These are interesting times.
Many things are closed or in lockdown and some bookkeepers don't know where to go for credible tax information during this tax season.
According to our guest today, technology plays an important role as a great source of information in helping us do things efficiently while working remotely.
Kelly Phillips, who is a U.S. Tax attorney and the woman behind TaxGirl.com, uses technology to provide accurate tax information to her clients, subscribers and followers.
During the interview, you'll discover...
- A list of trusted resources for tax information
- Tips on how to avoid incorrect information
- A list of apps to use to stay connected with clients & colleagues
To connect with Kelly on Linkedin, click here.
To follow her on Twitter, visit this link.
To explore her website, go here.
Michael Palmer (01:01): Welcome to the successful bookkeeper podcast. I am your host, Michael Palmer and today's show is going to be a very valuable one. Our guest is a us tax attorney, a tax writer for forbes.com and the woman behind tax girl.com Kelly Phillips. Welcome to the show.
Kelly Philips (01:19): Thank you for having me.
MP (01:20): Yeah. So I'm looking forward to this conversation and if it was four weeks ago, five weeks ago, probably be a different conversation. But absolutely. I mean, it's hard not to have conversations about what's going on. They just see, it would seem very bizarre. In fact, it's actually a bizarre time to be doing podcasts because it's like old news, you know what I mean? People are craving right now. Real time news right now.
KP (01:47): Oh yeah, no, wait, I'm having the same issue actually. I'm sure you've, you've probably seen on Forbes writing because I kind of pregnant stuff on being very thoughtful and making sure that the information that I put out is correct. And there are a lot of folks just scrambling to be first. And it's, it's hard. You wait an hour and you're old news. And, uh, I actually, I don't know if you saw, but I got a, I took a lot of flack from reporting [inaudible] briefing when he said that the filing deadline would not be extended, but the payment deadline would be, and I listened to his briefing like five times, actually transcribed it verbatim and uh, got hate mail, like actual hate mail. People telling me what a terrible person. I listened. I'm like, you're kidding. Right. And because MSNBC reported it wrong. Wow. Yeah. So
MP (02:39): you, you actually reported it, right?
KP (02:41): Yeah, I was one of the first people that did, I watched the briefing live and um, when I saw it, I did not think that he extended both. And so I actually went back and watched it again. I watched it several times. My kids had to memorize practically to make sure that the of what he said was, was what he said. And that was in my piece. And yeah, people sent me like really angry emails about how, you know, I'm putting bad information out there. And I got a similar thing where I got firsthand reports and also interviewed the NTEU guy about IRS offices closing down, and I got some nasty emails from people who said I was spreading fear and that the IRS was not closing down and how dare I suggest that they were. So, yeah. So it's a weird time.
MP (03:34): It's, it's remarkable and good for you for, for doing the work that you're doing and being, I mean, that's unfortunate. Sometimes you're doing the good work, but in the early days of doing the good work, you're, you're actually getting, you know, they're throwing tomatoes at you.
KP (03:49): Yeah, yeah. No, it's true. But it's lucky. It's, this is rare. This is norm. It's just, it's weird times people are anxious, like I get it, but it's very rare because I don't normally get the negative feedback.
MP (04:04): No, it's a, a lot of fear out there and it, it, it actually brings up a great question and point, which is the information right now is that there's so many people out there that are providing advice and guidance and yet who are they? How do we know that what they're saying is actually accurate? Where is the the truth, where is the, the actual advice you should be listening to, right?
KP (04:30): Yes. Oh my gosh, that's such a good question because my husband who, who's also an attorney and I were having this conversation this morning because with the situation being as it is with so many folks having to stay at home, it actually has changed a lot of focus for folks. So I can just give you like an example is I'm folks that do criminal law work aren't working right now. So they're, especially those that are in firms are looking to see what else is out there. So now everyone's a payroll tax ex-parte right. And I appreciate that people need to work. So I don't want to imply that you know, you have to stay in your lane all the time. Cause I understand you have to, you have to pay the bills. So I get it and I'm not being critical of people adapting cause I think that's important.
