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In the 1990s and early 2000s, reality television as we know it today was still relatively new. And leading the pack was a CBS series called Survivor.

The first season, Survivor: Borneo, was initially broadcast on May 31, 2000. The show dropped a group of strangers on an island where they had to find or create food, fire, and shelter and work together in teams. Along the way, they competed in challenges and were voted out by their fellow contestants, until only one remained and won the $1 million prize.

The first ever winner of Survivor was Richard Hatch. But after his win, Richard was soon charged with tax evasion on that $1 million prize. This week Kelly and Richard discuss his experiences before, during and after the tax evasion conviction.

Richard Surviving After Contesting on Survivor  

Little did Richard know; he would still be fighting for his survival once departing the show. Richard anticipated coming home a hero, instead he was watched closely by the IRS and soon convicted of tax crimes. Rich and Kelly – and some facts that some folks may not know. Years later, with his time served and completion of sentencing, he talks about the hardships and lessons learned. Here’s his story.

Listen to Kelly and Richard Hatch discuss: 

  • Summary of Survivor TV and IRS Tax Evasion Case  
  • Richard’s Expectations Following his Time on the Show Survivor  
  • The Public’s Perception on Survivor Contestants and Gaming Rules 
  • The Timeline of Hatch’s Case and Arrest 
  • The Conviction Process 
  • The Tough Facts of Amending Returns Under Audit and Complying During Criminal Cases  
  • The Show’s Tax Responsibility 
  • Post Prosecution Hardships 
  • Richard Arrested for NBC Media Interview 
  • How Power and Influence Impacts Case Outcomes 
  • Contract Changes Post Richard’s Experience  
  • Survivor Compensation Terms  
  • How this Has Shifted Richard’s Opinions, Mindset and Life 
  • How Richard Copes with Judgement and Regret 
  • Repercussions of Perception & The Reality of Recognition  
  • The Powerful and Positive Side 

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Richard Hatch – Twitter 

TV Game Show – Survivor 

Richard Hatch Trial – United States VS. Hatch 

Richard’s Arrest for – NBC Interview 

Similar Case to Richard’s – Michael Cohen 

One of the biggest fears right now for students and recent grads is being able to find a decent job. Job opportunities drastically vary based on the economy. The projected job outlook for 2018-2028 was expected to be a relatively healthy 6%. However, now the numbers are expected to be altered even more due to COVID. Where do we stand today with employment growth and opportunities? The unknown might leave many employees and employers in fear. Kelly invites a master’s student, Ryan O’Keefe, who is currently interning in the tax and accounting field. Ryan shares an inside look at how things are currently operating during this unique time.

How Ryan Continues to Build His Career During The Pandemic  

Ryan O’Keefe is studying for his master’s in tax and accounting and is also currently interning an eight-week contract with Rubin Brown. Ryan is living the experience of seeking new opportunity and building his career in tax and accounting, all the while the economy and career realm are unknown and constantly being altered. Tune into this week’s episode to hear what Ryan is currently experiencing, how he handles it and what his hopes and expectations are moving forward with his career.

Listen to Kelly and Ryan O’Keefe discuss Employment Growth, Schooling and Career Opportunities During this Pandemic such as:

  • How Ryan Gravitated to Tax and Accounting  
  • Ryan’s College Experience 
  • Ryan’s Internship with Rubin Brown Las Vegas 
  • GPA Vs. True Ability  
  • CPA Exams Affecting Hire  
  • Dealing with Anxiety of the Current Unknown Employment Opportunities  
  • Will School Uptick Due to Employment Pauses  
  • Relocating for Job Opportunities  
  • Pros and Cons of Virtual Learning and Zoom Conferences  
  • Networking and Staying Involved During Covid-19 
  • Pressure of Working During Pandemic as a New Employee 

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Ryan’s Internship at – Rubin Brown

Taxgirl Jobs Board – Job Listings

A small business is typically defined as a business with less than 500 employees. In this episode, we start with a grim statistic: only 2/3 of small businesses survive after two years, ½ of small businesses survive after five years, and 1/3 of small businesses survive ten years.

