Gift Guide Alert! 20% Off Last Minute Gifts for the Creatives in Your Life
One of the absolute best parts of the holidays is the gift-giving part. And unless your friend is a Harry Potter fanatic (in which case it’s super easy to shop for them) or the ultimate foodie (also easy to shop for), it may be kind of hard to figure out what to get for them, especially this late in the game (Christmas is in three days, folks). Have no fear, because the gift of learning is a perfect gift for anyone. Even if your friends don’t think they’re particularly creative or crafty, these classes are great because a) they’ll learn how to tap into their creativity and b) there’s no need to worry about shipping because they’re online.
Psst! Today only (12/22), ALL online classes are 20% off. Use code HOLIDAYGIFT at checkout!
1. Bounce Lettering Basics Online Class: Brittany Luiz will teach your bud how to use Tombow dual brush pens to draw both script and block-letter alphabets, use the right strokes and amount of pressure to create whimsical, bouncing words and phrases and use blending techniques to make sure your designs wow. Your friend will come away with their own hand-lettered cards — you might even get one as a thank you for giving such an awesome gift! ;)
2. Photo Styling Online Class: Meredith Staggers of Cake & Confetti will show your friend how to set up photos like the awesome ones they see on their Instagram feed. Your pal will learn how to use different filters and settings from different apps, and give their on-brand photography a boost. This class will help them segue into collaboration with other brands by taking awesome Insta shots, if that’s what they would like to do.
3. Intro to Ink Illustration Online Class: Lauren Hom of Hom Sweet Hom will teach your bud how to turn everyday objects into adorable ink illustrations using basic techniques and incorporate lettering into illustrations. They’ll also learn layout and planning best practices. No more boring finished pieces!
4. Photography for Bloggers Online Class: Lindsay Ostrom, photographer and culinary mind behind Pinch of Yum, is here to teach her students how to take photos that will complement their content. Students will learn how to use manual controls on a DSLR and the best ways to use lighting. Lindsay will also demonstrate styling — perfect for getting those detail shots for the how-tos you see on blogs. Tell your pal to prepare for a big-time reader boost.
It’s the age of creatives, and the holidays are the season for giving, so we want to help you in your gifting mission by giving you something too — how does a discount on all of our online classes sound? Good? Okay, here are the deets:
Use the promo code HOLIDAYGIFT when you check out for 20 percent off ALL online classes. Hurry though! The discount expires today (12/22) at 11:59pm PST.
Get gifting! And maybe snag a class for yourself too. After surviving 2016, you deserve it.
Tell your friends to share their projects with us on Instagram by tagging @BritandCo and using the hashtag #iamcreative!
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