or LLC interests) as opposed to selling assets. With a sale of stock or other ownership interest, liabilities generally transfer to the buyer and any gain on sale is generally treated as lower-taxed long-term capital gain (assuming the ownership interest has been held for more than one year).
  3. Obtain professional advice. Be aware that other issues, such as employee benefits, can also cause tax issues in M&A transactions. Buying or selling a business may be the largest transaction you’ll ever make, so it’s important to seek professional assistance. After a transaction is complete, it may be too late to get the best tax results.

Get in touch with one of our partners about your upcoming business endeavors and the tax implications regarding your plans. © 2021