Illinois’ New Minimum Wage Law: Much More Than a Rate Hike
Illinois recently joined the growing list of states increasing their minimum wage. On February 19, Governor Pritzker signed the Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act (the Act), which amends the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage from its current rate of $8.25 per hour to $15 per hour by […]
Reaching the Tipping Point – Service Charges vs. Tips
Among the issues restauranteurs face is whether or not to include automatic gratuities on guest checks. A common automatic gratuity is a charge ranging from 18%-20% on parties of six or more guests. After much debate, the IRS determined – in Revenue 2012-18 – that automatic gratuities are service charges–not tips. This ruling, which went […]
Pass-Through Deduction Regulations are Good News for Restaurant Owners
Recently, the IRS issued final regulations on the new pass-through deduction. In general, the regulations are taxpayer friendly and will make it easier for restaurants to claim the deduction.
New Sales Tax Regime Casts a Wide Net
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair opened the door for states to impose sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state sellers without a physical presence in the state.
A Recipe for Online Success: Five Key Ingredients for Shaping Your Restaurant’s Social Media Strategy
Restaurants often talk about establishing a social media presence. However, most restaurants already have such a presence, whether they know it or not. It’s likely that people are discussing your restaurant on Facebook, sharing photos of your food or decor on Instagram, and posting reviews to sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
The Impact of Tax Reform on Restaurants
The Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 is the most dramatic change to the U.S. tax code in over 30 years. Tax reform will have a significant impact on both restaurants and employees. On the surface, it appears that the lower tax rates will result in increased demand from consumers who will have more […]
Sugar Tax Set to End While Federal Tax Reform Looms
Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance This past summer, the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance went into effect after challenges and attempts to halt the tax’s implementation. The tax impacted retail sales of sweetened beverages by charging a rate of $0.01 per ounce on such purchases. However, the tax lasted only a few months […]
The Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax is Bad for You – Just Like Sugar
Back in November of 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance. The tax is imposed at the rate of $0.01 per ounce on the retail sale of all sweetened beverages in Cook County. The tax was originally intended to go into effect July 1, 2017, but was […]
Is Your Restaurant Ready for a Second (or Third) Location?
Are you thinking about expanding your restaurant? Is now the time to open a second location? Opening a second (or third) location for your restaurant is not a decision to be taken lightly. This article provides a few considerations restaurant owners should take before they map out their move for expansion.
City of Chicago Extends Amusement Tax to Satellite TV Services
Over the past few years, the City of Chicago and Cook County have enacted two new taxes that directly impact restaurants and bars. Last fall, we reported on Cook County’s penny-per-ounce tax on sales of sugary drinks, which will take effect on July 1, 2017. On the entertainment front, the City of Chicago’s “Amusement Tax,” originally implemented in 2015, left many restaurateurs and bar owners less than amused, as a tax was placed on streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Spotify, as well as cloud computing services to which many subscribe. Now, the City has extended that same Amusement Tax to cover satellite TV services. This article provides a play-by-play on how the tax works.