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Paola P. Hinton serves as Owner of Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop in Peoria, Illinois.

Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop offers full-service hair, nails, body, facial, massage, and barbering experiences and is a retailer for the highly regarded Aveda products. Five Senses helps guests escape their daily routine in an atmosphere that is second to none.

Five Senses’ team approach and corporate culture offers uncommon benefits and opportunities in the industry, as well as helping team members grow and prosper within Five Senses. The company’s leadership has been recognized nationally by Salon Today magazine as a “Top 200 Spa and Salon in North America” for several years, and has been awarded as a "2018 Salon of the Year ~ Top 20 Salon of Distinction" in North America by the magazine.

A Chicago-area native, Paola, daughter of Italian immigrant parents, learned her strong work ethic at a young age. She began elementary school not knowing how to speak English and completed her education in 1998 from Illinois State University with a double major in Marketing and International Business. Paola built a career working in various marketing, advertising and event positions for 7 years.

In 2006, Paola took a risk in building a business in an industry she had no experience in. As she always says, “I have no business being in this business” and today she is considered an industry leader. Paola has successfully grown her business despite facing adversity, such as being told her idea would not work in Peoria, operating through a recession and most recently, expanding her business to a new and larger location.

On behalf of the Professional Beauty Association, Paola has been able to represent the industry she has become so passionate about on Capitol Hill. Paola has been invited to Washington DC on multiple occasions to meet with Congress and Senate representatives, speaking events and press conferences.  Click to learn about Paola's involvement with the FICA Tip Tax legislation.  Her experiences in her business, gives new perspective in a “business she has every business being in.”

Paola serves as a Junior Achievement representative, a Girl Scout co-leader, is very active in her community and neighborhood, and loves to begin her week singing in the St. Jude Catholic Church choir. She resides in Peoria, Illinois and is blessed to have her husband Steve of 18 years, and children Lia (13) and Claudia (9).


 

Paola Hinton’s involvement with FICA Tip Tax legislation

“In 2017, Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop guests showed their appreciation to our service providers with gratuities totaling $170,000.  Tips are considered wages, therefore, I as the employer paid for Social Security, Medicare, State Unemployment Tax and credit card fees that amounted to $19,000 in costs which I received no revenue for.”  ~Paola Hinton, Owner of Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop

Paola has had the opportunity to bring attention to an unfair tip taxing on businesses in the beauty industry that primarily impacts business owners negatively, and ultimately effects employees as a result.  With the support of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA )for the past decade and Congressman Darin LaHood since spring 2018, the hopes is to have a bill passed to extend a tax credit for businesses across the nation that facilitate tips for their employees within the beauty industry - just as the food service industry was granted in 1993. 

Like the restaurant industry, salon and spa professionals receive a significant amount of their income through tips, which by law must be reported as wages and income. Salon and spa owners do NOT receive any of this tip income yet are required to pay taxes on it: Beauty industry employers are responsible for paying the 7.65% FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes on all employee income, including customer-paid tips. 

Paola explains the reality of the costs associated with collecting and facilitating tips (Social Security Taxes, Medicare Taxes, State Unemployment Taxes, credit card percentages and growing credit card fees) for employees by showing her personal business numbers that visually shows the following,

  1. A $20 tip to an employee costs Five Senses $2.24+
  2. During the more generous times where guests tip higher for special occasions and holidays, a $100 tip to an employee costs Five Senses $11.18+
  3. Over the course of 2017, $170,000 in tips for employees ended up costing Five Senses $19,000+

The costs on tips that business owners do not receive any income from is alarming and unfair.  Paola has been educating people in the industry to understand the positive impact this bill would have on businesses and employees alike.  The credit would allow for business owners to reinvest into their company and employees, offer additional employee benefits, hire more people their communities, and the list of opportunities goes on.

The Professional Beauty Association has a dedicated section of their website devoted to FICA Tip Tax Credit information.  The PBA has made it simple for business owners and professionals to take action by sending a message to Congress to support the Small Business Tax Fairness and Compliance Simplification Act with just one clickhttps://p2a.co/HieFA3O


Paola Hinton's Involvement Timeline



April 2013 Lobby Days

April 2013 Lobby Days.  Paola Hinton first learned about the Tip Tax issue at a salon and spa business conference in New Orleans, LA.  Business owners that were PBA members took the stage and explained the Tip Tax issue to an entire audience.

