Vending operators, like other business owners, face a lot of uncertainty about future tax obligations, according to an attorney who addressed the National Automatic Merchandising Association government symposium at the recent OneShow in Chicago.
Jonathan Howe, president and a senior and founding partner at Howe & Hutton, Ltd. in Chicago, noted that many state and local governments are looking for new sources of revenue and considering new taxes.
Howe urged his listeners to pay attention to estate planning and succession planning.
He noted that business owners often consider hiring independent contractors to escape some of the obligations they face when hiring employees. He said the government carefully polices independent contractor arrangements.
"If you are engaging independent contractors, it's got to be in writing," Howe said.
Looking at federal taxes, Howe said he thinks marginal rates will remain unchanged for at least two years. The maximum marginal tax rate is 35 percent.
The maximum capital gains tax will stay at 15 percent, he said, but in the future this could more closely reflect individual income tax rates.
One tax benefit that Howe urged vending operators to be aware of is that property placed in service after Sept. 8, 2010 can be 100 percent depreciated.
He also urged his listeners to get good tax advice. "Get good advice," he said. "Our tax code is one of the most comprehensive, complicated devices for paying for government in the world."