KP (05:13): But I think that folks have to be careful about where their information is coming from because you know, you and I and everybody on tax Twitter and in the profession knows that so much of this is nuanced and so much of what we're doing now isn't based on even, you know, an 800 page document. It's based on tax code and regs and other stuff. So to suggest that you can, even if you have amazing retention skills and analytical skills to suggest that you can just pick something up and become an expert on it in a day is a scary prospect. And then to turn around and suggest to clients that, you know, everything that there is to know, I think is, I'm a little fearful for what comes down the road at all the new experts that are popping up. And again, I'm not being critical.
KP (06:02): I get that people need to, you know, they need to pay bills. I get it. And, and you know, I worked three jobs in law school. I get you do what you have to do. But I think you need to be careful about the way that you put information out there and you know, and you need to couch it in ways that clients understand what it is that you're saying. And one of the things I always talk about, and I think it's so important, is that small business owners and taxpayers, you know, they should have a team of folks, right? Cause there's no never any one person that knows all the answers. So right now, as a small business owner, you know, those folks should not only be looking at their attorney and their bookkeeper on their accountant and you know, their HR folks like they need to be talking to a lot of people. You don't just rely on the cheapest, fastest person to get to you.
MP (06:49): That's right. Absolutely. And, and this is, there's a couple of things that I think, uh, come up in, in this conversation, which is every industry is going to have this impact. So bookkeepers, which is our, our primary listener, but keeping business owners there, there's going to be a lot of people moving into that area of business because it's a, it's an, it's, there's still work to be done. There's other people that will be moving into this space and they don't necessarily have the expertise and they're likely work for a lot less money. And so it's about communicating to your clients and making sure that they're aware of your, you know, it's a good practice all the time, but making sure they're aware of why you're an expert, what, what, why they should be choosing you as the person that can guide them through something like this. And it will be a threat to small business because they will be getting perhaps work and advice and services that are actually incorrect, which has longterm implications.
KP (07:48): Right. And one of the things you said I actually think is really important. I think that bookkeepers and again, other tax professionals as well need to make sure that they remind clients of the value that they bring. And I think that's hard sometimes to kinda toot your own horn. But especially one of the things I'm a little concerned about in the bookkeeping, accounting and tax worlds right now is you know, technology and of course you know, just gets taken out of context and everybody thinks I'm anti-technology, which I'm so not, and I think we're going to talk about that later today, but how it makes it easy to work remotely. Like there's so many great things about technology, but it doesn't replace people. And I think that especially in times when people are strapped for cash, they look for fast and cheap solutions and sometimes that comes in the guise of technology.
KP (08:35): Technology is a great assist, right? It makes our jobs easier. It makes our clients lives easier. It helps with communication, it helps with efficiency. There's so many good parts. But bookkeepers like accountants, like tax attorneys, you know, they're not hired for the piece of paper that they spit out at the end. They're hired for their, their expertise and their knowledge and what they bring to the table. The fact that you can look at a, a set of books and understand what it means and what it means for the client. A computer program can't necessarily do that on its own. Um, and I think that we need to make sure that we keep telling clients what our value add is. Like what's our service, why, what is important that you bring to the table. And I think that's going to be even more important when people are looking for, again, fast and economical solutions.
MP (09:32): Exactly. And making sure that, you know, that the, the trickery of it as sometimes when you're, when you are an expert and you use technology, you can make it look really easy, right? Anybody can do this, right? And if you're not constantly, it's kinda like if you think of employees, right? Employees in situation where say a new boss comes into work and you've got a new boss. It's like if you do everything perfect, you make your life look easy and they don't even know what you do. They won't value you. They will be sitting there going, well, what is it that you do here? Can we get rid of you? Well, it's similar to the situation with technology and expertise is that they don't know because they're not the experts. So it's like self marketing, self promoting. Even though some people in this industry really are not good at that, they have to make sure that people are clear of what, what value they're delivering and, and uh, and that only will get more important as technology is, is coming into, into everyday life.
