Style Resolutions: How to Not Be Afraid of Bold Spring Patterns
It’s not officially spring until you bust out your favorite floral print or soft paisley pattern. But this season, those familiar motifs are getting graphic, larger-than-life makeovers that ultimately elevate the clothes they’re on from awesome outfit accents to full-on fashion statements. That means spring 2015 is officially your time to peacock like a style blogger. We’ve made a resolution to get the most out of our wardrobes in 2015, so below we’re showing you three ways to make a bold spring pattern ($60) feel fully wearable, whether it’s taken over a top, dress or pair of pants, like we picked here. Scroll through to see how we’d wear the eye-catching piece to the office, on a night out and on a lazy weekend.
To make sure you don’t blind you cube mate from pattern overload, outfit yourself with hearty staples that can stand their ground alongside your hyper-printed piece. Textural materials like leather and canvas work great here, especially when they can break up the pattern with pops of unexpected color like this powder blue top and (gasp!) copper mules do. A drapey duster will add extra weight to your look, too (and that’s in the best way possible). Round out the look with industrial-feeling accessories like gold bar jewelry and a grown-up version of your grade school lunch sac for those days you can leave your laptop at the office.
Topshop Floral Silhouette Woven Jogger ($60) + COS Leather Front Top ($275), Zara Oversized Cotton Trenchcoat ($170), Rachel Comey Mars Mule in Bronze ($391), Tiro Tiro Ididis Necklace ($195), UNA Gold Bar Earrings ($48), Peg and Awl Marlow Lunch Bag ($44)
When you’re looking to stand out from the pack at the cocktail bar, just one standout piece isn’t enough. Volume is another big spring trend (literally): in the form of a mega ruffled shirt (or flared-to-the-max skater skirt), and it’s a perfect OMG PIC to your pattern’s pop. Cover up smartly and stylishly with a cape coat (just try to stick those ruffled sleeves into your date-night moto jacket), then streamline your look with sleek, wear-again accessories like simple strappy heels, gold geometric jewelry and a metallic clutch.
Topshop Floral Silhouette Woven Jogger ($60) + JOA Ruffled Trapeze Top ($59), ASOS Heads or Tails Heeled Sandals ($65), Topshop Super-Soft Cape ($52), Pamela Love Lunar Cross Ring ($175), Sarah Loertscher Gold Parallel Earrings ($179), Molly M #10 Leather Pouch ($64)
Let the pattern do the talking on your day off, when that extra spiffiness can help turn a grocery run into a mid-day adventure. Keep your color palette simple, even non-existent with white-on-white making a statement of its own. Slip on slide sandals and a mini backpack to stay on trend, then finish your look with polished everyday accents like a gold beaded friendship bracelet and shapley stud earrings.
Topshop Floral Silhouette Woven Jogger ($60) + Mango Shirt Collar Top ($70), Mango Long Cardigan ($80), Jeffrey Campbell Olbia Leather Sandal ($100), Sara Cramer Friendship Beaded Bracelet ($25), Upper Metal Class Mini Wave Earrings ($55), Ecote Textured Mini Backpack ($59)
What pieces in your closet deserve more attention, but stump your style game? Tell us about your trickiest wear-again garments in the comments below and we might feature them in our next Style Resolutions post!
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