Law Office Of Steven A Leahy - April 2018

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!


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