KP (10:33): Right? That a hundred percent. And I think especially now when you aren't necessarily seeing your clients face to face, um, and I know a lot of folks work remotely, you know, at any rate, but especially now when it's very hard in parts of the country to see clients face to face even when you want to. I think you need to remind them that again, you're not just an inner key, right? You're, you're doing a lot of analysis. You're, you're looking out for your client's best interests or you're taking care of them and helping them do the thing that they want to do, which is run their business and not worry about, you know, what's happening on the back end. So I do think you have to constantly remind folks of the, of the value. And I think you have to do that in smart ways. You know, I think right now, unfortunately a lot of folks who are, um, kind of inundated with constant emails and updates from companies trying to remind us that they're still around and so you don't want to get lost in the shuffle. But I, I think there's like lots of little ways you can continue to, to add value and remind clients that you're important and you don't have to use them all up and you know, March or April, they shouldn't be due in June.
MP (11:35): That's, that's right. This is a time to be playing the long game and making sure you're doing things good in the short game. But things that you do now are probably things you should be doing anyways. Yeah. You know, three months ago. And so it's a time to improve your game and make sure you're prepared for today but also and into tomorrow.
KP (11:56): Right. And especially like when you look at these, um, you know, some of the, the relief that's available, it requires, um, a lot of documentation, not just prospectively but also, you know, retroactively like you have to make sure you've had your ducks in a row if you're applying for loans or, or other relief and, and that's exactly the kind of, I mean, you'd have to have the long game, you know, you need somebody that you can, can count on to if they'd been working with you all along. That information is easily accessible. If they haven't been, then there's going to be some time, you know, you're gonna have to put the time in. But moving forward, a lot of the criteria for some of these relief options is based on being able to either demonstrate potential of employees or continued losses or something. And you're going to need folks that stick around, you know, to, to make sure that that information is consistent and correct.
MP (12:47): Absolutely. Such a, such an important time for our industry and for the work that's being done. I mean, if there was ever a time, it is now, I mean, small business owners dealing with the, this documentation and the implications of it and how it all fits together. I mean, it is the perfect fit for people like yourself, bookkeepers, tax, accountants, accountants, I mean this is, this is what they are excelling at. And so that's the thing to bring to clients and make sure that they're aware, you know, they, they don't know, they don't know exactly everything you've said right now in the last minute is exactly the message that needs to go to small business owners right now is that this is, this is the time that you need to make sure that you have this plan in place, that this is what's going to likely happen. This is very, you know, it can be very complicated. There's lots of layers. Uh, and, and you, you, our listener can be extremely valuable to small business owners right now.
KP (13:47): Right? Absolutely. And again, I think it's a lot of just, you know, constant and, um, consistent messaging.
MP (13:54): Absolutely. I think I saw an article, I think it was a story in one of the newspapers about a person took them like eight days or something to fill out one of these relief applications and it and it and the computer crashed. And so, you know, that's going to be a lot of frustration out there for, for many people. And so it's an opportunity to help.
KP (14:17): Right. And I will say with respect to the application, um, I, I'm, I'm, I'm hopeful cause I, you know, I, I like what I do. I like this space. I like, um, the folks that I work with. And I think that, you know, again, bookkeepers, accountants, tax attorneys, we all work together to serve our clients. And I think that, um, most of us do, you know, the best job that we can for our clients. And right now we're seeing a little bit of gouging on some of those applications. And I'm hopeful that again, that, that we keep providing the right messaging for our clients, that we provide value. And, and that we're in this for the long game, not just to charge you a lot of money to get a one page application done. So
MP (15:03): Tell me about it. I mean, I've seen messages coming through on my email of people saying this is the time to go and get rich. I mean talk about, I mean that is just absolutely despicable.
