Understanding our Friends Across The Border

Since there are a lot of constituent interests and competing demands to balance if Congress decided to do nothing but rewrite the tax code in 2017, it would be a massive task. Washington is hardly laser focused on taxes, with the Trump administration kicking up a dust storm that is day-to-day.

And one of the greatest complexities is company tax reform — an issue marked by special interest lobbying that is extreme.
But now President Trump and lawmakers want to reform all businesses are taxed.
It makes sense: The vast majority of businesses in the United States are not corporations. They are so called pass-through things. They run the gamut from mother-and-pop shops to hedge funds and law firms.

Full Frame Shot of EyeA pass-through company passes its gains through to associates and shareholders, who then report those profits on their individual tax returns. So they are paying federal income tax rates up to 39.6% on their pass-through income.

Trump and House Republicans have proposed lowering tax rates for corporations and pass-throughs. The House plan would lower the very best pass-through rate to 25%, Trump to 15%. The best rate on regular wage income , meanwhile, would fall to only 33%.

The disparity between company and wage rates worries policy pros. Why? Investors and owners of pass-throughs who also happen to work at those companies will probably be tempted to qualify their paychecks as “business” income to get the low tax rate.
It’s not an idle concern.

A couple of years ago, Kansas lowered its ordinary income tax rates and removed them entirely for pass- . Unsurprisingly, the number of filers who claimed the pass-through exemption was more than double exactly what the state estimated.

So lawmakers will have to determine a method to avoid people.

The House plan, for instance, demonstrates it’d simply suppose — maybe by some type of formula — a specific amount of “fair compensation” that a pass-through pays its employees who also happen to function as the firm’s owners or associates.

The affected employees would have to report their pieces of that damages as wage income and pay tax on it up to the rate that is individual that is 33%.
It may not work well or be seen as rational in every type of situation, although that is one way to address the problem.

For example, what if an owner-employee needs to plow each of her compensation or some back to the business enterprise, particularly in the first stages to help it grow? Should that not be considered “active business income” subject to the lower 25% rate? What about digital properties such as – are these subject to high income tax or does it fly under the radar?

Or what if an owner-worker actually pays herself less than what the House plan identifies as “realistic”?

That’s why there ought to be a few options to calculate or warrant one’s compensation to the IRS, to better satisfy the conditions of individual businesses, said Mel Schwartz, a partner in the national tax office of Grant Thornton, in a Bipartisan Policy Center occasion.

Just how to tax damages, needless to say, will be merely among the arguments -through taxation that could soak up real oxygen. That’s why some say it would be easier and quicker put a triumph on the tax reform board and to address corporate taxes first.

But that also could be a quick method to tick off major constituencies among everyone else in the company universe, a former chief counsel to the Ways and Means Committee, Janice Mays, said at the same event.

“This is lawmakers rotary club, their donor club, the individuals they know back home. … So to go home and deliver a corporate rate cut of any magnitude rather than have delivered something to this group is unacceptable.”

Stay tuned for our next post, we’re hoping for some input from Hoyes Michalos & Associates in the future!

Understanding a Consumer Proposal

One important thing that was recently discovered at our retreat was a consumer proposal.

It was interesting because even though I was the one facilitating the workshop, I didn’t even truly understand what a consumer proposal was until the end of the week long seminar session. The trustees I was working with are some of the most brilliant people I know. They continuously referenced ensuring they were 100% compliant with the OSB of Canada, especially when mixed with Ontario’s provincial legislation.

How is it similar to a bankruptcy:

  • At the end of it, you are free from your unsecured debt.
  • It goes on your credit score and will impact borrowing in the future for a certain amount of time.
  • It costs less than repaying your debt on your own.
  • It’s a legally binding contract (not an “agreement” with creditors), that even if not 100% of the creditors are on board with the deal, they still have to legally abide if that’s what was decided upon.

How is it not similar to a bankruptcy:too much debt here

  • At the end of a consumer proposal, you did not eliminate your secure debt such as the mortgage on that house.
  • Unlike say, a Toronto bankruptcy where someone would need to give up the minimum million dollar home in order to settle their debt, a Toronto consumer proposal would involve the debtor to hold on to that very expensive piece of Real Estate.
  • Biggest win: you get to keep your assets! This isn’t a case where you need to give up your home, car, investments, etc. It’s a plan (some would say a proposal), where you agree to a certain amount of pennies on the dollar to pay back to the creditors.

Despite this example involving Toronto (the one that was used throughout the seminar), there are still many other locations across Ontario to file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

The Grand Opening

Welcome to the best corporate retreat you’ve ever seen. Literally.

Look at that.

beauty retreat


That’s not actually our retreat. I think that’s just some villa in the south of Spain. Also nice, but not as effective as ours. The real retreat:

real retreat

That’s more like it.

You got it, it’s the woods. Simple as that. People aren’t here to be pampered – although if you check out our About page, you can see it gets stunning during the sunset of our “hanging night” activity.

The fact is, that nice luxury leaves people focusing on all the good, neat stuff. So when you ask them to brainstorm or work together, putting people out of their comfort zone they use “delayed gratification” as a coping mechanism. If I get through this I can lounge and relax all night. Not here. It’s never that exciting. You’re forced to focus and enjoy all the activities instead. And boy does it work.

Our latest group was a bankruptcy law firm from Utah, USA. They needed to come up with a better system for client satisfaction and how to ensure they DON’T have repeat customers. Imagine being in that market? Tough times indeed.

Needless to say, you’ll see in upcoming posts that they were able to work together and come up with a brilliant strategy. Now they’re thriving in business and their practice is doing better than ever.