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Friday, January 19, 2018

Special Counselor of the Month


Electing a counselor of the Quarter is often a difficult task for the CTT (Counselor Training Team). So many of our members do such outstanding work, with clients, colleges, organizations, Chambers, truly we are blessed with the outstanding staff we have. And of all the members perhaps no one works harder, takes on more additional duties and responsibilities than does our Counselor of the 1st Quarter of 2018, Owen Koff.

You may know Owen as an outstanding client-devoted fellow member, but are you aware Owen is a member of the Executive Committee, a member of the CTT, a special ambassador to the JM Executive Program for Entrepreneurs, a representative to the Delray Chamber of Commerce, both as a speaker and a Mentor, a developer of a Boot Camp on the Art of Selling, a representative to St. John Paul’s, an ambassador to the West Boca Chamber of Commerce, all  among his many “jobs”. Additionally  Owen has designed and written his own material for his Seminars, and will be delivering an all-day Seminar on Selling as part of our upcoming Business Certificate Academy.

As the Chapter Editor, I can tell you that when it comes to “volunteering”, Owen is at the head of the line. And yes, Owen has won this award before, but he simply never says “no”, and always wants to help the Chapter in any way he can. All of that begins to describe this very special guy, and so we join in saluting him for everything he does that makes our Chapter shine.

Take a bow, friend, you are so worthy of the award and you ARE our Special Counselor of the Quarter for January, February, and March.
Martin Kahn, SCORE Counselor

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Entertainment & Meal Expense Tax Rules


The following tax law rules pertain to entertainment and meal expenses.

1-The expense must be directly related to and or associated with the active conduct of the taxpayer's trade or business.

2-Generally, the deductible portion is 50% of the amount deemed not lavish or extravagant. Meal expenses incurred in the course of travel away from home fall in this category. (NOTE: Some limited exceptions to the 50% limit apply and the full 100% is deductible)

3-The total expense also includes any admission fees, parking fees, tips, and taxes paid.

4-Club dues such as airline, country, hotel, luncheon, social, and sporting clubs are NOT deductible in and of themselves.

5-The deductible portion of business gifts is limited to $25 per recipient per year and is treated separately from entertainment and meal expenses.

The taxpayer should keep documentation and substantiation with the following information:

            Total Amount
            Business Discussed
            Business Relationship of those entertained
            Identification of individuals who attended the event, their reason for attending, their titles, etc.

This article was written by Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC
Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor
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Friday, January 5, 2018

Terrible Customer Service

A family mail ordered a lamp shade to replace one of their own that had aged. Prior to placing an order the supplier asked them to send via email a scanned photo of their existing shade to confirm they had a replacement. The family did so. When the replacement shade arrived it was the correct version, however, it was discolored and damaged probably from years on a shelf.

The family called the supplier who pushed back, refusing to take the unit in return. The family escalated to management of the organization who agreed to accept the unit and pay the cost of return shipping. The return shipping costs where high because the supply organization refused to allow use of their bulk shipping rates. The family notified their credit card company to dispute the charges, and made a point with management about abuse from the underlings in the organization. Someone probably lost a job as a result.

How to you train your employees?


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



Accountable & Non-accountable Reimbursement Plans


The arrangement under which an employer reimburses business expenses incurred by employees or provides advances to cover such expenses is either an accountable or non-accountable plan.

The federal tax treatment of each plan is summarized below.

Accountable Plans

Amounts paid under an accountable plan are deductible by the employer as business expenses and are not reported as taxable income to the employee. They are not reported on the employee's Form W-2 and are not subject to federal income tax withholding, social security tax withholding, medicare tax withholding, or Federal Unemployment Tax (FICA and FUTA).

Non-accountable Plans

Amounts paid under a non-accountable plan are deductible by the employer as “compensation” reportable on the employer's Form W-2 and subject to withholding as supplemental wages.

Expense reimbursements that are subject to withholding may be added to the employee's regular wages for the appropriate payroll period and withheld payroll taxes may be withheld on the total.

Specific Rules for Accountable Plan Treatment

Accountable plans have the following 3 requirements:

1-the expenses covered under the plan must have a business connection,

2-the plan must require the employees to document and document and substantiate the covered expenses within a reasonable period of time, and

3-the plan must require the employees who receive advances to return any amounts in excess of their documented and substantiated expenses within a reasonable period of time.

If the above rules for accountable plans are not strictly followed, employer reimbursements will be deemed to be made under a non-accountable plan.

It is good practice to put the plan in writing to document and substantiate all expense reimbursements. This will provide valuable evidence should an IRS Tax Audit occur.

This article was written by Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC
Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor
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Marketing tip of the month


Want to impress your clients that you really care about them? Photocopy interesting articles and send them to clients and prospects  with a hand written  FYI (For your information) note, and include your business card.


Martin Kahn, SCORE Counselor