Compare Your Work Week With the Top 10 Hardest Working Cities
By the time Friday rolls around, we all feel like we’ve had the longest workweek (+ commute) of our lives. After cramming work, kids, girls’ night and more between early morning meetings and late evening brainstorm sessions, it sort of feels like we’re running on E by the time the weekend rolls around, only for us to recharge on Saturday and Sunday in order to start the roller coaster all over. For those wanting to brag, new research has unveiled the hardest working cities in the US. But the criteria for that honor may leave the victors far from actually coveting that W.
A recent study released by the Office of the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer identified New York City as the hardest working metro in the US. Before you throw a parade for The Big Apple, you’ll want to check the deciding factors, as this research doc may need a new title: The City With the Longest Work Week. That’s because the rankings of 30 of the largest cities were determined by combining the average hours spent at work with the average time spent commuting to + from the office. Oh, those inescapable commutes.
According to the report, New York workers spend an average of 42.5 hours on the job, which is actually on par with the median office hours in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Dallas and more. However, New Yorkers took the cake for average time spent commuting every week — that would be six-plus hours — which is ultimately what catapulted the city to number one. Six hours — that’s literally longer than the entire first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
With other cities’ averages ranging from 41 to 43 hours a week, San Francisco’s workforce topped the chart when it came to time spent at the office with 44 hours. So while we may be a little biased, we think SF people work pretty freakin’ hard ;)
Commuting averages varied from three hours (Charlotte, Austin, San Antonio and more) to five hours (Chicago and Philadelphia) — with the supreme commuting city, New York, holding strong at six. But for those thinking a shorter commute would equate to more time spent at the desk, that assumption would be wrong. The study found “a positive correlation between the average number of work hours and the average number of commuting hours across cities. The more time one spends at work, the more time they are likely to spend commuting and vice versa.” So think of it this way: Commute less, work less (but with the same results). Find out if your city made the “hardest” working city list below.
Top 10 Hardest Working Cities
1. New York, NY
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Houston, TX
5. Fort Worth, TX
6. Chicago, IL
7. Boston, MA
8. Charlotte, NC
9. Baltimore, MD
10. Seattle, WA
Check out the full report here.
What city do you work in and how long is your workweek? Let us know in the comments.
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