10 Reasons Why Snail Mail Is the Best Mail
Remember being a kid and how getting mail was one of the greatest joys in life? Your parents would check in the mailbox and, in the midst of bills and coupons, find an envelope addressed to you. Would it be a party invitation or a letter from a friend who moved away? The possibilities were endless, but always good. In today’s digital age, people don’t send as much mail as they used to, but that doesn’t mean the fun of giving and getting mail has ended.
Mail has always and will always be awesome. Getting exciting mail doesn’t have to be a distant childhood memory. There’s lots of reasons why we should send more letters and cards. We teamed up with Studio Ink to put together a list of the best reasons why snail mail is the best mail. Let’s get to it!
1. Sending mail will surprise and delight people. Part of adulting means getting mail in the form of bills and coupons. Boring! Surprise someone by sending a handwritten note to liven up their mailbox.
2. Letters are keepsakes. Unlike the typical email or text, people tend to actually keep physical letters and cards. Your good wishes will probably be remembered and cherished for years.
3. You can practice your lettering. Use mail as a way to pick up (or practice) lettering! Practice makes perfect, so send lots and lots of beautifully hand-lettered notes!
4. Letters show more care and value than just a text. It’s really easy to type a message on your phone and hit “Send.” It takes more time and care to write a note to send to someone, and they’ll feel that.
5. You can get creative with your mail. Treat your card and envelope as a blank canvas. Whether you’re adding glitter, watercolor, confetti or stickers to your mail, there’s lots of opportunities to go crazy and have fun! Remember to keep the address legible though. :)
6. You can send letters to and from anywhere. You can send mail pretty easily in most countries and it’s a tiny act that’ll let your faraway friends know you’re thinking about them. Mail is the best souvenir, hands down.
7. You’ll probably get a letter back. Sending a letter or card will probably prompt the receiver to send something back— thus starting a beautiful letter exchange.
8. It’s a small, inexpensive gesture that goes a long way. Cards generally cost only a few dollars and mailing them costs even less. Making someone smile doesn’t always have to cost a lot — send some mail!
9. You’ll stand out. One tried-and-true job interview tip is to follow up with a thank you email. Make yourself stand out from the other interviewees by sending a physical thank you card. Not interviewing for jobs at the moment? Wish someone “Happy Birthday” with a card instead of writing on her Facebook wall to make her feel extra special.
10. Because people have loved letters since… forever. People have been exchanging letters for nearly all of history and the joy of giving and receiving mail endures. Mail makes people happy in a different way than texts and emails. Brighten someone’s day by sending them mail.
Mail has my stamp of approval.
How many people will you send mail to? Share your snail mail picture with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #britstagram!
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