How to Chop Taxes and Spice Up Profits in Your Restaurant 

How to Chop Taxes and Spice Up Profits in Your Restaurant 

A person looking at a tablet

Owning a restaurant presents unique financial challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the complexities of tax season. My name is Doug Gross, and I specialize in accounting within the food industry. I aim to equip you with practical strategies that ease the tax burden and significantly improve your restaurant’s cash flow. 

Empowering Your Restaurant with Strategic Tax Planning 

In preparation for a successful financial year, it’s crucial to approach tax planning with a mindful strategy. Here are the key areas where focused attention can lead to substantial savings and enhanced operational efficiency: 

1. Opt for the Ideal Tax Entity

Depending on the scale and earnings of your restaurant, selecting an appropriate business structure (LLC, Corporation, S-Corporation, or Sole Proprietorship) can reduce tax burdens significantly. According to the National Restaurant Association, structured entity selection has helped save 18% on taxes for small to medium-sized businesses. 

2. Shift to Accrual-Based Accounting

Switching from cash to an accrual-based accounting method lets you deduct expenses when incurred, not when paid, enhancing cash flow predictability. Case studies have shown that businesses using accrual accounting reduce their taxable income by 15% on average by deducting unpaid bills and expenses booked but still need to be paid at year-end. 

3. Utilize Net Operating Loss Carrybacks

For losses incurred between 2018 and 2020, applying them to previous profitable years is possible, providing an avenue for tax refunds that can bolster your cash reserves. 

4. Maximize Depreciation Deductions

Using tactics like Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation, where 100% bonus depreciation for certain qualifying business assets is still available despite the phase-out, can significantly lower your tax bill. For example, a restaurant investing in new kitchen equipment could deduct the total amount of these purchases, providing substantial tax relief.

5. Elect Entity-Level State Tax Payment

For pass-through entities, paying state taxes at the entity level could help navigate the SALT cap of $10,000, minimizing overall tax liabilities.

6. Harness Standard Tax Benefit

Ensure to claim benefits such as the FICA Tip Credit, which helped restaurants nationwide claim over $1 billion in 2023, reducing their tax dues considerably. 

A group of men sitting at a table

Don’t Miss These Important Tax Deadlines

To maintain financial health and legal compliance, being aware of and meeting federal deadlines is essential: 

  • September 16, 2024: Deadline for Q3 estimated payments and extended partnership/S-corporation returns. 
  • October 15, 2024: Last chance for extended individual/corporation returns and to claim the 2020 Employee Retention Credit (ERC). 
  • April 15, 2025: Final day to file for the 2021 ERC. 

It’s worth noting that these dates do not encompass state-specific deadlines, which also demand your attention. 

Utilizing Technology and Expertise for Continuous Improvement

In an age where technology greatly influences business practices, embracing financial management tools can revolutionize the way you handle your restaurant’s finances. Furthermore, surrounding your business with a team of financial experts, such as advisors, accountants, and bookkeepers, can ensure that your financial planning is both effective and strategic. 

Collaborating with professionals who are well-versed in the newest tax laws and technological advancements can be key to both surviving and flourishing in the restaurant business. 

Ready to Transform Your Restaurant’s Financial Health? 

If you’re looking to confidently navigate the tax season and emerge more profitable than ever, I’m here to help. As a CPA with a deep understanding of the restaurant industry, I’m dedicated to providing the strategies and insights you need. Contact me for a consultation, and let’s set your restaurant on the path to financial success. 

Leave a Reply