4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Three Post-Election Legislative Impacts on Restaurants

Posted by Adam Berebitsky, Lisa Haffer, and Carrie Shagat on Thu, Dec 17, 2020

With the 2020 election in the rearview mirror, businesses are looking forward to beginning 2021 with more clarity. Restaurants are particularly keen to understand what new legislative measures have passed or are on the horizon as they continue to navigate the acute—and devastating—impact of the coronavirus on the industry.

Of most interest is the fate of the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act, passed by the House of Representatives in October.

If passed by the Senate, the act would provide to non-publicly traded restaurants $120 billion of relief through a grant (rather than a loan that is provided under the Paycheck Protection Program) that would cover the difference between 2019 and 2020 revenues. Restaurants would be able to use the funds for any expenses deemed essential by the secretary of the Treasury Department.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

DoorDash to Remit State Sales Tax in 19 New States

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 1, 2020

A heads-up to McDonald’s franchisees: DoorDash plans to remit state sales tax on the delivery orders in 19 new states starting Sept. 1, 2020.

The 19 affected states are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming. DoorDash already remits state sales tax in Pennsylvania and Washington state.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Restaurateurs: Check Delivery Reports for State Sales Tax Collections

Posted by Steve Bickert and Patty Wiesmeth on Thu, Jun 18, 2020

Restaurateurs should pay close attention to their monthly reports from third-party delivery services to see if the delivery services are remitting state sales tax on the delivery orders on their behalf.

Uber Eats started remitting state sales taxes last year and now remits state sales tax in 32 states. You can view the entire list here to see if your state is included.

DoorDash recently started remitting state sales tax in Pennsylvania and Washington state, and Grubhub has started in a few states, as well.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Restaurant Industry Scorecard for Q1 2019

Posted by Adam Berebitsky and David Rice on Thu, Aug 1, 2019

Despite evolving customer expectations, continued pressure on profit margins and fierce competition, the restaurant industry fared well through the first quarter of 2019, with same-store sales up an overall 1.5%. To preserve profitability and reclaim foot traffic, many industry players are recognizing that a departure from business-as-usual is the key to continued success.

But, given the maturity of the restaurant sector, what does this departure from business as usual entail? For some, it means making enhancements to their digital presence, rolling out delivery capabilities, or introducing promotions and loyalty programs to drive same-store sales and offset increasing labor costs.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Employee Shift Meals Remain 100% Deductible for Tax Purposes

Posted by Lisa Haffer on Wed, Jul 3, 2019

Great news! Important tax guidance was released in late December 2018 that is considered to be a significant victory for the restaurant industry: Employee Shift Meals Remain 100-percent deductible for tax purposes.

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

An Opportunity Zones Guide for Restaurants

Posted by Lisa Haffer and Marla Miller on Tue, Jul 2, 2019

To encourage economic growth and investment in distressed communities, the 2017 tax reform act commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains tax incentives that are tied to investments in businesses or property located within opportunity zones. Tax incentives include both the deferral of, and exclusion from, income tax.

The Department of Treasury has certified nearly 9,000 of these districts across all U.S. states and its territories, including the entire island of Puerto Rico. Opportunity zones, also commonly referred to as O-Zones, are generally areas with low income and high poverty levels.

An O-Zone designation has the potential to trigger an influx of investment activity and is intended to help revitalize areas that were left behind after the depression. Restaurants built in O-Zones can help vitalize underserved communities and attract local talent, all while offering their owners a highly valued tax incentive.

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Topics: 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

Minimizing Tax Liability without QIP Guidance

Posted by Lisa Haffer and David DesRoches on Thu, Apr 4, 2019

Restaurant owners who invested in interior improvements in 2018 may be surprised when they receive their 2018 tax returns and see higher than expected tax liabilities. This is a result of an inadvertent drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) relating to the depreciation of restaurant improvements.

Before the TCJA, the tax law provided rules for multiple categories of restaurant property assets, many of which were eligible for favorable tax depreciation benefits. To simplify the rules, tax reform consolidated the categories applicable to interior improvements into the single category of Qualified Improvement Property (QIP).

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

Buying a New Restaurant? Borrow Techniques from a Turnaround CFO

Posted by Ryan Moore on Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Growing your business is the primary focus of every entrepreneur. Whether growth occurs by way of increasing sales and cash flows at existing business divisions or via acquisition and expansion, the challenges faced are often strikingly similar.

That being said, let’s examine for a moment the prospects and hurdles one will often face when buying a new restaurant, through the lens of a turnaround CFO.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Business consulting, Restaurants

Restaurants, Retail & Real Estate: A Key Tax Deduction for Business Owners

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

The Section 179 deduction for qualified real property expenses was made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. However, claiming this deduction isn't a no-brainer. Here are the pros and cons.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Restaurants

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