As we all know, running a business has its pros, but it can also very challenging. The challenges are often tied to mental stigma and what we are conditioned to believe about money – even as children. Often, being conditioned to believe a certain way or having expectations about money can lead business owners to carry shame about their current business or financial situations, which can lead to poor business or financial choices. This week’s episode is all about learning to have a relationship with money that allows you to create success.

Solutions for Small Businesses & Taxpayers

Joining Kelly this week is Nicole Lewis-Keeber. Nicole is a business therapist and mindset coach who works with entrepreneurs to help them identify and break stigmas that affect their financial choices. In this episode, Kelly and Nicole focus on the struggles of taxpayers and small businesses, where people often go wrong, and how to address those problems. Nicole differentiates between business success and self-success, teaching listeners just how much self-awareness can impact their bottom line.

Listen to Kelly and Nicole discuss Small Business and Monetary Situations such as: 

  • Normalizing Uncomfortable Business Situations Socially 
  • What it “Means” to Have Money   
  • How Wealth Impacts Business Choices 
  • Learning to Have a Healthy Relationship with Money 
  • Controlling the Narrative and Taking the Steps Towards Change 
  • How we Allow Taxes/IRS Take Control 
  •  How we Cut Off Money Flow by Hiding from Our Shame 
  • Steps to Take to Fix a Rough Financial Situation 
  •  Impact of Referrals and Working Relationships 
  •  Properly Articulating Needs 
  • Understanding Excuses Verses Explanations  
  • Clearing the Conflict on Money for Future Generations 
  • Business Success Does Not Always Define Self Success  
  • PPP Loan Shaming 
  • How Expectations Lead Us to Feelings of Failure 
  • The Truth About Value and Self-Compassion    

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Nicole Lewis-Keeber – Website 

Nicole Lewis-Keeber – Medium Mentor Site 

All professionals will stumble upon the struggle of balancing costs with deductibility. When is the proper time to spend money on your company or product? Will the money spent be beneficial with the return? Branding your company, service, or product is key for obtaining a successful business platform. Sometimes, this process can be costly, but it could potentially cost you more if you choose to ignore it. This week’s podcast offers clarity when it comes to balancing the cost and emotional impact of branding and protecting what you have worked for.    

Protecting Brand and Trademarks 

This week, Kelly brings Kelley Keller, founder and president of the Keller Law firm. This Law Firm works for and supports domestic and intellectual property issues. They focus on trademarks and copyright matters, as well as licensing on property rights and counsel on these matters. Kelley discusses the current – and public – trademark dispute that Lady Antebellum faces with Lady A. Kelley and Kelly take this ongoing conflict and relate it to any professional that could be planning or wanting to one day trademark their brand. 

Discover the importance of having guidance during the trademark process, learn what to expect both financially and emotionally, and the consequences of protecting your brand.  

Listen to Kelly and Kelley Keller discuss more about trademarks and cost, such as: 

  • Lady Antebellum to Lady A Trademark Conflict 
  • What Trademarks are Used for  
  • Boundaries on Trademarks Co-existing  
  • Federal Rights and use of Commerce 
  • Steps to Take to Potentially Avoid Trademark Conflict  
  • Analyzing if your Piece is Distinctive and Financially Important  
  • Cost Vs. Return  
  • Creating Associations & Consumer Recognition  
  • Legal Protection Limitations  
  • Marketing Does not Always Mean Ownership 
  • Product VS. Service Analysis  
  • Price and Fear of Protection 
  • Knowing When to Federally Protect your Brand 
  • Understanding Risk and Risk Tolerance  
  • Dealing with the Emotional and Financial Side of Brand Conflict  
  • The Importance of Guidance to Support Branding  
  • Understanding Consequences 

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Kelley Keller – LinkedIn 

Keller Law Firm  

Lady Antebellum Trademark Case Info

It’s been a long and stressful tax season. Mix long hours together with COVID, and there’s real worry about mental health for tax professionals, as well as taxpayers. More often than not, one of the barriers to seeking help is stigma: it is difficult for any professional to admit that they are suffering. So let’s talk about stigma. This week’s episode focuses on the steps you need to take to confront personal mental struggles in the context of a real success story from a fellow lawyer, Brian Cuban, who has experienced depression and addiction.

