The 2019 Grammy Nominations' Most Surprising Snubs
With the 2019 Grammy Awards just over two months away on February 10, the Recording Academy announced the full list of nominees on Friday, December 7. And while some of our favorite artists and bands — like Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake — earned multiple well-deserved nods, plenty of others were shut out of the major categories or left off the list altogether. Check out this year's most surprising Grammy snubs. (Photos via Getty Images)
Taylor Swift: Over the course of her industry-dominating career, Swift has racked up an incredible 31 Grammy nominations and 10 wins, including two for the Album of the Year. This year, however, she and her sixth album, Reputation, were almost completely shut out of the awards, save for one genre-specific nomination in the Best Pop Vocal Album category. (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp)
Ariana Grande: Although 2018 was a tough year for Grande personally, her career has never been better. Her new album, Sweetener, featured hits including "No Tears Left to Cry" and "God Is a Woman," and she was recently named Billboard’s Woman of the Year. She has two chances to win a Grammy in 2019 — for Best Pop Solo Performance ("God Is a Woman") and Best Pop Vocal Album (Sweetener) — but she was left out of every non-genre-specific major category. We suspect she'll fare better at the 2020 awards, though, since "Thank U, Next" was released outside of the eligibility period for 2019. (Photo via Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Beyoncé and Jay-Z: The Carters have dozens of solo Grammy nominations between them, but their latest joint effort, Everything Is Love, didn't get much love from the Recording Academy. The album was completely shut out of the main awards show categories, earning only genre-specific nominations for Best R&B Performance ("The Summer"), Best Urban Contemporary Album, and Best Music Video ("Apesh-t"). Unfortunately, this isn't the first time they've been snubbed. Bey missed out on an Album of the Year win for Lemonade in 2017, and Jay-Z didn't win a single one of his eight nominations in 2018. (Photo via Larry Busacca/PW18/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment)
Camila Cabello: The former Fifth Harmony member released her debut solo album in 2018, to massive commercial and critical success. Her single "Havana" was everywhere this year — except on the list of 2019 Grammy nominations, where it's up for just two awards, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. We didn't expect to see her in the Best New Artist category, since the Recording Academy has strict rules that tend to disqualify people who rose to prominence earlier in their career, as Cabello did with Fifth Harmony, but it's surprising to see her shut out of big categories like Song of the Year. (Photo via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Nicki Minaj: Minaj didn't receive a single nomination for her fourth studio album, Queen. It's the first time she's ever been totally overlooked by the Recording Academy in an eligible year. (Photo via Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for MTV)
Justin Timberlake: A nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Chris Stapleton, for their song "Say Something," was all that Timberlake managed to take away from this year's Grammy nominations. He may be the Man of the Woods, but it doesn't look like he'll be the man of the 2019 awards season. (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Kesha: Although Kesha didn't release an album in 2018, she did release the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-inspired track "Here Comes the Change," which she wrote and recorded for the Ginsberg biopic On the Basis of Sex. It dropped just before the end of the eligibility period, but unlike fans, the Recording Academy wasn't swayed by the song's powerful message. (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame)
Travis Scott: This year was a big one for Scott, what with the success of Astroworld, but the Recording Academy mostly overlooked the album, which was made specifically with Grammy voters in mind. Although he earned a nomination for Rap Album of the Year — a category that also includes Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle, Pusha-T, and the late Mac Miller — he was shut out of the main categories. (Photo via Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
The Greatest Showman: It was a stellar year for movie soundtracks like Black Panther and A Star Is Born, which not only earned spots in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category, but also scored nominations for Album, Song, and Record of the Year. The Greatest Showman soundtrack — which, admittedly, has been out longer — outsold both albums, but it wasn't included in the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories alongside the others. (Photo via Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox)
Kanye West: Although he made plenty of headlines for his personal life and political views in 2018, Kanye apparently didn't make much of an impression on the Recording Academy with the release of his album Ye. The record didn't earn a single nomination, but West was recognized in the best non-classical producer category. (Photo via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for adidas)
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