Law Office Of Steven A Leahy - April 2018

APRIL 2018

LEGAL ANSWERS ALL THE ANSWERS TO YOUR LEGAL QUESTIONS | (312) 664-6649 |150 N Michigan Ave #1120, Chicago, Illinois 60601

HUSTLE UP THE HANCOCK Raising Money for the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago

If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, you’ll know that Teresa inspired me to get into shape when she gifted me a Fitbit a couple of Christmases ago. Although it took me a while to break the new Fitbit in, I was motivated once I did. At the beginning of my fitness journey, I would reach my 10,000 steps by walking around Millennium Park during my breaks. But last February, I turned my attention to flights of stairs. My office sits on the 11th floor of a 41-floor building. During breaks, I began to walk flights of stairs to get my 10,000 steps in, and let me tell you, it was hard work. At the beginning, I was walking only five flights of stairs, which eventually increased to seven, then nine flights. By October, I was walking 40 flights of stairs twice a day. After I saw all the progress I was making, I decided to sign up and seriously train for Hustle Up the Hancock. Hustle Up the Hancock is an annual race held by the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago. Participants raise money to climb 94 flights (1,632 stairs) as fast as they can, and all the proceeds go to furthering research on respiratory health and disease prevention. This year, the race was held on February 25. An estimated 3,309 people participated and raised a total of $975,947! The winning time was 10 minutes and 7 seconds, which was four seconds faster than the fastest time last year. My group started the race at 1:30 p.m., and my co-host and nephew, Jimmy, decided to climb with me. Jimmy didn’t train like I did, and the old man blew him out of the water!

25 minutes, he would donate $500. I accepted his challenge, but I thought to myself, “Oh no. I’ve been practicing, and I’ve never come near 25 minutes.” However, I was determined to do my best, and I thanked David for being willing to donate any money at all. After I reached the 95th floor that afternoon, I looked at my watch and realized that I had finished with a personal record time of 20 minutes and 45 seconds! I was shocked to see how well I had done, and I was thrilled to know that all my hard work had paid off for the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago. In all, I was able to raise around $1,000 for the cause, and I’ve already decided to race again next year. I want to thank everyone who donated. If you’re up for the challenge, I encourage you to start training and join me in my goal to set another personal best next February.

"Jimmy didn’t train like I did, and the old man blew him out of the water!"

Before the race, my friend David Hochberg fromWLS 890 AM’s "Home Sweet Home Chicago" radio show invited me on to talk about the race and my training. I told him that I had three goals: first, to finish the race; second, to finish without stopping; and third, to finish within 30 minutes. David told me those were good goals to have, but he had a challenge for me. If I were to finish in 30 minutes, David said he would donate $100. But if I were to finish within

–Steven Leahy



(312) 664-6649

ANNIE DUKE’S ‘THINKING IN BETS’ What a Poker Pro Can Teach You About Risk

Annie Duke may seem an unlikely business consultant given that she’s best known as a professional poker player. But the lessons in her new book, “Thinking in Bets,” extend far beyond the felt. Duke, who studied psychology at UPenn and has consulted for a number of companies, takes the decision-making lessons she learned at the poker table and applies them to the hard choices we have to make in business.

Poker provides a fertile analogy for this concept. It’s a game of imperfect information. No matter how much poker you’ve played, you never know which cards the other players hold. You can make educated inferences based on the information you gather, but there is always going to be a risk in calling a bet. The process parallels how we decide what’s best for a company. We analyze all the information we have at hand and make a projection about the best option. Until the decision plays out, we won’t know the outcome.

To emphasize the nature of her work, Duke begins with an introduction called “Why This Isn’t a Poker Book.” She writes that the process of thinking in

Though Duke knows more about poker than just about anyone, she doesn’t limit her examples to gambling. She writes with equal skill and depth

bets “starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck.” When you make a decision, you rarely have perfect clarity regarding all the factors at play. This imperfect picture is what makes every business decision risky. Duke argues that ignoring inherent risk results in dangerous outcome-based thinking. As an alternative, she proposes that you acknowledge that not every decision will be the right one. This way, you can investigate the nature of your decision-making process and improve it without being blinded by lucky (or unlucky) results.

about everything from CEOs to football coaches. “Thinking in Bets” is a comprehensive overview of risk assessment that provides countless tips on how to improve your decision-making.