KP (15:17): I tweeted the other day, I was actually pretty, I'm unhappy. I got an email from a service provider in my profession that said, you know, something to the effect, I'm going to get the subject line wrong. But it was something like, don't just survive COBIT 19 thrive. And it was this, these tips on like how to grow your business and, and again, don't, don't misunderstand. I think that there are opportunities to grow your business and I don't want to suggest that it's wrong to think that way, but the messaging in the email to me just felt like tone deaf. It was, you know, reinforce that like that your office is clean. Like it was, it was so odd to me because this is not what's on the minds of most small businesses right now. This is not what our clients are worried about. They're not so worried about are our offices being cleaned cause they're not coming in.
KP (16:08): They're worried about like what, what can you do to help me get through this and, and what can you do for me moving forward because you know, maybe I've run this business for two years or 10 years and this is my livelihood. So help me like that's what they're looking for. They're looking for assistance. This shouldn't be about how you can turn this into a profit for you is how you can continue to show people that you're valuable. And that in the long run is what gets you, you know, your reputation is what makes you, I don't want to say rich but you know, makes you valuable.
MP (16:41): That's right. It's the focus on value and service and that's the long game. Trying to get, you know, trying to, you know, I don't think a client or prospective client or any client for that matter is going to be happy that you've gone in and gouge them on some consulting to get a loan. I mean, it's not the time to be doing that. And I think vendors that are doing that and putting that message out into the, to the marketplace, I mean it's, it's, it's, it's not right, but that's the way that it is and there are those people. And so this is the time to look into the marketplace and see who who is doing that kind of marketing is likely not someone that should be on your email list. And so banish them from your email list and know that they're not someone you should be working with. And so a great, great point. Many opportunistic people out there in the marketplace and that, uh, that is certainly not long game philosophy for sure. Now, before we go any further, I'd love for you to share a little bit about your career journey in yourself leading up to this point.
KP (17:50): Sure. Um, so, uh, as I mentioned earlier, I'm a, I'm a tax attorney and I kind of fell into it. I went to law school and thought I was going to do international work and took a required course that I hated. It was new court. Um, and we had to do this trial and it just went, it went terribly. So the, the next semester when I had to sign up for something, I just decided to kind of take everything that was the opposite of that. Um, which meant I took a lot of business transaction and tax related courses and I had this one professor who was amazing. And so I just started signing up for texts course after tax course after. And the reason I kind of mentioned this is I had always promised that I would never do tax law like when I first was going to law school cause it felt boring.
KP (18:36): Like it felt to me that it would be very dry. And, um, so my classmates thought it was quite hilarious that I ended up not only graduating, um, having done an internship at the IRS and taken a lot of tax law courses, but ended up going on to get my master's in law in tax and just fell in love with it, loved the numbers, loved the policy, love how you put things together, love how you can make really complicated concepts, easy for clients. Not easy but maybe understandable for clients. So I did a lot of private practice work for a couple of different size firms. I started out working for another solo practitioner doing a lot of high net worth planning and wanted to find out what else there was. So I also did some planning work at a center city, Philadelphia firm before deciding, uh, I joke that I, I told my husband one day, why don't we just do this on our own?
KP (19:31): He's not a tax attorney, he's a corporate attorney. And I said, why don't we do this on our own? And it's funny cause he never listens to me. And this was the one time he did. So we started our own firm, that was quite a while ago. And so we, um, we've worked together for a number of years and we grew our firm and while all of this was happening, I was trying to figure out how I could communicate tax changes to clients cause you know, the tax law changes so quickly, kind of what we were talking about at the top. And um, it changes so quickly. And so I started putting out, this was back in back in the day we were doing our own website, which was really unusual for a small firm at the time. And, um, my husband's a little bit of computer geeks, so he wanted to, and I started blogging sort of as a way to get information to my clients really quickly because I was finding it difficult to always have to go in on the website to update.
