2015’s Most & Least Fair State Tax Systems

WalletHub just released what I find to be a fascinating and well-analyzed study of state tax systems in the United States, evaluating each on many criteria that, combined, represent what a “fair” tax system might look like.  (Local folks, FYI: Illinois scored near the bottom.)

With loads of great charts and graphs, this report is worth a read, if only to examine whether you agree or not with their evaluation of what makes a tax system “fair”.  Interesting philosophical discussion that should be fascinating to many, not just us tax accountants.

Read the report here: 2015’s Most & Least Fair State Tax Systems | WalletHub®

FREE Small Business Workshops in Chicago

The City of Chicago is going nuts with the workshops this month.

Their biggest event, Small Business Center on the Road, takes over the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart on September 19th from 10 am-2 pm.  Among the 40+ exhibitors will be various local Chambers of Commerce, the Department of Revenue and Secretary of State, as well as consultants from the Small Business Center.  They’re offering a tax clinic, legal clinic, workshops on marketing, financing, and social media, and City of Chicago Business Consultants ready to help with licensing needs and answer questions.  Register at chismallbizexpo.com — it’s FREE!


Also, The City of Chicago’s Outreach & Education group is offering a bunch of workshops this month.  Please share with friends, family, or colleagues who could use the assistance!


How to Obtain a Mobile Food Dispenser/Prepare License

Presented by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP). 

This workshop will give you all the information you need to become either a Mobile Food Dispenser (MFD) or Mobile Food Preparer (MFP) licensed food truck operator. We will walk you through the MFD/MFP licensing process including inspections, the application, mobile food vehicle, and operational requirements, as well as the optional pre-application Mobile Food Vehicle Assessment.

Wednesday, September 16th

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

121 N. LaSalle

8th Floor – Room 805


Small Business Success

Presented by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago 

Learn the ins and outs of starting a small business and gain insight that will help you reach your goals. This workshop will cover starting your entity, marketing it for success and the intangibles of navigating the start-up arena.

Friday, September 18th

9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

121 N. LaSalle

8th Floor – Room 805


How to Efficiently Manage Business Operations

Presented by Illinois SBDC at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Blackwell Energies 

This workshop will focus on operations management and how to find savings at the operational level. It will cover operations management, energy and utilities, and other areas where savings can be obtained in the operation of a business. You will learn techniques that can quickly result in savings on operational costs and fatten your bottom line in the process!

Wednesday, September 23rd

3:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

121 N. LaSalle

8th Floor – Room 805
LinkedIn: Converting Connections to New Business

Presented by Digital Professional Institute and Dean DeLisle, Founder and CEO of Forward Progress

Dean DeLisle, Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, will take proven steps from our Social Selling Boot Camp and show you the most effective methods of connecting with your targets, gaining quality appointments, and finding the potential new clients in your network. You will also see what it takes to get THEM to find YOU by using LinkedIn for less than 20 minutes a day! Topics include optimize your profile, attract new prospects, leverage your connections to close business, increase targeted referrals, gain more powerful introductions, expand your pipeline and find new business channels.

Friday, September 25th

9:30am to 11:00am

121 N. LaSalle

8th Floor – Room 805


Protecting your Tech Start Up: Legal Considerations

Presented by Lema Khorshid, Fuksa Khorshid, LLC

Before opening the doors to your new technology concept, it’s important to be aware of legal risks that exist so you can properly protect your business. This workshop will explore different sources to fund your business venture and teach you some basic principles of how to protect yourself in litigation. We will also discuss intellectual property laws and provide practical approaches on how to implement a solid intellectual property plan. Also, we will talk about important employment laws as well as review lease agreements to help demystify confusing legalese.

Wednesday, September 30th

3:00pm to 4:30pm

121 N. LaSalle

8th Floor – Room 805

IRS — Making Quarterly Tax Payments Easier

My clients and colleagues are always amazed by my attitude about the IRS — fact is, I really think they do an incredible job, given the nature of their work and the constant budget constraints dealt them by Congress.

I’m sharing a couple examples today that relate to upcoming quarterly estimated tax payments.

The IRS manages to stay fairly up-to-date with technology, compared to most federal and state government agencies, at least.  It used to be such a pain to sign up for EFTPS and make payments, but now they offer “Direct Pay,” where you can both make and look up payments.

They also offer a mobile app, known as the “IRS2Go Mobile App,” which you can use to look up refund status, as well as to access the Direct Pay feature I just mentioned.

Considering the challenges the IRS is always up against, I think they do a great job, on the whole; and I, for one, am pretty jazzed about these new technological features.  Way to go, IRS!