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Operating a restaurant involves a lot of moving parts – most controlled by you, but many controlled by laws, regulations, licenses and permits. Alcoholic beverages, food safety, labor practices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the healthcare mandate) are significant – and then there is everything else.

Get to know the regulatory agencies that govern such things as sidewalk cafes, signage, noise, fire safety and more. And, get to know about the efforts being made by RAMW on your behalf to improve the regulatory environment.

IRS Aims to Get More Restaurants to File Tip Form

August 2, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new compliance initiative to increase IRS Form 8027 filings in the restaurant industry. The IRS believes many tableservice restaurants don’t file IRS Form 8027 as required. The Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips must be filed with the IRS every February by employers who operate large food and beverage establishments. If you have tipped employees, take a look at Form 8027 to determine whether you must file the form. Generally, Form 8027 must be filed by food and beverage establishments that meet three...Read more

IRS Employer Tip Reporting Compliance Program

May 13, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service is starting a new compliance program to assess the employer's share of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes on tips reported on Form 4137. Employees who receive cash and charge tips of more than $20 per calendar month and do not report them have to report them on Form 4137, Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income. The service will notify employers via notice and demand letter with the amount owed. The agency will ask employers to include the taxed on their next Form 91 and will not subject employers to interest or penalties if they...Read more

(HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit Released

May 13, 2010
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit, Form W-11 , was released April 7 by the Internal Revenue Service. The new form will help employers claim the special payroll tax exemption that applies to many newly hired workers during 2010, IRS said. The form will be used to confirm that the new hire is a qualified employee under the HIRE Act. Employers cannot claim HIRE Act benefits, including a payroll tax exemption or a new-hire retention credit, unless the employee completes and signs the affidavit or similar statement President Obama signed the HIRE Act (Pub. L...Read more

Food Prices & Credit Card Fees (Before U.S. House of Representatives)

October 15, 2009
RAMW Board Member Geoff Tracy testifies in front of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business about the impact of rising food prices on restaurants, and how Congress can help. Date: June 2008. PDF File RAMW Board Member Oren Molovinsky joins with Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) to introduce a bill that clarifies credit card interchange fees and provides retailers greater flexibility in accepting different types of cards. Date: June 2008. PDF FileRead more

Street Vendor Regulation (DC)

October 15, 2009
RAMW General Counsel Andrew Kline testifies in front of the DC Committee on Public Service and Consumer Affairs, supporting the Vending Regulation Act of 2009 but voicing concerns over certain components. Date: June 2009. Issue Status : The Act was approved by the DC City Council in July 2009. PDF FileRead more

Smoking Ban (DC)

October 15, 2009
RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies in front of the DC Committee on Health about the positives and negatives of smoking bans, and how the restaurant market is already solving the problem through certain restaurants voluntarily going smoke-free. Date: Sep 2005. Issue Status : Effective January 2007, smoking is banned in all bars/restaurants places in DC (excepting outdoor areas). PDF File Former RAMW Chair Ron Hallagan testifies about the over-regulation of restaurants that smoking bans add to, and how such bans consistently hurt small businesses. Date: June 2005. Issue Status : See above...Read more

Recent Virginia Legislation

September 9, 2009
Below are some of the recent legislative issues in Virginia that RAMW has worked on, all of which have important implications for Northern Virginia restaurants. As always, we strive to recognize all RAMW members' concerns regarding public policy, and strongly advocate for our members' interests to public employees and elected officials. VA Smoking Ban In February 2009, the Virginia General Assembly passed a statewide ban on smoking in all restaurants and bars in Virginia ( HB 1703 ). Smoking will still be allowed on certain outdoor patios and in separate ventilated rooms. The bill went into...Read more

Minimum Wage Set to Rise

July 23, 2009
By:Jim O'Brien , O'Brien & van Stiphout LLC As Friday, July 24, 2009 the federal minimum wage will rise to $7.25 per hour. That means that DC’s minimum wage will also rise on that day to $8.25 per hour, because the DC minimum wage law requires the payment of $7 per hour, or the federal minimum wage plus $1, whichever is higher. The minimum wage in both Virginia and Maryland will rise to the federal rate, $7.25 per hour. The federal tip credit rate (also applicable in Virginia) will remain the same, $2.13 per hour. And while the tip credit rate in DC is not directly tied to the...Read more

Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act in Effect

November 14, 2008
The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA) became effective November 13, 2008. The act requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees working in the District for absences related to physical or mental illness, preventive medical care or family care, and for absences associated with domestic violence or sexual abuse. Employers must provide the following sick days to their full-time employees: 7 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 100 or more employees 5 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 25 to 99 employees 3 days of paid leave a year from an...Read more

Loudoun County Says NO to Meals Tax

November 5, 2008
Meals tax cooked, school bonds pass By Elizabeth Coe Source: Loudoun Times-Mirror TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 2008 Voters in Loudoun County overwhelmingly turned down the proposed meals tax Nov. 4, which would have added asmall tax to food and beverages in restaurants and prepared, ready-to-serve foods in grocery stores. Only about 29 percent of voters in the county voted "yes" to the tax. Several groups had come out against the tax, proposed by the Board of Supervisors to help fund new school construction. If passed, the meals tax could have raised $13 million annually. Such a tax already...Read more