Turning Struggles into Success as a Professional 

Joining Kelly this week is Brian Cuban, a lawyer who has faced his share of struggles. Brian is a lawyer, the brother of Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks coach), and a famous author. Brian suffered from drug addiction, self-image problems, depression, and childhood trauma. Mental struggles can be a roller coaster for both people struggling, or people watching others struggle. Together, Kelly and Brian share insight on mental struggles.

We have all heard, that admitting is the first step to overcoming a problem. However, the battle does not stop there. Kelly states that “the idea of hopefulness can get lost in dark times.” Let Kelly and Brian shine some light on this matter by providing stories, resources, hope, and most of all, support, to fighting mental health stigmas while continuing the battle as a professional.

Listen to Kelly and Brian Cubantalk more about overcoming mental struggles such as: 

  • Brian’s History with Addiction as a Lawyer 
  • How Law Firm Culture Triggers Mental Struggles  
  • How Lawyers Obtain Support and Reinforcement on Bad Behavior   
  • Ego and Profession Can Get in the way of Recovery 
  • Finding Your way out of False Functioning Ideas  
  • Identifying a Problem with Consequences and Community  
  • The Hope for Generational Change  
  • How Shifting Culture Changes Triggers 
  • Developing and Adapting is a Must 
  • Coping with the Impact of Corona Virus – Thoughts Are not Facts 
  • Brian’s Steps to Recovery and Continuing his Profession  
  • Responsibility, Reconcile and Resilience  
  •  How to Handle Being the Watcher of the Problem Rather than the Problem 
  • Where & How Help can Truly be Found and Achieved  
  • Self-Assessing as a Step with Stigma & What Step is Next 

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Brian Cuban – LinkedIn 

Brian Cuban’s Self Image Book – Shattered Image 

Brian Cuban’s Lawyer Addiction Book – The Addicted Lawyer 

Peter Principal  

ABA 

John Hopkins – Covid19 Update Site  

Addiction and Depression Resources:  

Alcohol Anonymous  

Teletherapy  

Lawyers Assistance Program  

Smart Recovery 

Celebrate Recovery

For many years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has grown to help serve our community and taxpayers. Today, the Criminal Investigation Agency, also known as CI, has been working hard to better our community by tackling tax fraud and other financial crimes. The hard work and efforts of this agency are sometimes overlooked or unknown. This week, Kelly invites Don Fort, the Chief of Criminal Investigation with the IRS to explore the crucial work and educate listeners on how the CI Agency provides a backbone for us, worldwide.

Learn it All Through the Chief of Criminal Investigation Himself 

As Don Fort states, “Most crimes are financially driven.” When you start to break down crime, the majority of the cases are related to financial matters. This supports the fact that the CI team always has their hands full, and never stumble upon a shortage of cases. Don has been with the IRS for 29 years now, holding roughly nine leadership positions. If anyone can explain the ins and outs of the IRS, it’s Don. In this episode, Don and Kelly touch base on the organization itself, the cases they face, and the future that lies ahead.  

Listen to Kelly and Dodiscuss more about the IRS and its organization, such as: 

  • The History on the Intelligence Unit and Criminal Investigation 
  • Don’s Career path with the IRS and what lead him to Chief  
  • Don’s successes and special stories that shaped his Career 
  • The truths about Special Agents and Jurisdictions  
  • All about the Academy itself 
  • IRS initiating Cases versus being sought out for them 
  • The Importance of Notable and Neighborhood Cases 
  • Don’s most memorable and highlighted achievements with the IRS 
  • The intensity and timeline of cases 
  • CI’s Danger behind the scenes 
  • How the Tax Code impacts the CI Agency 
  • How to become a part of the IRS or CI team 
  • Strong staff and worldwide successes with the Agency 
  • What is next for CI and Don, as he meets retirement   

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Don Fort – LinkedIn 

PPP Florida Arrest 

Al Capone IRS Case 

IRS Jobs 

Internal Revenue Services 

Criminal Investigation Agency 

Did you know that the government may be able to seize your property – even if you’re not accused of a crime? It’s true. Federal and state statutes allow authorities to take your property through a process called civil forfeiture.

Test your knowledge here:

To listen to the podcast episode, you can click over to find a link to your favorite platform, or just click here:

I’ve been listening to your feedback!

