Head Turners: 20 Sets of Ear Muffs You Need Right Now
It’s no secret that we’re fans of the beanie. But let’s be real: Hiding a good hair day is borderline criminal. We’ve got the solution for keeping those sound satellites warm while showcasing your kickass coif. Hat’s off to the ear muff!
1. Leia Ear Muff ($55): As much as you’d love to style your hair in Star Wars fashion on a daily basis, sometimes you just can’t commit to a bun duet all day. For you, removable Princess inspiration that doubles as an aural cozy.
2. Free People Nico Ear Muff ($30): There is just way too much hippie hipsterness going on here. And we love every element of it.
3. Pom Poms ($31): The description states that these will make you “a star on the streets.” We tend to agree: Poms are the bomb.
4. Heart with Faux Fur ( $22): This is a goodie we found in the girls’ department, and we’re just going to go ahead and steal it from the younger set.
5. Powder Pink Wearable Art ($28): Holy hugely awesome girliness. We’re always down for oversized anything and everything.
6. Nordic-Inspired Knit ($30): Scandinavians know a thing or two when it comes to making a cozy winter design. Need proof? Ladies and gentleman, may we submit Exhibit A.
7. Woolrich Mad Plaid ($14): From a 23-year-old year old fashionista to an 81-year-old ice fisherman, these kickback classics translate into awesomeness no matter who’s wearing them.
8. Free People Wideband ($30): Simply, yes please.
9. Sleigh Bell Grey Snowflake ($30): Do you ear what we ear? When you put these little lovelies on, you hear the tinkling of sleigh bells. (We may or may not have just made that up.)
10. Softie At Heart ($20): You know what would really turn heads while you execute a perfect triple axel on the ice? These lavender warm fuzzies.
11. Mustard Merino Wool ($47): Can we all just agree that goldenrod is the official color of winter 2013/14?
12. Heart Warming ($25): You can hardly go wrong with hearts… although we would be curious what these would look like with a little glitter or sequin.
13. Orinoco Flower ($20): Wearing your favorite Norwegian sweater? Great. We’ve found the perfect accessory for them. And now so have you.
14. Classic Vintage Bow ($11): It doesn’t get more luxurious than this –– angora and lambswool adorned with black pearl beads. No wonder they’re all wrapped up in a bow.
15. Woodland Toadstool ($30): Calling all Mario Bros. fangirls, Alice In Wonderland junkies, and those of you who just like a good fungi when you see one –– these ‘shrooms need to be a part of your life.
16. Owl Knit ($27): Whoooo, whooo, who wants to wrap these headphones muffs around their noggins? We don’t know about you, but we’re owl over them. (We’ll stop now.)
17. Geek Chic ($62): Of course Kate Spade would come up with an adorable way to warm your ears while you listen to your tunes. Does she ever disappoint? No, no she does not.
18. Toscana Shearling ($118): Hand-cut and hand-sewn from the wool of a lamb that was once only found in Toscana –– have discerning taste? We’ve found your ear muffs.
19. Intarsia ($45): Baby, it’s cold outside. But Jack Frost will hardly be able to nip at you when you’re sporting these snowflake-motif beauts.
20. Plush Leo Leopard ($10): We are going on a frozen tundra safari. Care to wrap yourself in faux fur and join? BrrrRoar!
Let us know what head topper you prefer in the comments section below!
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