This episode of the Sage Advice podcast features Kelly Phillips Erb. She is a tax attorney, writer, and podcaster. She authors the popular Taxgirl blog, which is consistently recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the top blogs written by lawyers. Kelly has regular columns with Forbes and Bloomberg and is the host of the newly relaunched Taxgirl Podcast. Kelly focuses on tax law, including tax planning, compliance, and controversy.
First off, why do you do what you do?
Kelly Phillips Erb: Gosh, that is a loaded question, isn’t it? I’m a tax attorney first. I fell in love with tax law in law school. I never intended to be a tax attorney, but I loved the tax work.
I loved fixing things. That’s the most appealing part, being able to explain things to taxpayers and then help them fix problems. That translated into writing about tax. Both on the writing side and on the lawyering side, I do it because I really enjoy helping taxpayers navigate our complicated tax system.
The tax season has finally ended. What comes next now that tax season is over?
Kelly Phillips Erb: On the tax compliance side we have a lot of practitioners and tax preparers is still trying to get through their extended tax season because extensions are not due until October. There’s also PPP loans. Not only are there still additional funds out there, but forgiveness is on the table right now. Folks are having to submit their paperwork and certifications for that.
Additionally, with the unemployment benefits expiring this week, the senate is looking at another stimulus package. So that is going to have ramifications for taxpayers and professionals.
Some of the things that both the house and the senate are looking at, include tax credits and new deductions. There is a lot to learn. So, tax practitioners are going to continue to be busy and taxpayers are still on edge waiting to see what’s next.
The GOP is proposing a trillion dollars in additional stimulus and Democrats are proposing another 3 trillion. My guess is we’re going to be somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t long ago we thought, oh my gosh, a federal government with a budget over 1 trillion.
Kelly Erb: I was looking at the numbers today for the deficit and it is mind boggling. But something that most people and even Congress can agree on is that we need to do something to keep the economy going. I suspect it is going end like the CARES Act where it’s going to hinge on tax policy.
The reality is that this is really the just the beginning from a tax and accounting point. I think there are still tax cases being adjudicated from the 1986 tax changes, right?
Kelly Phillips Erb: Yeah, the backlog is tremendous. There’s tax court and people are still waiting for their returns to be processed, and some still waiting on refunds. And you are right, there was a backlog even before this started. So, it just keeps going.
It will be interesting how 5, 10, or perhaps even 20 years into the future, there may still be ramifications from what happened during this 6 to 12-month period.
Kelly Phillips Erb: Absolutely, especially as it applies to theContinue reading