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SEC Proposing to go Paperless...

Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2015 by Jules VanSant.

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As you may know, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a proposed rule ( Rule 30e-3) that would eliminate the current requirement for important mutual fund information to be transmitted to investors in paper form. Under the SEC’s current rules governing mutual fund disclosure, investors already have the ability to opt-in to electronic delivery, yet only a small minority has chosen to do so.

By permitting funds to satisfy shareholder report requirements by making shareholder reports and quarterly portfolio holdings available only online, Rule 30e-3 would shift the burden on investors. Under the provisions of the proposed rule, investors would simply be sent a letter announcing the switch to digital delivery. A lack of response would be deemed “implied consent” to the switch. This has major implications to companies that print financial services material and to the ongoing efforts of the Federal government to “go paperless.”

Printing Industries of America and its allies in the Consumers for Paper Options are urging the SEC to instead maintain the spirit of the 1933 Securities Act to provide investors with all the reasonable information they need to make informed investment decisions and ensure shareholder reports remain accessible to all Americans. In other words, rescind or revise the proposed rule. Comments have been filed to this end (copy available here) and the industry is urging Congress to weigh in with the SEC to support our case. But this rule is moving fast (comments are due on August 11) and all hands are needed on deck to make the industry’s case.

Here’s how you can help our industry and your company:

1) a.) Register your opposition via public comments here by August 11; b) contact your Senators/Representative to register concern. A mass action alert is forthcoming this week from PIA national, but speed is of the essence and I urge you to move quickly.

2) Call into a conference call this week hosted by Consumers for Paper Options to learn more about the industry’s battle on the SEC issue. The call will be held at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, August 6th. The call-in number is: (712) 775-7031; the passcode is: 975-183-691#. You can also learn more in advance of the call by visiting

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Who's your Champion?

Posted Monday, July 27, 2015 by Lisa D. Magnuson, Founder & CEO, Top Line Sales.

Do you have a champion in your key accounts? You know, the person that gives you a heads up on important company matters that might affect your business. Also known as a sponsor, supporter, or friend, this person is your advocate.

The champion relationship ranks as essential. It’s right up there in importance with your executive contacts and decision makers. Without a champion you can miss critical insights into game changing decisions, organizational shifts, potential new opportunities, and candid feedback. Top sales people can recount many sales situations where having an internal sponsor made the difference between winning and losing - sometimes equating to millions of dollars of top line revenue.


Once identified, keep all channels of communication open on an ongoing basis. Phone, email, drop by when you’re in their area (if appropriate), coffee, and lunch are all good opportunities for information exchanges.

Ask open-ended questions such as:

  • What new initiatives are in the works?

  • What have you heard about significant changes coming up?

  • What’s the general opinion of my products or services?

  • Can you counsel me on the best way to handle … (could be a problem or opportunity)

  • Could you help me with an introduction to … (could be a person or department)

  • How do you think I can do a better job with …

Be respectful of the relationship. Avoid asking for information that would be inappropriate for your champion to share. Show appreciation for all their help and insights and look for suitable ways to return the favor.

Good luck as you reap the benefits of greater client intelligence, leads and referrals, and the assurance of knowing that you’re “in the know” with your most important, TOP Line Account™ clients.

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FINALLY - 2015 Washington State Legislature Adjourned!

Posted Friday, July 10, 2015 by Bill Stauffacher.

Earlier today the 2015 Washington State Legislature adjourned – taking three special sessions to reach agreement on:A two-year $38.2 billion budget which:

  • Adds $1.2 billion to K-12 school funding to address the state Supreme Court’s ruling that the state Legislature had failed to fully fund public education (though local levy equalization issues raised in the lawsuit remain unresolved by the legislature).
  • Cuts college tuition by 15-20% over the next two years.
  • Delays implementation of a K-12 class size reduction initiative until 2019 (implementing Initiative 1351 would have cost $2 billion in the two-year state operating budget just approved by the legislature).
  • A $15 billion transportation infrastructure plan backed by an 11.9 cents-per-gallon increase in the state’s gas tax.
  • About $185 million in tax increases by upping tax rates or closing tax exemptions on a limited amount of business activities.

With split control of the legislature, the legislature did not pass any of the major tax proposals offered up by legislative Democrats or Governor Jay Inslee, including:

  • A state-based capital gains tax.
  • A 20% increase in the gross receipts tax rate on business services.
  • A state “Cap and Trade” program that applied a tax to carbon emissions produced by larger businesses.

I will send along more details next week. Just know that the longest legislative session in state history has come to an end.

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Tax Burdens! Ugh!

Posted Monday, July 6, 2015 by Stuart Margolis, CPA, MT Margolis Partners LLC.

You’ve seen the commercials on TV and heard them on the radio. “Call now for help paying back the IRS. You may be entitled to tax forgiveness, etc.” So what’s the story? Is that possible?