KP (20:27): So I started blogging on blogspot.com back in the day I had a blog called tax [inaudible], which was a term that was coined by the Washington post to describe the feeling that you have when you get a tax refund. Only to remember that it was your money to begin with. And I was thought that was hilarious. So I had this, this blog, but I couldn't get the URL when I decided to become serious about it. So I had been tax squirrels since law school. So I got that URL, I bought it, which was weird for me at the time. Like it wasn't available. I actually bought it in a private sale and I remember being so nervous cause it seemed like such an extravagance at the time. Um, but it worked out really well. And so I started writing and my blog became pretty popular and got a little bit of recognition from some groups like the American bar association.
KP (21:21): And then later I was contacted by Forbes and they asked me if I'd like to write for them and I said sure. So I've been writing for them for a number of years. I worked there a little bit full time, but went back to being a contributor so they could practice law again. And then I also got a call from Bloomberg tax and they said, would you like to write for us? And I said, sure cause writing is what I love to do. So currently I have a weekly column with Bloomberg tax. I have a regular column with Forbes. I still maintain my own website. And then when I'm not running after my children, I also still practice law.
MP (22:04): Wow. What a, what an interesting journey. And you've done a heap of work and you're really helping people right now navigate through this, this, this crisis that's upon upon us with Covid 19.
KP (22:20): And that's, I think again, one of the reasons I love the writing piece is because I can't tell you how many emails I've gotten over the past week from folks who are in desperate situations and maybe either can't reach or can't afford to pay someone to answer what are relatively simple questions. And you know, they can't get through to IRS cause the, the phone lines are down. So, um, it's very gratifying to be able to help people. That's um, and it was really cheesy, but that's why I went to law school to begin with. I grew up in a rural North Carolina and never, never met. I don't, not that I knew, I had never met a lawyer. The lawyers I saw were on TV and I always thought of them, you know, it was Perry Mason, people like that. I would watch him reruns with my grandfather. And I remember thinking like, that was the kind of work I wanted to do. Like I wanted to help people cause you know, at the end he always won. Um, and so that, that's my writing has allowed me to do that in a very immediate way. Like, you know, that you've helped people cause you get the emails back, right? That say thank you so much. Now I understand or I feel so much better, you know, those kinds of things. And that's, um, it's a really like, it's a wonderful place to be.
MP (23:28): Wonderful place to be in. It sounds like you've connected with your, your why and your purpose and, and, and it's your passion, which is kind of a Trifacta, uh, for making life work well is a, you love what you do and you love the people you work with. And, and then now in this situation, you're able to help people, uh, dramatically. So that's uh, good for you and thank you for, for what you're doing now. How, how has this crisis impacted you in the way your work is working?
KP (23:59): Well, I mean it very much, I think a lot of the same mindset. Other folks we're seeing right now with, you know, I'm home a lot. I actually have a home office but I also have a law office and I kind of split my time between them normally. But right now, um, Pennsylvania has been understood home orders for a couple of weeks now. So I have not been at my law office. So I've been at my home office quite a bit and the kids are home as well and even though they have remote school that is not taking up the majority of the day. So, uh, we, our weather is not interrupted so they've been helping out a lot. I will say if you could see my office right now, it is covered in papers because my son is helping me with some filing that needed to happen and my daughter has been watching the white house briefings with me every day because I cover those four updates on the tax side. And my other, my other daughter who is a senior in high school right now, and she's a pretty smart cookie, she helped me put together some spreadsheets for, I've been keeping a list of the state tax closings, so she's been helping me with contact information for those folks. So I guess, you know, one of the ways that is changed is that my kids have become my office staff since I've been home.
