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March 22, 2019 Turn Tax Day to Pay Day (9 Tips for Bars & Restaurants)

tax day tips

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” said no one ever. It’s tax season, and everyone is stressing…except you. Why? Because you just scored 9 Tax Day tips to boost your bar or restaurant’s bottom line – and reduce your tax liability.

4 Tax Day Tips for Profitable Promotions

No one likes paying Uncle Sam every April. So why not bring in a little extra revenue, and treat your patrons to some fun, fiscally-inspired Tax Day deals? Be sure to send a press release – or at least an email – to your local news media (TV, radio, online and print newspapers, etc.). Reporters love making lists of Tax Day tips for their audience, like which restaurants and bars have specials like this:

1) Play with Your Pricing: Fun with Tax Forms

Create menu pricing based on common tax forms like $10.99 and $10.40. Offer a “W9 Wine List”: 9 great wines at $9 each. You could do the same with whiskey. Use the date of Tax Day to inspire your pricing. In 2019, it’s April 15th. How about a $4.15 happy hour food menu.

2) Tax Day Tips to Take the Stress Away

Everyone needs a little “tax relief” so provide it by hiring a local masseuse to offer 5-minute chair massages during happy hour. Or, invite guests to unwind and get some fresh spring air on your patio with a little yoga (if it’s warm enough, otherwise, take it inside).

3) Surprise! You Get a Refund (Plus 3 More Surprising Tax Day Tips and Rewards)

The only surprise anyone wants during tax season is an unexpectedly large tax refund…or any of these 3 fun promotions:

  • Random Refunds: Last year, three SoCal Kimpton hotels offered random refunds to guests in honor of the end of tax season. Take a page out of their book and surprise randomly selected guests with a “refunded” (free) meal.
  • Extend Happy Hour: In honor of those filing an extension this tax season, extend your happy hour pricing to later in the evening…or all night on Tax Day.
  • Life Event Discount: Offer a discount or free appetizer to anyone who had a life event last season (married, divorce, new child, etc.)

4) Throw a Tax Day Party

Wait, what!? Yes, this one made the list of Tax Day tips. In fact, Tax Day parties are trending. After rushing to the post office, give patrons a chance to unwind, celebrate, and even commiserate on Tax Day. Use money-themed décor like dollar signs, fake paper money, gold foiled chocolate coins, you get the picture.

Bonus points if you set up a simple photo booth with props like Uncle Sam hats and dollar sign sunglasses. For entertainment, host live trivia and offer a cash prize. If you bring in Buzztime trivia, players can test their skills in the latest Trivia for Cash competition. Don’t forget to offer a “tax relief pitcher” special.

5 Tax Day Tips to Reduce Your Tax Liability  

Those promotion ideas were the fun part. Now it’s time to hit the books, and see if you can score any tax savings through credits or deductions this year…or at least going forward! A quick note: these Tax Day tips do not replace the tax advice provided to you by your accountant. Always check with them first before making any business decisions.

5) Write Off Equipment Purchased

Did you purchase a new – or used – walk-in cooler? What about a range? How about touchscreen restaurant tablets?

You are likely able to deduct the full cost of the equipment using Tax Day tips related to Section 179 of the tax code. However, after meeting with your accountant, you may decide that it’s better to take depreciation on the equipment over time. Either way, be sure that you factor in the cost of equipment when reviewing Tax Day tips with your accountant.

6) Get Up to a $9,600 Tax Credit Per WOTC Worker

Ready for one of the best Tax Day tips? You could qualify for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)…In the last 5 years, have you hired an employee who is between 16 and 18 years old? What about a Veteran or someone who receives SNAP benefits? There is a possibility you could get a retroactive tax credit for up to thousands of dollars per employee who meets these WOTC stipulations from the IRS.

7) Keep Offering Shift Meals to Employees

As you’ve likely heard, Tax Day tips and rules have changed significantly since Congress signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law in December 2017.

Many business owners were upset to learn they could no longer deduct 100% of the cost of meals provided to employees (now, it’s only 50% deductible). However, restaurant and bar owners are the exception! According to a recent report released by the Joint Committee on Taxation, restaurant shift meals are still 100% deductible.

8) Did You Go Green in 2018? You Might See Green in 2019

When it comes to energy efficient equipment and supplies, there are even more Tax Day tips involving deductions and credits. For example, businesses are eligible for up to a 30% rebate on purchases of solar energy equipment. Check out this list of Tax Day tips for going green.

9) Put Your Kids to Work

Unfortunately, it’s too late for these last kid-related Tax Day tips to help your tax posture for the 2018 tax year. However, moving forward, you should definitely consider hiring your kids. First, they can be any age – if they are your own kids. Most experts recommend that if you hire your children, they should be middle school age and up.

So, why should you hire your kids in 2019? They can earn up to $12,000 in tax-free income! If you operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership, the child’s income might not even be subject to payroll taxes. Read more about these kid-friendly – and bottom-line friendly – Tax Day tips for hiring your kids.

There, do you feel better? These 9 tips should make tax season at least a little more tolerable. Out of all these Tax Day tips, the most important one is to meet with a qualified, certified public accountant (CPA) right away. A CPA can help you make smart money moves all year long, so that when Tax Day rolls around each year…you’ll be ready.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” said no one ever. It’s tax season, and everyone is stressing…except you. Why? Because you just scored 9 Tax Day tips to boost your bar or restaurant’s bottom line – and reduce your tax liability.

