Payroll Compliance Made Easier

By David Hogan Executive Director of Major Accounts, Heartland Payment Systems | July 15, 2012

Co-authored by Mark Strippy, Executive Director of Payroll Services, Heartland Payment Systems

Payroll is one of the most important and tax compliance laden aspects of running a hotel business, but it is also an area which can lead to a variety of consequences if not done correctly. Though many hotel business operators tend to stay updated on compliance regulations, many also choose to work with a trusted payroll processer to remain ahead of changes to ensure that their hotel business is fully compliant. Whichever solution is chosen, it’s imperative to stay informed and be nimble to adjust and act accordingly.

Payroll Compliance: Your Business is Liable

In 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled that two owners of a trucking company and its subsidiary were personally liable for more than $2 million in payroll taxes that were not paid, allegedly due to misconduct by their bookkeeper. The bookkeeper embezzled funds from the company and failed to pay payroll taxes for 30 consecutive quarters. While the owners sold the assets of the trucking company a few months later to pay its employees and creditors, they failed to remit the outstanding payroll taxes to the government. That failure led to $2.3 million in penalties levied against the owners by the Internal Revenue Service.

Last year, a former Joplin, MO, owner of a temporary employment agency and a residential management company was sentenced to prison for three years and was ordered to pay back $6 million to the IRS for failure to pay payroll taxes.

Scenarios like these are not isolated to one or two industries, or to specific size companies or organizations. Throughout the United States, there are various other stories and examples of business owners losing it all or being heavily fined due to failure, either by them or their bookkeepers, to rightfully pay payroll taxes.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.