Kelly Phillips Erb

Writer – Attorney – Schemer – Dreamer


(Author’s note: This page is just my bio (sorry). If you have a tax question, please don’t leave a comment. Chances are that I won’t see it and it will probably go to spam. Check out this page instead:

Kelly Phillips Erb is a Senior Contributor at Forbes Media, LLC where she writes about tax and tax policy, including tax-related security & technology issues. She is also a managing shareholder at The Erb Law Firm, P.C., where she focused on tax law for businesses and families.

Kelly has published four books together with Forbes (you can find a list here). Kelly authors the popular Taxgirl blog for; the blog has been recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the top 100 blogs written by lawyers and in 2013, was named to the Blawg Hall of Fame. Kelly has also written about taxes for Trulia, Reuters, Time, and AOL’s WalletPop, and has been tapped for her ability to explain taxes in plain English by Esquire, National Public Radio’s Marketplace, CBS Radio’s Marketwatch, Inc., and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

For years, Kelly mixed writing with lawyering, authoring the tech column for PA Lawyer magazine and serving on the Pennsylvania Bar Association Editorial Committee.

In 2014, Kelly received the inaugural award for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Section. The award, which was based on nominations from her colleagues, was presented at the PBA Annual Meeting in May 2014.

In 2012, Kelly was named as a Philadelphia “40 Under 40” by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The 40 Under 40 award, then in its 22nd year, recognizes young professionals in the Delaware Valley for outstanding success and contributions to their community.

Kelly is a graduate of Meredith College and earned her law degree and her Masters of Law in Taxation from Temple University School of Law. She lives and works in southeastern Pennsylvania. Kelly is also a mom to three children, so she can add “dinosaur expert,” “cupcake baker” and “hockey mom” to her resume.

24 comments on “About

  1. David L. Nelson
    November 7, 2012

    Hi Kelly, I enjoyed your work and presence during the play by play of the election this evening. I like the cut of your jib… as they say.


    David aka Orbman

  2. terry
    December 31, 2012

    Re: payroll tax cut expiring- Strange question… being someone that doesn’t pay into social security (will receive a city pension) , will I see a increase in my take home pay? I seem to remember my take home pay went down after the cut was put in place few yrs ago. Thx!

    • Kelly Phillips Erb
      January 27, 2013

      Hmm. Takehome pay shouldn’t have been affected if you weren’t affected by the payroll tax cuts.

  3. Maryann McAndrews
    January 10, 2013

    Did the owners of Nifty Fifties, because they pleaded guilty to tax fraud and paid the IRS back plus interest, get no jailtime? Just wondering? Thanks!

  4. Dave
    January 25, 2013

    Hi Kelly,

    Do you still answer really odd tax questions for posters? Got one that my CPA can’t answer, and even the IRS is stumped!!

      • Dave
        January 27, 2013

        Thanks for the reply. This may be too specific of a problem, but nobody seems to know the answer!

        If a person has a limited partnership in their 401/457/IRA/ROTH. and the dividends are TAX EXEMPT at the federal level (an example of this is ticker ATAX), how does one pull out the dividends from the 401/457/IRA/ROTH without getting taxed as ordinary income? These ‘dividends’ are reported on a K-1 form, and again, in this case are tax exempt at the federal level.

        Or is a person just stuck with paying the going income tax rate on the non-taxable ‘dividends’.

        Have asked a lot of CPA’s this question, as well as the IRS – haven’t got a good answer yet.


  5. Jonathan Marlin
    January 23, 2014

    Hi Kelly – Instant Tax Service is operating as Great Tax LLC. The Great Tax LLC website is just the old ITS one. They didn’t even change the logo. Can the Feds shut this down? These crooks need to be stopped

  6. Don Blaser
    February 26, 2014

    Hi Kellly,
    Just read your last Forbes article on IRS CI group. You are on to something writing about this group. I am not sure if anyone knows all the amazing things they do in the terrorist, tax and money laundering world. I occasionally get to hear stories after they have been made public and they are entertaining and sometimes very funny. I also wish the tax paying public knew about the service they provide to us all. Could make Great TV topic! ( and most of the time no one get’s killed!)
    Thank for writing article,


    BTW: can you keep me posted on your articles?

  7. Clive
    May 5, 2014

    Hi Kellly,

    Nice articles in Forbes regarding US tax scams… I found you because I received a strange email purportedly from the US IRS and investigated it… And yes it was another scam (only in America)!

    IRD (the New Zealand taxation office) do not have such problems… In New Zealand tax payers have a voiceprint which mean that the tax office can authenticate tax payers and confirm it is them… Like your fingerprint, your voice is unique… The New Zealand tax office use this to confirm that you are the tax payer and not the fraudster… And if you are a fraudster you go onto the black-list so the system can identify exactly who you are and track your nefarious activities…

    See for details…

    Perhaps the IRS can follow the IRD’s example…


    • Kelly Phillips Erb
      September 8, 2014

      Great idea, Clive!

  8. Amy Bates
    January 31, 2015

    I just wanted to say thanks for takin the time to write that little article about wheres my refund this week. FINALLY was able to get every answer I had in ONE spot. Your knowledge is much appreciated!

  9. Lori LeVasseur
    February 11, 2015

    I would like to hear your take on the Form 3115 requirement this year. Causing a lot of pain with tax professionals right now.

  10. Libby Jamison
    March 19, 2015

    Hi Kelly, I read your article last year about different ways folks can support veterans. I thought you might be interested in writing about military spouses (Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 8th!), and specifically military spouse attorneys. MSJDN (Mil Spouse JD Network) is working hard on licensing rules to make it easier on milspouse attorneys trying to balance a legal career with having a servicemember spouse! If you are interested in more info, I’d love to connect!

  11. danny
    July 21, 2015

    that right.

  12. Bruce
    August 12, 2015

    Very interesting knowledge!

  13. Randy Tivens
    August 21, 2015

    Loved your most recent column today about employees vs. independent contractors. Very cool and well stated! YAY , TAXGIRL!
    I’m part of a firm which does entry level land investments. And here in CA as you know, we have the most stringent laws regarding Real Estate. And yes, all of our sales personnel are INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. Never had any problem with it but sometimes people question it. (Sometimes our state wants to go against Fed rules but you know who wins THAT one regarding taxes–IRS every time!) Can’t dispute it with the guidelines you laid out in that article. Well done!
    And you’re right, paying taxes is a pain, but reading it about it is more delightful when YOU do it! Taxgirl strikes again! (Somebody has to do a graphic logo of this character of yours!)

  14. Dan Ashland
    October 8, 2015

    Kelly Phillips, was looking for an update to your doing on the IRS scandal? Any news?

  15. Sheila Cox
    March 18, 2016

    I have a tax question. The law that applies to a limit of three tax refunds in a tax year apply to the federal refunds only?

    • Kelly Phillips Erb
      July 3, 2016

      So far as I know, Sheila, but state laws may vary.

  16. Patrick
    November 30, 2016

    you have a great writing style. Easy to read, which is not easy!!

  17. Catherine M Holley
    October 5, 2018

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for your insightful articles.



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