Yep, Ellen DeGeneres’ House is as Amazing as You Think It’d Be
We know (and love!) Ellen DeGeneres as the talk show host who turned dancing into our national pastime and shenanigans with Taylor Swift into must-see TV, but it’s her latest project that really has us carving out a new chunk on our DVR. The comedian is currently at work on Ellen’s Design Challenge, a six-episode design show to air on HGTV in 2015 where competitors will have 24 hours to sketch, design and build furniture. It sounds a little like Project Runway meets Trading Spaces, and, yes, Ellen as a Tim Gunn-Paige Davis hybrid is everything we could have ever hoped for in TV/life.
Mmm, rustic country kitchen in Beverly Hills. We’ll take it! And those (likely, vegan) cookies on the counter while we’re at it. The cozy fire in the living area looks almost as hot as that hefty red coffee table book.
The bench at the foot of the bed + the vintage-looking tables on either side give us major design lust. Get more bedside ideas here!
What you can see = the three-acre compound with two guesthouses. What you can’t = an underground parking garage and a koi pond. And the $37.5 million pricetag as paid by the dude Ellen and wife Portia de Rossi sold it to: Ryan Seacrest.
Let’s visit the couple’s next project, a 26-acre ranch where Portia could get her ride on — the actress we know/love as Lindsay Bluth is apparently quite the equestrienne. All we can say is: that couch and those throw pillows?! Even their horses live in more stylish quarters than we do. What gives?
We dig a renovated barn space (no, really, check out these 20 barn conversion stunners). Ellen and Portia referred to this as the Art Barn and we wouldn’t mind taking on a project or two in here.
From Art Barn to Romantic Barn (and… I spy… Ping-Pong Barn, too?) Before Portia and Ellen got their ready-to-renovate hands on this property, it was “a shabby equestrian facility.”
Not so shabby anymore! Something wicker this way comes, amirite?
The view from this bought-from-Brad Pitt property is okay. Do you think they got that rug from Ikea? No?
From the beach back to Beverly Hills and this super chic residence in the Trousdale Estates ‘hood. A tree in the house! That’s a conversation piece that almost eclipses the sheep seating by François-Xavier Lalanne.
We like the mix of high design and vintage pieces like this Jean Royere fixture with mid-20th century solid wood chairs. If you’re not willing to go full-on dark walls but want to try the trend, a black bookcase adds some drama to your space in a completely non-fiction way.
Oh, another beautiful house? This Italian-style stone farmhouse, Saladino Villa is one of two Ellen is currently channeling her renovation energy into.
Ellen, you can invite us over for a potlock BBQ ANY time.
Does Basquiat count as wall art?
Ellen’s latest home is the Brody House, considered one of the top five in LA. Could use more succulents, but we are into it.
Did you OD on real estate porn just now? Find any inspiration from Ellen’s dwellings to use in su casa? What celeb’s home do you want to tour next? Go nuts below!
(Photos: The New York Times)
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