• FOR NOW, I.R.S. AUDIT RISK FOR PERSONAL RETURNS IS MINISCULE. Mostly due to budget cuts and staff reductions, along with agency offices closed due to the pandemic, the rate of 2018 returns selected for audit so far is .15%, and for those with income above $1 million the chance is still below 1%. Over 250 million 2019 filings are expected, but just over 8,500 agents are currently employed.  Compared to last year, the rate of audits initiated for individual returns is down 65%, corporate down 71%, and partnerships by 79%. Reminder that return filing date is July 15.   [ACCOUNTING TODAY  – 7/1/20]
  • THE EXTENT TO WHICH COMPANIES PAY AND REWARD EMPLOYEES, especially in times of crisis like Covid, is directly related to not only current morale & productivity but also to retention once the crisis is over. APQC (American Productivity & Quality Center) reports that companies who spend just over a nickel per dollar of revenue on total Reward & Retention rank in the 75th percentile for keeping employees more than one year; those spending below 1.7 cents rank in the bottom quarter. “Spending costs include total compensation/ benefits/ payroll processing, along with award/ incentive administration and employee ‘assistance’ – financial help for child care, wellness programs, gift cards to recognize good performance, even small care packages of hand sanitizer & other essential items – that can go a long way in helping employees feel seen & recognized in the midst of a difficult time… ensuring the company is doing its best to take care of people with the resources it has at the time.” [CFO – 7/1/20]
  • “MOST AMERICANS ARE AGAINST ANARCHY AND MEANINGLESS VIOLENCE, do not want statues torn down, the nuclear family to be destroyed, and are not in favor of sexual deviances being recognized as normal… But we’re seeing the formation of what could become an active revolution, fomented by radical Marxist groups, promoted by establishment politicians who think that by mouthing slogans they will buy influence & loyalty, and by Rent-a-Mobs composed of three easily identifiable segments: antifa & black blog stooges, ‘mostly peaceful’ protesters who think they are participating in a legitimate act of protest, and opportunists who show up to loot and commit vandalism for the sake of destroying stuff… The 2020 Great Awokening is a very elite phenomenon, with hugely disproportionate numbers of grads & post-grad progressive activists – many disgruntled elite wannabes denied access to elite positions – nearly twice as likely as the average American to earn above $100K/yr… versus the ‘poor’ who are never anarchists since they have most interest in there being some decent government… Most of today’s BLM agenda is completely out of touch with what is believed in any normal neighborhood in America. All it should take is one skirmish somewhere, with law enforcement or an ad hoc militia or even a private citizen affirming their right to not be assaulted, for this movement will burn itself out.” Let’s hope so.  [RED STATE – 6/30/20] 
  • “WE’RE HERE IN THE ‘YEAR OF THE STUPID,’ as the Great Awokening has unleashed a wave of mindless rage, with leftist intellectuals, online mobs and violent street protesters seeking to retroactively scrub our nation and history of any resistance to their new anti-racist standards… As the wild-eyed zealots of wokeness run amok… it is performance & fury that is their point – not true social change. Tearing down statues will not change our society for better, nor will getting people fired for something they said or did in 1988.  With its intolerance of any moral nuance, coerced public apologies, and pitiless wreckage of peoples’ lives, the movement is less reminiscent of the 1960s civil rights struggle than of Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s Cultural Revolution. We aren’t there yet, but unless we reject that totalitarian mindset as emphatically as we reject racism, we soon will be.”   [THE WEEK – 7/10/20]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:   P.C. onward: Houston Ass’n of Realtors which has vetoed the terms ‘master bedroom’ and ‘master bathroom’ because of “potential slavery connotations.” ‘Primary’ has now replaced the term ‘master.’

         Restaurants, which employ nearly 16 million Americans, are tough businesses. In good times, they typically run on profit margins of only around 5%, so the shutdowns have been disastrous for most. Industry experts now predict that up to 80% might never reopen – even if allowed soon – because of depleted capital, requirements to eliminate half their table capacity (for social distancing compliance) plus expensive sanitization procedures. ///   And Yelp reported that as of June 15, over 57,000 other businesses have shut down permanently.

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