The IRS has a program called the IRS Fresh Start Program to make it easier for taxpayers to pay back taxes and avoid liens. This overview was developed based on information found on the program website,*

Situations of Compromise

The IRS now offers more flexibility when analyzing a taxpayer’s ability to pay debt which makes compromised available to a wider group of taxpayers. The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement that allows tax payers to settle their debts for less than the full amount owed.

Generally, the IRS will accept an offer if it represents the most the agency can expect to collect with a reasonable amount of time. The IRS will not accept an offer if it believes the taxpayer can pay off the debt in a lump sum or through a payment agreement. There is an Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool on to help taxpayers find out if they might qualify for an OIC. Factors relating to income and assets are used to make the decision at the IRS.

Depending on circumstances, compromises can be reached for forgiveness of penalties as long as the tax debt is paid. To get started, download the IRS booklet on Offers in Compromise, Form 656-B.

Pay Backs using Installment Agreements

There are Direct Debit Programs established by the IRS to pay back tax debt owed. So how do you establish a Direct Debit Program? Under the Fresh Start Program, access to installment agreements has been streamlined. Taxpayers who owe up to $50,000 to the IRS can pay through monthly direct debit programs for periods up to six years (72 months). The easiest way to apply for a payment plan is to use the Online Payment Agreement tool at Manually, the form to obtain is Form 9465, Installment Agreement.

Taxpayers in need of an installment agreement for IRS debts over $50,000 or with and installment period longer than 6 years will need to provide a financial statement with their application. In addition, the IRS might require one of these two forms: Collection Information Statement Form 433-A or Form 433-F.

Tax Lien Application for Withdrawal

Generally under the Fresh Start program, the amount taxpayers can owe before the IRS will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is $10,000 in tax obligation (of course, with some exceptions where the IRS may still file a lien notice on amounts less than $10,000).A taxpayer who received an IRS tax lien can now file an Application for Withdrawal of the lien by using Form 12277, Application for Withdrawal. In order to withdrawal the taxpayer must meet certain criteria and must have paid off their tax debt. Some taxpayers can qualify to have their tax liens withdrawn even if the taxes have not been paid if they have established a Direct Debit installment agreement mentioned above. Again, Form 12277 needs to be completed to make Application for Withdrawal of a Lien once the Direct Debit Plan is in place.

If a taxpayer’s request for lien withdrawal is granted and the taxpayer defaults on the Direct Debit Installment Agreement, the IRS will file a new Notice of Federal Tax Lien and resume action for collection.

In summary, the Fresh Start program now makes it easier for taxpayers to settle their tax debts for less through an Offer in Compromise, pay the tax in full using a Direct Debit Programs installment agreement, and remove Federal Tax Liens.

Contact Margolis Partners or your local CPA if you need help.

*IRS Fresh Start Program go to

About Margolis Partners

Margolis Partners have long been recognized as the financial experts for privately-held businesses with a specialty in print and packaging, assisting companies with strategic and financial management, valuation, mergers/acquisitions, accounting, audit and tax services. The firm is noted for its expertise in enabling companies to optimize profits. Proudly, it is the purveyor of the industry’s Value-Added Principles of Management, and compiles the annual Printing Industries of America Ratios, the printing industry’s premier financial benchmarking tool. P 610.667.4310.

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PPI Members WIN BIG again at 2015 Benny Awards

Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Jules VanSant.

alt textIt’s no surprise that the visual communication firms in the NW Produce some of the BEST print in the World! This is solidified as we proudly announce the winners of the 2015 Premier Print Awards (aka The Bennys).

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Overall, 114 Bennys (Best of Category) were awarded… 5 to PPI entries (3 different companies: Premier Press, PrintWest and ColorGraphics)

  • Of the 383 Awards of Recognition given, PPI entries snagged 16

  • 1215 Certificates of Merit awarded in total, with 62 going to our region!


AAA Printing

Abbotts Printing

American Printing & Publishing

B&B Print Source

Barran Liebman

Bridgetown Printing

Cenveo Graphic Arts Center

Clean Copy

Clearwater Paper

Eagle Web Press

Esprit Graphics

Lawton Printing

Northwest Book

Premier Press


Salmon Creek Journal (Washington State University, Vancouver)


Trojan Litho

Wright Business Graphics

Facts: 2400 total entries from around the world were received this year. We had 125 from the six states PPI serves enter, most as a result of entering the 2014 PrintROCKS awards. All winners first - honorable mention were entered at no additional cost to the participating company (a collective savings of over $13,000).

We will celebrate all the winners at the Premier Print Awards Gala on September 13 in Chicago - more information can be found at

And of COURSE we will raise a glass (or a Benjamin) to all these winners while we toast the 2015 PrintROCKS winners at our regional Print Party of the Year October 2 in Tacoma.

alt textWe represented well! Check out the winning pieces from PrintROCKS 2014 online - look forward to seeing what 2015 brings :)

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