MP (25:19): Amazing. Amazing. And that's one of the interesting dynamics of, of what's happening is that there, this is shaping people's minds, young people's minds around their future. I mean they're being introduced to things that would never have been introduced to at this, at these ages, which will have I think a positive impact. I, I mean I'm, I'm seeing and having conversations with many people that there are both challenging situations but also really positive situations. People learn, you know, getting to know each other better, you know, during the times that they wouldn't normally get to know each other. So it's pros and cons, but uh, sounds like your, you're dealing with it and uh, making the most of it
MP (26:04): as well as Knb and when we keep joking because w we are, we're lucky. My, my kids have always been around me working, like I said, from home at some, some point and they've always, um, hung out in our office because we have, you know, my husband and I worked together. So when we lived in the city, our kids used to walk to the office after school and hang out. Um, and now, uh, we are offices a little further from their school and that's not possible, but they still come. My one daughter goes to a different school than the other two and she hangs out and does her homework at my office. So my kids have sort of always been around us in terms of, you know, knowing what work that we do. But now they're there. I think getting kind of the less glamorous look at that because they're seeing it all of the time.
KP (26:50): I think things get like in little spurts and they knew I had calls and we would shut the door when I would have to do and whether it was a podcast or radio appearance, like they're kind of used to that, but now they're seeing it in a much more harried way I think. Which I think is a really good thing actually. I think it's great that our kids get to see that work isn't just getting a check or, or, or being at the office for a couple of hours a day. I think it's important and, and it's made them, you know, I think respect what I do a little more. My, um, my middle daughter actually, she has done a two, two or three seasons now of mock trial at school. And we used to always joke when they were little that they could be anything they wanted to be when they grew up except for lawyers and exotic dancers. And we were willing to bend on the exotic dancers. But despite our best efforts, I think my daughter is actually really enjoyed watching us practice law. And so she's making noise about possibly going to law school now. And I think that's cool that as more and more parents are working home during this crisis that kids get to see what it is that their parents do and maybe respect what they do a little more and maybe kind of followed in their footsteps.
MP (28:03): It's so interesting and it's kind of a, if you think of when you're with your children, uh, and ourselves, when we were young, it's like doing the opposite of what our parents said. It's like, don't go to school. I'm going to school.
KP (28:21): My dad, he works at a factory, like a plant. And I didn't know what he did for a really long time because he disappeared every day and came home every day. And I knew where he worked, but I didn't know what he did. So I think it's actually pretty cool that, that kids kind of get to see what we do now. Although my kids still joke that they're not sure what my husband does, although in fairness, he works with a lot of international companies, so his hours are odd. So he will sometimes be taking, you know, crazy early calls in German. So that's, that is I think, a little confusing for them because they know what I'm doing. I'm desirous all day long, but a versus job's a little different.
MP (29:00): Interesting. Interesting. Well, it's a, it certainly, there's the bring your children to work day. This is like just basically bring your parents home day and it's every day. And so everybody gets to work together and certainly lots of pros and cons and, and uh, and so it's how we deal with it day to day, make the most of it.
MP (29:21): Um, and I see on your, your photo that you have a little baby. How, how, how old are your kids?
MP (29:26): Well, that, that, that's Matthew and he was, uh, he's now he's turning five, April 9th. And then I have another, I should update my Skype photo. W I have McKayla, which is, she's just 21 months. So a couple of little ones and yeah, the fun times. And this, this has brought them together. I mean, it was, uh, like I, I was thinking about this the other day. They, they, Matthew would go to school in the morning, you know, you know, maybe 30 minutes or an hour to sorta interact, but then he'd come home in the afternoon and he's tired. He's cranky and nuts. She's getting him at his, at his not as his best. And so they would not play as much together. Now they're, they're just playing a ton together and having a blast. And for them it's been actually really positive. So, yeah,
KP (30:15): I think there's a lot of that kind of thing going on with families, which is, you know, I guess if we want to talk about upsides, but one of the upsides, cause my, my oldest is 17 and she will be going away to college next year. And she again, candidate the same thing. But you're talking about like, you know, she's at school all day. She's so busy, she's coming home, she's studying for AP exams. So her brother and sister don't really see her when she's tipper. And you know, last night they decided they're going to watch all the star Wars movies together, you know, so they're hanging out in the basement watching all the star Wars movies. And so they're getting to spend time with her in a way that I don't think would have happened otherwise. So, you know, silver linings. So I think kids are getting to hang out more with their siblings because we have such busy lives that doesn't always happen.
