Disney’s New 3D Coloring Book Looks All Kinds of Awesome
Coloring books are having a moment right now. Whether you’re using markers to scribble in the pages of Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest or colored pencils to color in Jon Snow in the upcoming Game of Thrones coloring book, there’s no denying that the easy and meditative art form has become a global sensation. Building on this explosive trend, Disney has decided to take things to the next level.
The company known for their legendary animation has developed a new technology that will not only allow drawings to come to life, but will also show the coloring progress in 3D in real time. This new development is piggybacking off Crayola Color Alive!, an augmented reality app launched at the beginning of this year that turns 2D colored drawings into 3D works of art. All you have to do to create this coloring magic is snap a picture of the page through the accompanying Crayola app. The program then uses color recognition so that the 3D creatures translated on-screen look exactly the same as what was created on paper. The books even come with a set of crayons that includes a special color which creates on-screen effects like fire, ice blasts or pixie dust.
Taking that idea further, Disney Research has developed a way to not only allow kids to bring their drawings to life after they color, but also while they’re coloring. A new and improved version of the app uses a tablet or mobile device’s camera to see what the 3D version of the drawing looks like as the process is happening.
The technology is still in its development phase, so you’ll have to stick with the Crayola Color Alive! books to get your 3D fix for now, but when this does eventually launch it could be a great way to get kids excited about the activity in a way that’s relevant to the type of computer and app-based games they love. That being said, we’re also hoping this doesn’t just end with children’s designs. We’re daydreaming about a version of one of Johanna Basford’s coloring books getting a 3D treatment, and it’s already making us feel like we’ve slipped into another dimension.
Would you be into a 3D coloring book? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
(Photos via Crayola Research)
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