~ It left an impression on Paola, and after reading an article by Stacey Soble in Salon Today magazine encouraged Paola to get involved with PBA, she decided to contact Myra Irizarry at the PBA.  In 2013, Paola attended her first Lobby Days in Washington DC with the PBA.  Paola helped educate a dozen representatives on Capitol Hill about the burden the tip taxes place on salon and spa owners that do NOT receive any of the tip income and yet are required to pay taxes on it.  

~ The issue has been discussed by the PBA for over a decade and still remains unresolved.


December 2017 Tax Bill Law Celebration.

December 2017 Tax Bill Law Celebration.  With the December 2017 Tax Bill that was signed into law, Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop celebrated with a $10,000 surprise team bonus! 

~ Each employee received $500 in cash, and the priceless moment was all caught on video.

~ The story was picked up by the Chicago Tribune, and Paola found herself and her company on the front page and business section of the Sunday, January 28, 2018 issue.


February 2018 Americans For Tax Reform (ATR) Gala.

February 2018 Americans For Tax Reform (ATR) Gala. American political advocate appointed by President Ronald Regan, Grover Norquist, invited Paola Hinton to speak at the Americans For Tax Reform Gala in Washington DC about the surprise bonus.  During that trip, Paola met with different offices about the FICA Tip Tax.

~ Staff on the United States House Committee on Ways and Means conducted an interview with Paola about the surprise bonus and the FICA Tip Tax.

~ Rep. Darin LaHood's Chief of Staff and Legislative Director met with Paola to understand and discuss the FICA Tip Tax.


March 2018 Congressman Darin LaHood's visit to Five Senses.

March 2018 Congressman Darin LaHood's visit to Five Senses.  On Friday, March 23, 2018, Rep. Darin LaHood personally visited the team at Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop during the company's afternoon huddle.

~ The Congressman stood in the same spot where Paola distributed $10,000, and heard first hand what it was like to receive a surprise $500 bonus, and what the employees did with the money. 

~ As the team started their afternoon appointments, Paola had the opportunity to present the Tip Tax issue in depth to Rep. Darin LaHood.  He was able to fully understand the burden that Five Senses encounters by showing him the amount collected in tips for 2017 and how the Tip Tax impacted Paola's business.

 


April 2018, Press Conference in Washington DC.

April 2018, Press Conference in Washington DC.  The press conference presented various speakers such as Rep. Darin LaHood, Senator Ted Cruz, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and six other US Representatives.

~ Paola was invited back out to Washington DC to speak at a tax press conference.

~ It was a privilege for Paola to introduce Rep. Darin LaHood at the press conference, where Congressman LaHood spoke about his visit to Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop where he heard first hand what it was like to receive a surprise $500 bonus, and what the employees did with the money.

~ During that visit, Paola met with additional representatives about the Tip Tax.  Since then, Rep. Darin LaHood's office has worked with the PBA and has moved this issue forward.


September 2018 FICA Tip Tax Bill Introduction.

September 2018 FICA Tip Tax Bill Introduction. On Friday, September 7, 2018 Congressman LaHood introduced the FICA Tip Tax bill!  Support is needed to help this bill become law.  

~ The PBA has made it simple for business owners and professionals to take action by sending a message to Congress to support the Small Business Tax Fairness and Compliance Simplification Act with just one clickhttps://p2a.co/HieFA3O

~ Late September 2018, Paola spoke at a conference in Atlanta, GA presented by Modern Salon, where she continued to educate the industry, asking for support by sending a message to Congress through PBA's website.

 


October 2018 FICA Tip Tax Roundtable Discussion.

October 2018 FICA Tip Tax Roundtable Discussion.  In coordination with Rep. LaHood's local office, a Roundtable Discussion was held on October 10, 2018 at Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop.  Local and surrounding area business owners within this industry were present along with Congressman Darin LaHood.

~ Peoria Journal Star: U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood picks up tips for tip-tax bill, by Steve Tarter

~ WMBD-TV: Beauty industry seeks lawmakers help to qualify for FICA Tax Tip credit, by Rebecca Brumfield 

~ WYZZ-TV: Rep. LaHood hears from local small business salon owners regarding tip tax legislation