Gettin’ hitched this year? Or shopping for a couple of friends who are getting married in the near future? Well, we’ve teamed up with Target Wedding Registry to whip up a list just for you. When it comes to wedding gifts and registries, we’re all about a mix of old school and new school. We’ve all got those odds and ends still kicking around from our very first apartment (We’re looking at you, non-stick pan that is barely non-stick anymore), and your wedding registry is a great time for an update.
Here are 20 must-have registry items for 2015 weddings.
1. Calphalon 5-Quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($100): Every home needs a dutch oven — mostly because you can use it to make pretty much anything. I’ve personally used mine to make chili, a veggie pot pie, mac and cheese and even bread.
2. Threshold Acacia 8-Bottle Wine Rack ($35): If you’re hosting lots of dinner parties, you’ve gotta keep wine of all varieties on hand. This handsome wine rack will look good in any nook.
3. Coleman Multi-Purpose LED Lantern ($40): Though we’re all about star-gazing when on an outdoor adventure, use this lantern to set up your campsite if you get there after dark, and to light the way as you cook up a fireside feast. This lantern runs for 83 hours on its highest setting, meaning you’ve got a lot of light from just one set of batteries.
5. Crosley Cruiser Turntable ($80): Your parents have finally agreed to bestow their LP collection from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s to you, but their turntable doesn’t quite pump the jams like it used to. Register for this vintage-inspired portable turntable to give those LPs the love and attention they deserve.
6. STŌK Gridiron Portable Gas Grill ($128): The ideal grill for on-the-go bbqs, this is a great option for camping, tailgating or picnicking in the park. The grill is collapsible, so fits easily into any car.
7. Ninja Professional Blender with Ninja Cups ($140): This powerhouse is about to make all your smoothie (and milkshake) dreams come true.
8. Coupe 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, White ($60): You can’t go wrong with a solid set of white dinnerware. Personalize it by mixing and matching with vintage pieces, colorful accents and patterned placemats.
9. 10-Piece Black Nonstick Cookware Set ($150): Remember what we said about that old non-stick pan that is barely non-stick anymore? Time to level up.
10. Waterproof Camera ($350): Forget the disposable drug store underwater cameras — this fully equipped pocket-size camera goes underwater, and does everything the best point-and-shoot camera can do. It captures video, connects over WiFi and takes gorgeous vibrant photos. I personally have this camera and have used it in hail, pouring rain and snorkeling in the ocean — it’s a great camera for folks who like things on the wild side ;)
11. Acacia Wood Cake Stand ($30): A beautiful cake stand can elevate the look of an entire meal by simply…elevating it. Use it for cake or for a fancy cheese plate, savory tart or a bunch of mini desserts.
12. Enamel Cast Iron Grill Pan and Press ($100): This grill press is great for the kitchen, the grill and for a camping trip. It’s super durable and looks pretty darn good too.
13. Beats by Dre Headphones ($170): Couples who rock out together most definitely stay together, even if their tunes of choice differ. We love the idea of registering for two pairs of these luxe headphones — they are definitely a splurge! Plus, just look at all those color options… ;)
14. Herringbone Bath Towels ($10 and up): Another area in need of an upgrade in many of our apartments is the bathroom. Towels are a solid place to start — though they can seem like a boring and overly traditional registry option, a matching set of fluffy towels can help you start your day off right.
15. Acacia Fan Shape Wood Board ($30): Wood serving boards are one of those things you can’t have too many of. They instantly give your dining table or kitchen table a warm, rustic vibe and can be used to serve pretty much anything that doesn’t involve a sauce. Pizza? Oh yes. Cheese and fruit? Done and done. And pretty much any appetizer you like — wood boards make a great alternative to the traditional serving tray.
16. Baking Stone Pizza Making Set ($29): Pizza parties are STILL the best thing ever, and making your own pizza takes that concept to a whole new totally grown-up level. Invite friends over for a pizza potluck and ask them to bring their favorite toppings and maybe even cocktail, beer or wine pairings.
18. King Size Sweater Blanket ($40): Want to wrap your entire bed in a cozy knit sweater? Duh, who doesn’t, especially in the winter…
19. Brother International Sewing Machine ($150): If you love making things or want to learn to sew, this sewing machine is here to help you. It’s a favorite here at Brit HQ thanks to all the amazing stitches digitally programmed right into it. To take your thank-you notes to the next level, you could even stitch something for the wedding guest that gifts you this great sewing machine.
20. Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Tracker ($130): Finally, we recommend registering for a pair of Fitbit activity trackers. It’s fun to keep track of sleep, exercise and more together, and this one boasts a simple LED screen that shows you the time, your steps and more.
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