MP (31:00): Yeah. You know, it, it's refreshing. And so, you know, I'm sure there's situations where it's not a silver lining and there's, you know, I've heard people joke about the family law being busy. And so I hope that that's not the case and I hope that people, you know, find a way to get to know each other better. And I, and I, and that's sort of what I've been hearing too, is that there's like surprising things like this and, and, uh, I think spouses learning how to be worked better together and, and go through, you know, contain, it's not like you're going to run out the door and go hang out somewhere else. It's kind of, it's a, everybody's forced to deal with their stuff and so hopefully that'll have be another silver lining that people will get along a heck of a lot better after all this. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed. Now you talked about technology in it. What is the technology that you're using that you may not have been using prior to, to work in this scenario?
KP (32:04): Um, well I think the one that a lot of people are using right now and that I actually have only used a couple times is zoom. I think everybody's zooming these days. Um, which is interesting and I think it's because it's so flexible, a lot of the schools are using it. I'm still using Skype probably a lot more than before, I would say remote calls, that sort of thing. I mean, because of the way that my office is set up, I've always been pretty flexible in terms of working remotely. So we've always used some secure, uh, you know, business, Dropbox, digital signatures on documents, those kinds of things. The one thing I am a little more interested in than I used to be is the idea of III notarization and remote notarization. I just wrote an article on that because it's becoming a really hot issue right now with people not being able to see each other. And so, um, I actually am a notary and Pennsylvania. It's something I'm looking into becoming an E notary. It's, it's pretty fascinating. So I think that it's all happening so fast that we're learning about it. A lot of different pieces of technology that really maybe didn't seem necessary before, but now I can see some of the more longterm, um, you know, practical implications of, of those kinds of technologies. So I think probably the, the one that I'm kind of leaning towards adapting more is probably the M E notarization.
MP (33:36): Interesting. And so I think that's another topic really, which is the implications. It's practical, but it's also, there's implications to legality and bureaucracy and all sorts of things being turned upside down. What's been
MP (33:51): fraud is huge. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of, there's a lot of holes, so I think that we're going to kind kinda all learn it as we go forward.
MP (33:58): And so maybe on that note is too in this time right now, uh, what, how do people stay up to date on what's happening and, and how to best move forward? I mean, we've talked a little bit about some of the, the unfortunate things that are happening and misinformation and timely information and where you get your information. What's your recommendation for people to be in the know and to have the information that they need to make an advise their clients with the right decisions?
KP (34:28): Well, I think, you know, trusted sources is so important rather than just clicking on a headline. I think if there's an author that you like and you trust, continue to follow them because whether it's on social media or in their pieces, because a lot of folks will direct you. Like, you know, I'm not a payroll tax expert but I know people in the space and I write about it a little bit. But when I don't know something, I do refer other people. I tweet other people that I, I know are putting out really good, timely, smart information. So my first thing would be to, you know, when you find a trusted source and you'd like them, stick with them, don't just click on, you know, random headlines. Cause I think that can be dangerous in some, in some situations. I think that also, uh, groups like trade groups, you know, I think it's really important to rely on your peers.
MP (35:19): You know, no one is an expert, but I'll look in together. We're really strong. So whether it's a, a trade group, a bar association, something like that, I think that, you know, the groups that you are members of, you know, those folks, a lot of them are, whether it's, you know, ACPA, American bar, you know, they rely on good information and they sometimes can, um, very quickly and efficiently distribute that to membership. So I think there's value, especially nowadays that we're all working remotely. I think there's value in that kind of, um, watercooler approach. I think there's some really good Facebook groups. Um, and again, you know, we do text, Twitter hashtag text Twitter where a lot of folks will, if you have a question you ask and you know, your, your peers will, will point you in the right direction. So I think there's lots of resources available.
