Nautilus Launches the World's First Gratuity Card for Paying Tips Only
The Californer/10221081

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Californer -- Richard H. Davis, President and CEO of Nautilus International, Inc., states that his company intends to produce and market the TIP™ Card, a one-of-a-kind debit card for payment direct to your restaurant server. Instead of leaving the traditional cash gratuity, simply use your TIP Card, so you don't miss out on this IRS tax deduction. By paying a tip through electronic payment you are throwing your money away because your gratuity has reverted to a service charge, a mandatory extra charge that is added to your bill, that is not tax deductible. Tips for servers or bartenders at a business meal are deductible, but there's no "tip expense" category on your tax return. Instead, you claim tips as part of your total meal expense. With the TIP Card you can also write off tips to cabbies, valets, maids and other non-meal related people as travel expenses.

The IRS has updated a fact sheet that explains the differences between tips and service charges [Fact Sheet 2017-8, 4/25/2017].

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In general, the following factors characterize a payment as a tip:
  1. The payment must be made free from compulsion;
  2. The customer must have the unrestricted right to determine the amount;
  3. The payment should not be the subject of negotiation or dictated by employer policy; and
  4. The customer should generally have the right to determine who receives the payment.

Absent these factors, the payment is likely a service charge.

About Richard H. Davis

Richard H. Davis is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur and a United States Merchant Marine and combat veteran. As a yacht-delivery skipper during the United States Invasion of Panama, Davis ended up in the crossfire and tells his story in his unpublished manuscript "Sailor of Fortune", that chronicles his adventures at sea and land on the Motor Vessel Kamillian. In addition Davis is a photojournalist for Soft Drinks International Magazine in Britain. Davis has appeared on such national and regional media broadcasts including CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, and ABC News, and in The New York Times, and many others.

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*Nautilus International, Inc., is a financial technology company, not a bank. TIP-branded credit products are issued by First National Bank of Omaha, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Visa and Visa Signature are registered trademarks of Visa International Service Association and used under license.

Editor's Note: In 2012 Attorney Evan Spencer filed a $5.5 billion dollar class action against New York City restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that violated consumer protection laws by charging automatic gratuities. The case received national media attention, advised the public of this unlawful practice, and stopped most businesses from continuing the illegal policy.

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Source: Nautilus International, Inc.

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