Even if you have no idea whether a flush beats a straight, you’ll find “Thinking

in Bets” a valuable addition to your leadership library. Entrepreneurship requires

making millions of decisions. Don’t you

want to make

them better?

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Explained

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting a nice couple who ran a family business. It had provided a comfortable living for them until the year before we met. Unfortunately, another business was unable to pay this couple for a fulfilled contract. This caused major issues within the family business. Since they were unable to fulfill payroll, they couldn’t deduct federal and state taxes, Medicare and Social Security obligations, union dues, or insurance, nor could they turn this money in on behalf of their employees. As a result, the IRS took action and began to collect the tax portion of those funds. So what happens when a business is unable to pay outstanding obligations? In the case of a corporation or other limited liability entity, the owner may have some protection from business taxes. However, the IRS will look to the person or persons responsible for collecting, accounting,

and paying “trust” taxes. Trust taxes include three components: federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes withheld from the employee and the employer’s contributions to Social Security and Medicare. The “trust” is the portion deducted from the employees’ paychecks. The employer’s contribution to Social Security and Medicare is not part of the trust taxes, because this tax was not paid by the employee and held in trust by the employer. When the IRS looks to a responsible person individually to recover this tax, it is referred to as the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP). If there is more than one responsible party, the IRS can collect all or part from any or all of the parties. Keep in mind that the IRS can only recover once, so if the TFRP obligation is satisfied by one responsible party, the obligation of the other parties is also satisfied. TFRP is never

dischargeable in bankruptcy and is difficult to walk away from, but it can be done

If you are facing a TFRP, call The Law Office of Steven A. Leahy at (312) 664-6649 for a free consultation. Protect yourself as soon as possible — call today!


We Can Help You Achieve Full Financial Recovery When I first started my practice 15 years ago, I helped clients file Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and I soon added Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As part of my marketing in the early 2000s —when loan modifications were almost impossible — I targeted homeowners facing foreclosure, since Chapter 13 was really the only option to save someone's home once they fell behind on payments.

When the mortgage meltdown hit in 2008, the number and nature of clients facing foreclosures changed. Many individuals with high incomes lost their jobs. While Chapter 13 remained an option, loan modifications became the best solution, because they often reduced the homeowner’s monthly payments. That’s when my marketing strategy changed once again. I quickly discovered that my clients who came to me for mortgage problems were often facing IRS problems, too. In 2009, I got involved with a national tax resolution group of attorneys who supported and educated me on how to solve IRS issues. With my new skill set, I was able to help my clients achieve full financial recovery by helping them save their homes and resolving their IRS and credit problems. Today, I’ve helped thousands of individuals in the Chicago area resolve their financial issues.

What I have learned over the years is that people (mostly men) allow embarrassment and pride to get in the way of seeking help. Most of us believe everyone else in our lives is financially sound — who would want to admit that they’re not? — and we are the only one facing trouble. This is simply not true. More people than you realize are in some sort of financial trouble, and IRS issues are nothing to be embarrassed about. Once you can overcome the stigma surrounding bankruptcy, you are able to get help.

If you need help solving your financial troubles, call me right away at (312) 664-6649. I help people achieve full financial recovery.

MEMES Don't forget to listen to the "IRS Radio Hour" every SUNDAY AT 5:00 P.M. ON AM 560 THE ANSWER




(312) 664-6649

Phone: (312) 664-6649 150 N Michigan Ave #1120, Chicago, Illinois 60601



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My Hustle Up the Hancock

Entrepreneurship Library: ‘Thinking in Bets’

Do You Have Unpaid Payroll Taxes?


Don’t Be Embarrassed About Bankruptcy



3 Places to View Natural Wonders

One-of-a-Kind Naturescapes

Bioluminescent Plankton in Jamaica

If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights—baby turtles scuttling toward water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you need to be to catch these natural wonders?

Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to at Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. Eco tip: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a“pack it in, pack it out”mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they're easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. Northern Lights in Scandinavia

Sea Turtles Hatching in Hawaii

On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles

hatch at night andmake their way to the water by the light of

the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography). Eco tip: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii.

Eco tip: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy.


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