KP (36:13): I know it can be overwhelming. I would just say, you know, start with one or two people that you trust to give you good information and then see who they're reading, see who they recommend and you know, reach out masks. You know, I haven't seen an article on this. Do you know of somebody who's writing on this or who can I trust? Because I know that a lot of, uh, the growth of my website has been, you know, people sharing, which I appreciate a lot and I do the same when I know somebody is doing really good work, I make sure that I share it because that's the louder voices that you went out there. You don't want necessarily just the sensationalist, but you want, you know, the really smart people, those good pieces, those are the ones that you want to amplify.
MP (36:56): It's remarkable. And I think it is that sharing, which is so vital right now, which is, I mean, there potentially are people that have never come across your information that now they're going to be introduced to it. When you start looking at it, share it back with the community. When you find a trusted source, when you find a trusted source, sir, that back with your community so that they know can, can find that new trusted source. Uh, you know, together we're, we're definitely stronger. And so with what's happening right now today, there are deadlines that have been moved around. What are some of the implications that you're seeing right now that our listeners should be up to speed on? Obviously they're going to want to go back to tax girl.com and follow you on Twitter and get the UpToDate information. But what you know today, what are some of these implications?
KP (37:48): I think that the one thing that's just super important is to continue to follow IRS with respect to deadlines. There is a signup on irs.gov if you go to the, like the tax pro section, um, you can sign up to get updates and you know, again, you don't have to be inundated. You might not need everything. You might not need international tax guidance if that's not what you do. But they do have targeted newsletters for professionals and they put out guidance regularly and they're sharing a lot of those deadlines that I think are really important. Filing deadlines. There's a lot of confusion right now because of quarterlies being backwards. I'm sure you've seen that, but the April 15 quarterly date got pushed to July, but the June 15 date is still in place. So somebody was joking on Twitter that, you know, quarterlies have become as easy now as two one three.
MP (38:40): But it's true that in theory you're paying your second before your first. That kind of information is, again, it's been shared incorrectly. I think from a lot of places. The IRS website I think is a really good place to make sure that you stay up to date with those deadlines. States are finally, finally, finally, I'm coming around to extend deadlines as well. This morning the governor of New Jersey just tweeted that New Jersey has been extended. I think that was the last state to extend, but I could be wrong, but New Jersey was probably the, um, the one that people were complaining about the, the loudest for sure about not extending. Um, and I have a piece on my site at Forbes, so it's, it's forbes.com and you could just search tax girl, but I have a piece in my column that's still up on my site that, uh, has been updating those state deadlines because I think that's as important as the feds.
KP (39:34): I mean the feds get a lot of attention, but not all of the States are following the feds. So some of them have June deadlines, some of them have July deadlines, others have pushed it even further. So, you know, that's the state and local thing I think you need to be aware of. And, and also some of the municipalities are not extending. Um, and I think that's important for people to stay up on. You know, hopefully this will change. I suspect some of the municipalities will bend a little and be flexible about late payments, late deadlines hopefully. But for now, I think it's just really important to keep referring back to those websites, whether it's, you know, something like, like my site or go directly to the source. I mean, again, go to revenue sites for each individual, state or town, the IRS website, you know, or wherever it is that, that, uh, you're practicing. I know I have a lot of my readers are ex-pats and live in other places.
MP (40:30): It's very, very much moving information, moving targets. And I will say, it sounds to me like a tax girl.com is going to be a very important information source and that is where you are posting your information and people can find your Twitter feed and to your LinkedIn profile, wherever it is that they consume information, which, which is, which is very helpful. Kelly, thank you so much for your generosity coming on our show and sharing with our community, your expertise, your knowledge, and how you're dealing with this situation. And, uh, I I thank you for that.
KP (41:09): Thank you so much for having me and I appreciate it and I think it's really important that we, you know, kind of I'll stick together right now. And so I'm, I very much appreciate the opportunity to, to hear what I know and I look forward to meeting lots of new folks virtually. Um, and a new readers. So thanks
MP (41:26): Beautiful. And with that, we wrap another episode of the successful bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's guest, to get access to all sorts of valuable free business building resources, you can go to thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com. Until next time, goodbye