TAX ADVICE from Tara Holloway

ON TAX WEEKEND,there's not a more fitting story to feature or "person" to interview. Friday through Sunday, we'll be talking to TARA HOLLOWAY, tax investigator extradonaire!

You can catch another interview with author Diane Kelly on GLIAS.
ANGI: Who does your taxes? Your nails? Your hair?
TARA: I do my own taxes.  That’s why they don’t get turned in each year until the evening of April 15th!   
My nails?  I’m a practical girl, so I look for coupons in my mailbox.  Whoever’s offering a special gets to do my nails. 

I’m much more picky when it comes to my hair.  Only my stylist, Nicki Boulder-Boyd, gets to touch my hair.

ANGI: What’s the weirdest thing someone tried to claim on their taxes for a business expense?
TARA: That would have to be cost of the 56FF breast augmentation surgery claimed by an exotic dancer named Chesty Love.  The IRS disallowed the expense, but Mrs. Love took the case to Tax Court and the judges permitted the deduction.  I’d bet the judges were all men.  You can see Mrs. Love and hear about her deductible ta-tas on this JerrySpringer clip.

ANGI: I know you love lattes, but what’s your favorite drink other than coffee?
TARA: In book #1, I was into merlot.  But in book #3 I’ll be introduced to homemade sangria.  I won’t tell you by whom because, well, I’m a tease.  I’ll love the sangria so much that book #4 will be named DEATH, TAXES, AND PEACH SANGRIA. 
ANGI: How did you get into investigative work for the IRS?
TARA: I used to work at one of the large regional accounting firms.  It wasn’t a bad job, but it simply wasn’t for me.  I grew up roaming among the woods and lakes of east Texas and couldn’t stomach life in a 5’ x 5’ cubicle.  I felt caged.   

One day an IRS special agent came to the office to look over some files I’d been working on.  I’d noticed some odd discrepancies, and apparently the IRS had caught on to them, too.  The client was involved in all kinds of financial shenanigans.  I noticed a gun holstered at the agent’s hip and had to know more about his job.  I pestered the poor guy until he gave me the nitty gritty. 

Being a special agent sounded like a fun way to make a living!  Special agents get out and about more than the typical CPA, and it’s a fun challenge to search for clues and put the evidence together to nail a tax cheat.  
ANGI: Can you tell us anything about the cases you’re investigating?
TARA: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.  
Just kidding!   

In DEATH, TAXES, AND A SKINNY NO-WHIP LATTE, my partner, Eddie, and I are assigned to go after a man named Marcos Mendoza.  His business associates have a history of disappearing . . . and resurfacing in body bags.  Rumor has it that Mendoza bought off an IRS special agent named Nick Pratt, who was assigned to investigate him three years prior.  Pratt is now living beachside in Cancun, Mexico.  Tough life, huh?  But Eddie and I are bound and determined to bring Mendoza down.  He’s a potential loan shark, money launderer, and credit card counterfeiter.  It looks like he might be running an illegal gambling operation too.  This guy’s got cajones.  It’ll be fun ripping them off! 

In DEATH, TAXES, AND EXTRA-HOLD HAIRSPRAY (to be released in late June), I get to team up with a hot male agent to pursue Noah Fischer, the unscrupulous preacher of a mega-church.  Fischer may not worship a golden calf, but he’s treating the church like his own personal cash cow and has no qualms financing his lavish lifestyle via the church collection plates.  Hasn’t the guy ever heard of “thou shalt not steal?”  He may have forgotten a few of the other Commandments, too!   

ANGI: Were you ever scared in an interview with a tax-evader? On the other hand, were you ever tempted to let one go because he was too good-looking?
TARA: I’m always a little scared in interviews, more scared the longer I do this job.  I’ve learned – the hard way –  that people are unpredictable.  When cornered, they’re liable to make desperate moves. 

But letting a scofflaw off the hook because he was good looking?  Nah.  Not my style.  I might drag the case out, though, just to get more time to “inspect his assets.”  Hee-hee.
Thanks for this interview!  It’s been lots of fun talking with you! 

A CPA and tax attorney, Diane Kelly spent several years at an international accounting firm where she had the pleasure of working with a partner later convicted of tax shelter fraud. She also served a stint as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas under an AG who pled guilty to criminal charges related to the tobacco company lawsuits. Given this work history, Diane decided self-employment might be a good idea. She also realized her experiences with white-collar crime were excellent fodder for a novel. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her "Death and Taxes" mystery series.
Diane won the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in 2009 and has earned over two dozen RWA chapter awards.
A Tara Holloway Novel #2
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312551266
JULY 2012

A Tara Holloway Novel #1
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312551266

Contact    Website      Facebook    Twitter   Killer Fiction

TARA & DIANE will be drawing for 3 commenters to receive DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE.
READERS DON’T FORGET to follow us on Facebook & Twitter (#GetLostStories) for a daily update on who’s visiting GLIAS and what they might be giving away! . ~Angi

~ There's only one question fitting for this weekend ~
Have you filed your taxes yet? Got a story to share?


  1. Hi Diane,

    I already have my tax refund. We always use Turbo Tax now and electronically file. Your series sounds so good and I love your clever titles.

    1. You're an overachiever, Tammy. : ) Congrats on the refund! I hope you used it for something really fun!

  2. I don't fill out taxes where I'm a college student and plus I don't have a job (which sucks) but my parents have already filled out theirs. I can't wait to read your new book!

    samanthahodges64 at yahoo dot com

  3. Hi Diane! Loved the interview!! And I love the titles of your books! Looking forward to reading the next one!

  4. HI DIANE !!

    Speaking of taxes...we completely ours in February, promptly forgot about them in March, and now hubby's out of town so I have to file electronically (we've never filed electronically before). So this is a huge leap for us this year.

    Can't wait to get my hands on the new Tara Holloway!

    (Welcome back to GLIAS !!)

  5. Yes... My husband and I actually did them in March.... We are expecting money back hence the early filing...

    Congrats on your book!

  6. OH...forgot to mention my funny story. As long as we've been married or even together, I've done the taxes every year...with the exception on one. THAT was the year hubby was driving around at a quarter to midnight finding an open Post Office. HEHE...he NEVER forgets that. *I* don't even have to bring it up.


  7. I have already did my taxes this year. I hate doing my taxes, my only funny story was last year when I did my taxes my tax amount that I got back was $666.00 even. Isn't that a horrible #'s. I still spent it all. LOL.
    Thanks for the great giveaway.

  8. May, Samantha, and Tammy - you've won! Please email me at diane@dianekelly.com with your mailing address. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and to Angi for hosting me today!

  9. Hi, Diane! I love hearing Tara's interview.

    I have it easy with my taxes - my FIL is an accountant. We file in February every year. Of course, that means the refund is already spent. *sigh*

  10. I literally pushed the button at midnight last night! The latest I've ever filed them ever!