15 Gifts for Pets That Aren’t Cats or Dogs
We all have friends who are cat or dog lovers. But, let’s not forget about the proud bird-, fish- and small critter-owners’ club. If you’re one of these lucky pet parents or know someone who is, get ready to take your pick from our list of the greatest pet gifts ever. Animal lovers, beware — there’s no turning back for your favorite feathered, gilled or furry friends once they get ahold of these. Here are 15 impossibly cute and functional gifts for your special pals.
1. Crunch-n-Munch Bird Toy ($4): Make sure your feathered friend stays entertained for days with the Crunch-n-Munch toy. Made from bird-safe mahogany pods and crunchy hardwood wheels strung onto double-knotted, veggie-tanned leather, this toy is sure to be your pet’s favorite.
2. Mini Cupcake Small Animal Toy ($4): This colorful treat is so cute and looks good enough to eat. But don’t be fooled — this treat is for small animals only. ;) Handmade from wood, wood beads, paper and vine, this toy is ideal for the teeny tiny, including hamsters, guinea pigs, bunny rabbits, rats and chinchillas.
3. Wesco Bird Kabob Carnival Swing Bird Toy ($8): All-natural and completely biodegradable, this bird swing delivers active fun and a yummy treat for your tweety bird.
4. Penn-Plax Aqua Plant Assortment ($14): These weighted artificial aquarium plants will brighten up any fish tank. They’ll also provide your finned friend with some privacy, whenever needed.
5. Super Pet Combo Crispy & Wood Hamburger Toy ($5): Small critters everywhere will love digging their tiny teeth into this yummy-looking toy. The chewable wood and crispy loofah combo will keep your pet’s teeth healthy and strong — not to mention they’ll love playing with it.
6. Pineapple House Spongebob Aquarium Ornament ($9): If you’re a Spongebob fan, you’re probably excited about this one. Not only will this ornament add some fun to your fish tank and give your pet an awesome hideaway, but you’ll also be able to say your pet fish lives in a pineapple under the sea.
7. Antler Headband ($5): Just when you thought your guinea pig couldn’t get any cuter. Slip on these festive antlers for the most adorable photo op EVER.
8. Ecotrition Snak Shak Edible Natural Hideaway Hut ($14): Because this fun hideaway is made from 100% edible alfalfa and honey, there’s no denying that small critters will enjoy this tasty snack.
9. Green Glow-in-the-Dark Geode Stone ($15): Here’s an ornament to complete your exotic-themed aquarium: This crystal-like formation will make your fish friends feel a little more at home, while lighting up at night with a cool green glow.
10. Fish Condo ($40): Give your beta a contemporary condominium that’ll make all their fish friends jealous. Asymmetrical windows let your fish look out or enjoy some me time in their modern aquatic home.
11. Kaytee Knot Nibbler ($5): Here’s a ball of fun for small animals: This wooden chew toy includes a gnawable surprise inside (a nut) that’ll keep your pet nibbling for hours. Made from vegetable-dyed wood, this one is great for those pets who love to chew.
12. Planet Pleasures Mini Brush ($3): Fight bird boredom with this colorful mini brush. It’s great as a shredder toy or just something from your bird to throw around.
13. Super Pet Rollin’ the Hay Toy ($7): Treat your small critter to some nutritional fun with this spinning hay holder that can either be hung from a wire frame or set on the cage floor to roll around.
14. Super Squid Sisal and Wood Chew Toy ($5): Hand-made using sisal, wood, food coloring and non-toxic hardware, this chewable toy comes in assorted colors for rodents to gnaw on. Bonus: It also cleans teeth.
15. Theophile Activity Center ($11): Keep your large pet bird occupied with this colorful toy made from thick wooden blocks that are safely dyed using vegetables. This quality-made ornament provides the mental and physical exercise your feathered friend needs.
Which play toy will you be surprising your pet with? Let us know how much they enjoy it!
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