As previously announced, we’re making some changes to the podcast. We are keeping the interview portion front and center. That’s not changing. But, as promised, we’ve removed the intro – for timeliness and podcast length – and will be spinning it off as a separate bit.

Originally, the spinoff was going to be a quick news update, but a few folks suggested instead that I do an “Ask The Taxgirl” segment where I answer reader mail over the air.

So, I’m asking which you prefer. Your responses are appreciated!

We all know that under the Constitution, the government cannot deny anyone life, liberty, or property without due process of law. However, that hasn’t stopped federal and state authorities from seizing property even when a crime has not been committed. Many taxpayers don’t understand the laws and guidelines that apply to civil forfeiture. In this week’s podcast, Kelly and her guest Dan Alban, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, discuss the ins, outs, dos, and don’ts of civil forfeiture.  

Hope for Civil Forfeiture Reform 

Sadly, there have been many innocent victims who have experienced and are still experiencing civil forfeiture issues. Dan helps Kelly unfold many grey areas of civil forfeiture, as well as offer tips and resources on how taxpayers and others can forgo their litigations or prevent future incidents. They share real life cases and how civil forfeiture has progressed, as well as the hope for reform in the future. 

Listen to Kelly and Dan cover many topics on Civil Forfeiture, such as: 

  • The history of civil forfeiture 
  • How civil forfeiture has transitioned 
  • Structuring and the challenges with structuring 
  • The expenses and process of civil forfeiture litigation
  • Pending cases and resolutions 
  • The largely unknown air traveling with money rules and laws 
  • Rules and tips for taxpayers  
  • IRS seizure laws 
  • Attorney assistance and legal proceedings 
  • Violations and due process 
  • Hopes for progression and reforms 

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day to help you get out and stay out of tax trouble. 

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Steve Forbes – What’s Ahead 

Structuring and Bank Information – FinCEN 

Clyde Hirsch Sowers Respect Act 

End Forfeiture 

form for potential clients: https://www.ij.org/report-abuse 

Dan Alban – LinkedIn 

Institute For Justice – IJ.org (donor info here)

I know many of you have heard the controversy about Wayfair and Amazon paying taxes. This week’s episode with Kelly really dives into the recent Supreme Court ruling that online businesses must pay taxes and the effect on smaller, primarily online businesses. Brad Scott joins Kelly as a guest to give an inside look at how the Kill Quill ruling affects small businesses. Brad is the Director of Finance at Halstead Bead, Inc., a jewelry component wholesaler supplying jewelers across the United States and around the globe. Halstead is a second-generation, family-owned, small business. Scott has been with Halstead since 2002. Since May 2019, Scott has led Halstead’s Wayfair legislative advocacy efforts to achieve uniformity, simplification, clarity, and liability limitations for small businesses at both the state and the federal level. Scott graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Finance.

Small Businesses Complying with the Kill Quill Ruling  

As Brad and Kelly discuss the tax ruling for online retailers, they also discuss what it means for taxpayers and professionals. Many businesses, taxpayers, and online retailers may not even know if the rules apply to them, or how to comply. Brad and Kelly help listeners learn how to move towards compliance, and what can happen along the way. Along with these helpful tips, Brad and Kelly discuss if this will ruling stay in effect and how the burden and benefits can vary. The takeaway from this podcast is beneficial by hearing an insider’s experience and opinions on the matter, while also learning the expectations and what comes next.

Listen to Kelly and Brad Scott talk Tax Rulings, as well as: 

  • Discover About Complying with 2018 Ruling  
  • Which Rules Apply to You? 
  • Necessary Educational Expenses to Comply 
  • Deciding on Where to do Business  
  • The Challenge of Keeping up with Changes
  • Brad’s Hope to Uniform Taxes
  • Do Compliances Benefit Anyone, or Burden?
  • It is not All About the Cost
  • Finding Allies to Fight for Small Businesses
  • How COVID-19 Could Change the Ruling 
  • Complexity is Causing Compliance Difficulties  
  • Taking the Next Step, Moving Forward  

More About Kelly Phillips Erb: 

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.  

Links Mentioned: 

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl  

Brad’s Family Business – Halstead Bead 

National Federation of Independent Business- NFIB 

American Catalog Mailers Association – ACMA 

Online Merchants Guild – OMG

Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, Inc. – SST