The Little Black Book Of Pricing Secrets

The ultimate guide for owners & managers.

4 Tax Day Tips for Profitable Promotions

No one likes paying Uncle Sam every April. So why not bring in a little extra revenue, and treat your patrons to some fun, fiscally-inspired Tax Day deals? Be sure to send a press release – or at least an email – to your local news media (TV, radio, online and print newspapers, etc.). Reporters love making lists of Tax Day tips for their audience, like which restaurants and bars have specials like this:

1) Play with Your Pricing: Fun with Tax Forms

Create menu pricing based on common tax forms like $10.99 and $10.40. Offer a “W9 Wine List”: 9 great wines at $9 each. You could do the same with whiskey. Use the date of Tax Day to inspire your pricing. In 2019, it’s April 15th. How about a $4.15 happy hour food menu?

2) Tax Day Tips to Take the Stress Away

Everyone needs a little “tax relief” so provide it by hiring a local masseuse to offer 5-minute chair massages during happy hour. Or, invite guests to unwind and get some fresh spring air on your patio with a little yoga (if it’s warm enough, otherwise, take it inside).

3) Surprise! You Get a Refund (Plus 3 More Surprising Tax Day Tips and Rewards)

The only surprise anyone wants during tax season is an unexpectedly large tax refund…or any of these 3 fun promotions:

  • Random Refunds: Last year, three SoCal Kimpton hotels offered random refunds to guests in honor of the end of tax season. Take a page out of their book and surprise randomly selected guests with a “refunded” (free) meal.
  • Extend Happy Hour: In honor of those filing an extension this tax season, extend your happy hour pricing to later in the evening…or all night on Tax Day.
  • Life Event Discount: Offer a discount or free appetizer to anyone who had a life event last season (married, divorce, new child, etc.)

4) Throw a Tax Day Party

Wait, what!? Yes, this one made the list of Tax Day tips. In fact, Tax Day parties are trending. After rushing to the post office, give patrons a chance to unwind, celebrate, and even commiserate on Tax Day. Use money-themed décor like dollar signs, fake paper money, gold foiled chocolate coins, you get the picture.

Bonus points if you set up a simple photo booth with props like Uncle Sam hats and dollar sign sunglasses. For entertainment, host live trivia and offer a cash prize. If you bring in Buzztime trivia, players can test their skills in the latest Trivia for Cash competition. Don’t forget to offer a “tax relief pitcher” special.

5 Tax Day Tips to Reduce Your Tax Liability  

Those promotion ideas were the fun part. Now it’s time to hit the books, and see if you can score any tax savings through credits or deductions this year…or at least going forward! A quick note: these Tax Day tips do not replace the tax advice provided to you by your accountant. Always check with them first before making any business decisions.

5) Write Off Equipment Purchased

Did you purchase a new – or used – walk-in cooler? What about a range? How about touchscreen restaurant tablets?

You are likely able to deduct the full cost of the equipment using Tax Day tips related to Section 179 of the tax code. However, after meeting with your accountant, you may decide that it’s better to take depreciation on the equipment over time. Either way, be sure that you factor in the cost of equipment when reviewing Tax Day tips with your accountant.

6) Get Up to a $9,600 Tax Credit Per WOTC Worker

Ready for one of the best Tax Day tips? You could qualify for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)…In the last 5 years, have you hired an employee who is between 16 and 18 years old? What about a Veteran or someone who receives SNAP benefits? There is a possibility you could get a retroactive tax credit for up to thousands of dollars per employee who meets these WOTC stipulations from the IRS.

7) Keep Offering Shift Meals to Employees

As you’ve likely heard, Tax Day tips and rules have changed significantly since Congress signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law in December 2017.

Many business owners were upset to learn they could no longer deduct 100% of the cost of meals provided to employees (now, it’s only 50% deductible). However, restaurant and bar owners are the exception! According to a recent report released by the Joint Committee on Taxation, restaurant shift meals are still 100% deductible.

8) Did You Go Green in 2018? You Might See Green in 2019

When it comes to energy efficient equipment and supplies, there are even more Tax Day tips involving deductions and credits. For example, businesses are eligible for up to a 30% rebate on purchases of solar energy equipment. Check out this list of Tax Day tips for going green.

9) Put Your Kids to Work

Unfortunately, it’s too late for these last kid-related Tax Day tips to help your tax posture for the 2018 tax year. However, moving forward, you should definitely consider hiring your kids. First, they can be any age – if they are your own kids. Most experts recommend that if you hire your children, they should be middle school age and up.

So, why should you hire your kids in 2019? They can earn up to $12,000 in tax-free income! If you operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership, the child’s income might not even be subject to payroll taxes. Read more about these kid-friendly – and bottom-line friendly – Tax Day tips for hiring your kids.

There, do you feel better? These 9 tips should make tax season at least a little more tolerable. Out of all these Tax Day tips, the most important one is to meet with a qualified, certified public accountant (CPA) right away. A CPA can help you make smart money moves all year long, so that when Tax Day rolls around each year…you’ll be ready.

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