I’m a Tough-as-Nails Agent for the IRS . . . And I Mean Business

Hi, I’m Special Agent Tara Holloway of IRS Criminal Investigations. Telling you I work for the IRS is like telling you I have herpes, huh? You’re probably feeling uneasy and nervous. But there’s no need to worry. I’m not out to nail those who might have made honest mistakes on their tax returns. I’m after the really bad guys, the arrogant A-holes who think they’re above paying their fair share, the ones who cheat Uncle Sam – and honest taxpayers like you – out of millions of dollars each year.

I might not look like much, but don’t let my delicate features and 5’2” frame fool you. I’m as skilled with a Glock as I am with a calculator. They don’t call me the Annie Oakley of the IRS for nothing.

So what’s a typical day like for an IRS special agent?

I roll out of bed around seven AM. The first thing I do is feed my two cats – Annie, a creamy white cat who adores me, and Henry, a massive and snobby Maine coon who merely tolerates me even after years of my devoted doting. Once the furry felines are fed, I scarf down a heaping bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Wheaties may be the breakfast of champions, but a bowl full of colorful, sugar-coated flakes is much more fun, isn’t it?

After a quick shower, I dress in a business suit and slide my feet into a pair of steel-toed Doc Martens. After all, you never know when you might have to use your foot to prevent a criminal from slamming a door in your face. I accessorize with my hip holster and gun, then apply a thick coating of mascara to give myself that extra edge in case I have to stare down a tax cheat. I grab my Kevlar vest, my raid jacket, and my briefcase, and head out to keep the world safe for honest taxpayers.

I drive to the downtown Dallas federal building in my red convertible BMW, scored for a song at a government auction after it was seized to satisfy some deadbeat’s tax bill. I scoot through security and ride the elevator up to my office. My digs are standard government issue – a small space filled with furniture chosen for durability and functionality rather than style. But since I’m out in the field more often than not, the lack of ambience doesn’t hurt me none. I check my inbox for new files that my beehive-wearing boss, Lu “The Lobo” Lobozinski, may have assigned me.

We special agents bear a heavy and diverse caseload. On any given day, I might serve a search warrant on shady business owner and review his records for evidence of unreported earnings. Or I might work undercover, tailing a con artist intent on relieving retirees of their social security checks through an enticing Ponzi scheme. Rest assured, whatever case I’ve been assigned will be a doozie. I’m lucky that way. Just once I’d like to resolve a case without having to fire my gun. Not that I mind shooting people. It’s just that there’s a lot of paperwork involved.

Today? I’ve got a new case here in my inbox. Per the file, the Department of Homeland Security has a violent terrorism ring under surveillance and needs assistance following the money trail. Yep, we at the Treasury Department are financial bloodhounds, the best on the government’s payroll. If anyone can figure out how the terrorists are funneling money out of the country to finance their training camps, it’s me. Problem is, these radicals will surely try to send me to the Eternal Revenue Service in the sky. But it’s all in a day’s work for Special Agent Tara Holloway.

I better get to work, huh?

Read more about Tara’s comedic escapades in DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE, the first book in the new “Death & Taxes” series.

A CPA and attorney, Diane 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” humorous mystery series.

Diane won the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in 2009. Her debut novel, Death, Taxes and a French Manicure, is in bookstores now. Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte will follow in March 2012, with Death, Taxes, and Extra-Hold Hairspray coming in July 2012. Visit Diane at www.dianekelly.com.

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