ASSOCIATION UPDATE


December 18, 2014- ​Congress passed a bill to renew four tax provisions that stand to have a direct impact on restaurant operations, but the move provides a temporary fix. Legislation to permanently extend these four provisions is one of the National Restaurant Association's top advocacy priorities for 2015. Read more.
 
December 16, 2014- ​A holiday gift for you! Now through December 31, 2014, use the promotional code CelebrateServSafe to receive 30 percent off the cost of ServSafe Alcohol Online, the two-hour, ATC state-approved Responsible Vendor course. Read more.
 
December 15, 2014- ​The IRS has announced an increase in its standard business mileage tax deduction for 2015. Starting January 1, businesses will be able to deduct 57.5 cents for every business-related mile driven. That's an increase of 1.5 cents from the 2014 rates. Read more.

December 12, 2014- ​Restaurant sales continued to trend steadily higher in November, as a stronger labor market and falling gas prices fueled the increase in consumer spending. Read more.

December 11, 2014- Save the Date! The LRA Cenla Chapter will host its annual Taste of Mardi Gras Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 at the Alexandria Riverfront Center. Restaurants interested in participating should e-mail achisholm@lra.org


December 10, 2014- Only a few more days to buy your chance to dine around Northwest Louisiana for FREE! Purchase a LRA Northwest Chapter Shreveport/Bossier City Dine Around raffle ticket and win $3,800 worth of gift certificates to your favorite restaurants. Drawing will be December 15; click here for more info.

December 9, 2014- ​The LRA Acadiana Chapter is pleased to announce its 2014 Chapter Awards recipients: Restaurateurs of the Year- Sanjay Maharaj and Kevin Robin, Hall of Fame Inductees- Kevin and B.I. Moody, Active Member of the Year- Keith Bond, Associate Member of the Year- Richard Hernandez and Distinguished Service Award- Frankie Bertrand. Read more


December 8, 2014-
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a final rule requiring employees to notify OSHA when an employee dies on the job, or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. This will go into effect January 1, 2015. The LRA SIF Claims Department, as part of its claim handling and monitoring systems will generate courtesy reminders on potential OSHA issues and send to members. It is up to the individual member to review it with appropriate counsel for proper handling. Read more.

December 5, 2014- ​Now that Congress is back in their lame duck session, restaurant operators need four important tax provisions extended or made permanent before the end of the year, or face negative consequences to their 2015 operations. Read more.


December 3, 2014- ​In their final meeting of 2014, the LRA SIF Board of Trustees declared a dividend of $2.2 million to eligible plan participants. This surplus will include eligible participants from the fund years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 to be paid in April 2015. Read more.
 
November 25, 2014- ​The FDA has released its long-awaited final regulations on menu labeling for restaurants. The menu-labeling regulations require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations under the same brand to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-thru displays and provide other nutritional information to customers. Applicable restaurants must comply by November 2015. Read more.


IMPORTANT NEWS

ATTENTION MEMBERS: Click here to view the most recent addendum to the recently published 2014 LRA Membership Directory and Buyer's Guide. The members listed on the document have reported changes to their contact information. If you need to update your information, please notify the LRA Membership Department at (504) 454-2277.

Important reminder: Any foodservice establishment having food and/or beverage sales in Orleans Parish and the New Orleans International Airport and has $200,000 or more in taxable food and/or beverage sales in the preceding year MUST COLLECT the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority tax. For sales $200,000 to $499,999, the rate of tax is 0.5 percent and for sales $500,000 or more, the rate of tax is 0.75 percent. Monthly returns must be filed on the 20th day of the month following the month being reported. Click here for more info.

The Obama Administration recently announced that employers with 50-99 employees will receive Affordable Care Act transition relief. These employers have until 2016 to comply with the employer-mandate rule.
Read more.


Effective January 1, 2014, the IRS will classify an automatic gratuity as a service charge, not a tip. The IRS regards service charges as regular wages, which must be reported for payroll tax withholding. This rule was issued in June 2012, but implementation has been delayed until now. Read this informative article about what is defined as a tip, what to tell your staff and why you may opt to eliminate automatic gratuities in the future.
                                                             

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