10 Crowdfunds of the Week That’ll Make You Say “Take My Money”
Okay, guilty pleasure announcement: We LOVE browsing through Kickstarter and Indiegogo for the latest and greatest finds (don’t worry, even Taylor Swift does it). From girlboss films to multi-functional workout gear, there’s always something new to discover. Plus, supporting innovative small businesses is definitely a bonus. Here are 10 cool crowdfunds that we definitely can’t wait to support.
1. Toasteroid: Jazz up your morning routine with this cool toast tech (yes, that’s actually a thing). The Toasteroid allows you to burn designs, messages and drawings into your toast using their complementary smartphone app. Can you say best brunch plans ever?!
2. Pilot Smart Earpiece Language Translator: If you’ve ever met a cutie that doesn’t speak the same language as you, this new earpiece translator just might be the lifesaver you’re looking for. Say goodbye to awkward Google translate conversations — the Pilot Smart Earpiece will instantly translate your conversations for seamless small talk.
3. LVL: We’ll be the first to admit that there are tons of health wearables on the market, but this chic bracelet stands out for one major reason. LVL is a wearable hydration monitor that scientifically measures how much you need to drink to stay at peak capability (plus it tracks activity, sleep, mood and heart rate too).
4. MOTI: Everyone wants to be able to say that they actually stuck with their New Years resolutions this year, but breaking a bad habit can sometimes feel impossible. Meet MOTI, the habit breaker extraordinaire. Based on the latest insights from behavioral science and social robotics, MOTI sets reminders, celebrations and accountability all through the cute-sized device.
5. Hustle: There’s no question that we love a good planner (we even have adorable planner stickers to really get creative with it). Hustle takes everything we love about planners, but instead of using tons of traditional paper, it’s made entirely from stone paper (AKA no water, acid or airborne, water-borne or solid waste is used to make it).
6. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: Inspire the young lady in your life to live boldly with this awesome collection of 100 bedtimes stories about 100 extraordinary women, illustrated by 100 female artists.
7. Keep Pursuing Project Zero G Backpack: If you’ve ever gotten a backache from carrying around too much stuff in your bag, you have to check out this new product from Keep Pursuing, pronto. Claiming to be the first backpack designed to make 20 pounds feel like 10, it’s perfect for the over-packer and long-haul traveler.
8. OLO: There’s no question that 3D printing is the must-have tech of the future, but many designers can’t actually use it properly because it is just too darn expensive. OLO is the first ever smartphone 3D printer that costs just $99. It’s portable, multi-material… and definitely on our Christmas list.
9. BioRing: As much as we love our wearables, most of them are chunky and, to be honest, just plain ugly. BioRing is a simple wellness wearable that automatically measures everything you could ever want (calorie intake, calorie burn, heart rate, sleep) while looking cool on your finger.
10. BiCable: Although we still don’t know how we feel about Apple nixing the headphone jack, we do understand their point about cords being a pain. The BiCable is a cord hater’s dream, as it’s basically an all-in-one cord that can charge just about anything (Android, iPhone, Beats Headphones… you name it).
Are you currently supporting any crowdfunds? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com