8 Creative Workspace Must-Haves
The kids are back at school. Perhaps you are back at school as well. Regardless, summer holidays have come and gone, and we’ve all gotten back into our usual routines, which probably means we’ve stepped away from our creative endeavors. It’s time to reel that creative energy back in! Even adding fifteen minutes of creativity to your morning will influence the rest of your day, increasing overall creative thinking. That means you’ll be more effective at work and your mind will zoom in on more creative solutions to everyday problems.
Still not feeling motivated? Sometimes it takes a designated creative space to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve got yourself set up for success, it’s easier to sit down and start. That’s why we’ve got a list of creative workspace essentials to nudge you toward making. Take a look!
1. Jungle Weekly Desk Pad ($12): Though we are all for digital calendars, there’s something magical about writing down your schedule on a beautiful paper calendar. Not only do you get to look at the calendar (which is a piece of art in itself), but you also get to do some old school writing. With your hand :)
2. Laser Cut Rulers Rule ($7): Rulers are great to have on hand. They serve as a measuring instrument and a straight edge. Whether you’re trying your hand at calligraphy, drawing geometric shapes or measuring a piece of fabric, rulers are essential.
3. Color Me Swoon ($15): If you don’t have a specific creative passion, this book will be your guide. Filled with activities and pages to color, you could spend six months completing all of the projects in this book. It’s an inspiration.
4. I Love You California Postcards ($10): Postcards are great for their original purpose of communicating via snail mail, but they are also perfect little pieces of wall art. Decorate your desk with wall art that makes your heart beat joyfully and fills your head with ideas.
5. Giant Gem Speaker ($40): It’s important to get in the zone when you sit down at your desk. To help with that, be sure to get a speaker so that you can blast some tunes. This one also happens to be super stylish :)
6. I Am Very Busy iPhone 6 Case ($26): Style and beauty can be brought into all parts of your life. Get creative with your outfit, your hair and makeup, your home decor and accessories like your iPhone case. Even the little things spur creativity.
7. Holiday BKR Bottle ($35): The number one rule for igniting creativity is to drink water! Well, maybe not, but it is important to stay hydrated. Your brain will function much better if your body isn’t overworking to compensate for dehydration. And that’s a fact!
8. Studio Ink Cards ($3-5): You have got to get some stationery from Hallmark’s Studio Ink. These cards are adorable and they will inspire you to send hand-written notes to your loved ones.
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