Leading Indian American tax consultant and certified public accountant Neeraj Bhatia has been conferred with the prestigious Hind Rattan Award for 2018. Bhatia is an accomplished accounting professional with over 30 years of practice in international and domestic tax planning and compliance for start-ups and multinational entities. Coinciding with the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas and instituted by the NRI Welfare Society of India, the Hind Rattan Awards honour high achievers of Indian origin from professional disciplines. Over the past 37 years, the NRI Welfare Society has become a strong bridge connecting people of Indian origin with India. Its focus is to "strengthen emotional bonds" between the diaspora and the country. Bhatia runs a successful tax and accountancy firm in the heart of Silicon Valley with offices in New Delhi as well. He specializes in international tax, audit and review, accounting, compliance and reporting, immigration services and corporate compliance. Bhatia is a sought after tax professional who has offered extensive commentary on US and India tax issues over the years. "With India-US trade, corporate and economic relations booming, companies on both sides of the world are always looking for professionals who have expertise in tax and corporate laws of America and India," Bhatia said. "My firm has the advantage of having accounting professionals who have decades of experience navigating tax laws in the two countries," he said. During the past two decades of practice in Silicon Valley, Bhatia has helped around 1,000 start-ups get off the ground. It was his insights into the IT sector that led him to be associated closely with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) - an Indian government undertaking - in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bhatia has also kept his focus on helping several Indian American organisations representing half a dozen Indian states engaged in charitable causes. He assists them in maintaining their charitable status through strict regulatory compliance. Bhatia, a Certified Public Accountant in California, Colorado, and New York, has a degree in chartered accountancy from India and holds an LL.M. in international taxation from the US. He was awarded a gold medal and monthly scholarship for three years by India's Central Board of Secondary Education for securing the first rank in India in the Board exam. He was also awarded a gold medal by Institute of Cost & Works (Management) Accountants of India for securing first rank in north India. He is vice president and director of Indo American Chamber of Commerce and is also on the Board of the University of Silicon Andhra, a newly-formed university imparting post-graduate degree programmes in Indian languages, literature and arts.