From Cider to Succulents: 12 DIY Gift Ideas for the Hostess
Sick and tired of giving the same gift over and over? Or even worse, walking into a party and realizing the host already has a few of your gift to spare? Don’t fret and go the DIY way! These super easy and unique ideas will keep you busy for a bit and will undoubtedly impress even the toughest of critics. Get ready to paint, scrub, nosh and boil!
1. Peppermint Sea Salt Scrub: Everyone will be in serious need of R&R post holiday season, and this is the perfect token to indulge in during a night in or a day at the spa. These scrubs are easy to make and if you need more of a variety, get even more ideas here. (via The Happy House)
2. Neon Terracotta Succulents: As easy as just painting the pot, letting it dry and you are ready for the party. Wanna give it more sparkle? Just go with metallic or jewel tones. (via Preparatory School)
3. Boiled Apple Sider Syrup: Planning this project is a little time consuming, but the results are well worth it. Be sure spend a few hours in the kitchen, but the packaging and sweet flavors will be remembered for some time. (via Reading My Tea Leaves)
4. Ginger Curried Candied Almonds: This gift consists of an incredible trifecta — sweet, spicy and salty. It will most likely be a hit on any party spread, and the only challenge might be not snacking on them while they are still warm. (via Saveur)
5. Infused Honey: Time for something sweet! Break away from jams and butters and give this lovely and easy to make honey jar. Wanna get even craftier? Paint the jars a different color and add a hand-written note. (via Austin Culture Map)
6. BBQ Rub & Sauce: The perfect gift for the grill afficionado, as they are delicious and will add a kick to any dish. Make sure to experiment and even add new seasonings, as it may guarantee an invite to many upcoming dinner parties in the new year. (via Guest of a Guest)
7. Mason Jar Candles and Holiday Lids: This gift is all about the packaging. There are plenty of fun ways to make candles, but the lid is really what steals the show. The animals are spray painted, adding a chic statement that will most likely be reused. (via Mariejanelle)
8. Homemade Seasonings: Mix and match your favorite spices and pack them up inside a cute little container. There are so many combos out there, chances are you won’t even repeat. This DIY requires little tools and can even take as little as just a few minutes.(via Luci’s Morsels)
9. Rosemary Syrup: This little potion will spiff up any holiday aperitif and they are super easy to make. I mean, ’tis the season to eat, drink and be merry after all! Don’t forget to pair it up with your favorite bottle of wine or spirit. (via Julip Made)
10. Homemade Potpourri: Combine fruits and fragrances for the perfect mix. This is such a fun project for a cold afternoon and you can use all your creativity on dressing it up and making it pretty. (via Coordinately Yours)
12. Pretzels with Brown Sugar & Dijon Mustard: Show up to your next soiree with a full-on package of festive treats. These pretzels and mustard are perfect to munch on when dishing about the holiday highlights. (via Wayfair)
So there you go! All of this projects are fun, easy and more importantly they will be cherished by party throwers. What are some of your favorite DIY gifts? We’d love to see some of your ideas, so be sure to share some photos.
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