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CMSA Northern Region Tax Talk with Arthur Garcia, ATAX President

On Wednesday January 15th, 2020 we got together with the California Moving and Storage Association Northern Region Chapter members at Agave Uptown in Oakland. Agave has amazing cocktails, authentic Oaxacan cuisine and some of the best Mezcal offerings in the Bay Area. Thank you to their catering manager Leigh Gross-Mitchell for taking care of our group. We had a delicious dinner of tacos,chile poblano with their amazing mole sauce and a tasty guacamole. The dinner ended with their churro and ice cream.

Our speaker was Arthur Garcia, President of the accounting and financial services ATAX.

ATAX is a full-service national tax preparation and business services franchise. They are 100% Latino-owned, and serve clients in both English and Spanish. With over 70 franchises running and growing, ATAX is bringing ” Accurate, Reliable & Convenient Tax & Business Services ” to a neighborhood near you. Arthur holds an MBA in Marketing & Entrepreneurship from the University of San Francisco and a B.S. Marketing & Entrepreneurship from Colorado State University.

Now, any information here is not to be considered tax advice! Consult your tax accountant or tax professional!

Arthur spoke about different tips to help with our accounting and business running processes. He complied a list of 21 small business tax deductions. He spoke about he importance of having a tax plan, and to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to expenses in order to maximize your tax deductions as allowed by law . His presentation can be accessed here

Arthur also shared popular apps that can help you manage information to keep your passwords safe such as “Lastpass” That is a password manager app. Also “MileIQ” , an app that helps you manage and log your miles. Another tip shared was to have as many of your bank transactions via debit or credit card so that there is a paper trail.

One interesting reminder was that due to recent tax law changes, businesses can only deduct 50% of their meals and they cannot be considered “lavish”. Remember to jot down on the receipts, the client or prospective client’s name and the topic discussed to audit proof your documents. However, when you are ordering lunch for your staff, it can be considered office staff. Since this tip generated a lot of buzz in the room, I am leaving you with detailed information on meals and what is 50% vs. 100% deductible (Again, please consult your TAX Professional!):

Meal expense that are 100% deductible:

  • Recreational expenses primarily for employees who are not highly compensated, such as the business holiday party or the company picnic
  • Office snacks provided to employees at the office
  • Meals provided on the employer’s premises to more than half of the employees for the convenience of the employer, meaning meals provided to employees to keep them working late or on weekends for the employer’s convenience
  • Meal expenses (or goods, services, and facilities) made available to the public, usually for advertising and promotional purposes
  • Meals for which the business is reimbursed for the expense
  • Meal expenses includible in income of persons who are not employees

Meal expense that are 50% deductible:

  • Meals directly related to business meetings of employees, stockholders, agents, and directors
  • Office meetings and partner meetings
  • Meals with clients, customers, and vendors that will benefit the business
  • Meals while on business travel status
  • Meals while attending a business seminar, convention, or any other form of meeting

I hope to see you at our next chapter meeting, on Wednesday February 19, 2020 at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco, CA 94080.

You can register online here:

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