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Kelly Phillips Erb

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Recently, I had the opportunity to appear with Gina Rubel on her firm’s podcast, PR On Record. Gina’s company, Furia Rubel Communications, provides integrated marketing and public relations services to clients in professional service and business sectors internationally. They’ve been around since 2002 – and I’ve probably known Gina at least that long. She’s also a lawyer in the Philly area though, like me, she’s been doing non-lawyery (pretend it’s a real word) things for a while. Gina’s team asked me to come onto the podcast to talk about law and media. It’s pretty cool since I’ve been on both sides of the microphone. As a lawyer, I’ve been interviewed by a lot of folks. And as a journalist, I’ve conducted a lot of those same kinds of interviews. So, it was fun to sit down and talk with Gina about what I’ve learned about pitches, as well as what…

Over the past year, the IRS has been slow to process tax returns but has appeared to continue to issue notices – especially math error notices. While the IRS made 628,997 math error corrections last year through July 15, 2020, the IRS made about 9 million math error corrections on returns filed by taxpayers in the same period in 2021—a more than 1400% increase. Most of those notices—about 7.4 million—were related to the refund recovery credit, or RRC. The RRC is claimed on Form 1040 to reconcile stimulus payments received in 2020. Most likely, taxpayers made errors when calculating the amounts of the checks due or actually received. But the remaining notices—still at a pace of two-and-a-half times more than in the prior year—were issued by the IRS for other reasons. To find out more, including how math errors work, check out IRS to Taxpayers Receiving Notices: What, Like Math…

The real estate market in the United States is hot right now. Record-low mortgage rates combined with a limited number of houses for sale have created a seller’s market: prices are soaring, and homes are selling almost as quickly as they can be listed. That’s inspiring some homeowners–and flippers–to think about buying and selling. You can make money buying and selling real estate, but there are related tax consequences. For more, check out Flipping Out: What You Need to Know About Tax and Real Estate (on Bloomberg Tax, outside of the paywall).

I’ve received a lot of feedback about notifications for my weekly column on Bloomberg Tax. I agree that it would be much more useful if you could get a ping every time it goes live. Unfortunately, that functionality is not yet available (though, sit tight, because some things are in the works).I have been posting the links on Twitter (@taxgirl), Facebook (@taxgirl), and LinkedIn (@taxgirl). I would encourage you to consider a follow on one of the social media platforms – the tax communities on social are so fantastic – but I appreciate that not everyone has the bandwidth, mentally or otherwise, to participate. As a workaround, I’ll be posting the link to my column each week here – on Taxgirl – so that my readers can easily find my column. The column does live on Bloomberg Tax, but it is outside of the paywall. You don’t have to be…

My kids play the market. Well, sort of. I wanted them to start learning about money—and yes, taxes—while they were young enough to make mistakes and ask questions. So I gave each of them some money and told them they could invest. My youngest has enjoyed a terrific return, prompting him to lament, “I wish my eight-year-old self knew to buy more Sony.” My oldest—despite her best efforts—lost money when one of her investments went south. And my middle didn’t see any increase, since she opted to keep it all as cash but, she boasts, “I haven’t lost anything.” Such is the nature of investing, right? You tend to expect your portfolio to increase in value, but it’s bound to hit some bumps. Fortunately, when the markets go down, most investors don’t actually lose real money. What they have is an unrealized loss or a loss on paper. But what…

At the climax of the 1979 film, “When A Stranger Calls,” the family babysitter, played by Carol Kane, is advised by the police that the terrorizing calls she’s receiving are coming from inside the house. https://youtu.be/rkcGm-pWwsQ While thinking about that scene, I couldn’t help but wonder about the IRS and its recent problems. What if the very thing that threatens to destroy it is coming from the inside—its own workload? For more, read IRS Workload Gives Scammers Opportunities to Cheat Taxpayers (on Bloomberg Tax, outside of the paywall).

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the advance child tax credit payments coming this summer. The credit isn’t new but rather an expansion of the existing child tax credit. It’s more money for more families–and those families will receive the credit each month in the form of advance payments. There’s a lot of confusion from who qualifies to how to opt-out. To help you keep it straight, check out What You Need to Know About Advance Child Tax Credit Payments (on Bloomberg Tax, outside of the paywall).If listening is more your style, you can find out more about the child tax credit on this recent episode of the Taxgirl Podcast.

If you know me, you know that I love sports – especially basketball. And you couldn’t have scripted a better Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA Championship. The pivotal moment in that game involved Kevin Durant taking a spinning jumper near the three-point line. He made it – but because he was standing on the line, those potential three points turned into two points – and overtime. When I watched the replay, I thought of Al Pacino’s character in “Any Given Sunday” when he compared life to sports. https://youtu.be/f1yWSePMqsk “You find out life’s this game of inches… the margin for error is so small—I mean one-half a step too late, or too early, and you don’t quite make it,” he says. “The inches we need are everywhere around us.” That’s true in tax, too. Making a mistake in the tax world—even if it seems small or…

I have, over the years, written a lot about being a working mother in the tax profession. But this year, I wanted to hear more about how fatherhood had impacted careers in tax—and vice versa—from those in the profession. So I asked. Within hours, I had received dozens of responses—some nearly a page long—from fathers who wanted to share their experiences. The overwhelming sentiment? Finding a work-life balance isn’t always easy. For more, read What Tax Professionals Wish You Knew About Being a Father (on Bloomberg Tax, outside of the paywall).

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