Hot or Not? 15 Accessories for Your iPad
The utility of the iPad is always up for debate. Is it a reading tool? Is it a gadget for watching movies on long cross-contintental flights? Is it a virtual photo album? An awesome touchscreen gaming tool? Or is it just pretty to look at?
Here at Brit + Co, we think the iPad is all of these things… and more. What we’re not sure about is all of the accessories that keep popping up, purporting to make the iPad more awesome. Here are 15 such items up for discussion – let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
1. iPad Easel (in production): First up, the iPad Easel. This art-inspired stand comes complete with conductive art supplies making it fun and easy for kids to play around with, and the back is a dry-erase board for more analog creations.
4. Tripod & Windshield Mount Kit ($25): This handy kit includes a mount kit so that you can attach your iPad to your windshield or to a standard tripod. The windshield option seems extremely dangerous – the iPad is not a small device. The tripod part of this is cool, but you still need to be a tripod to attach it to.
5. Pix & Stix ($25): Ok this one is pretty awesome. This set of musical iPad awesomeness includes two conductive drumsticks and a conductive guitar pick, letting you turn your iPad into a drum set or guitar. It’s definitely on the extremely nerdy end of the spectrum, but we dig it.
6. iPad Bed & Lap Stand ($30): This funny little bean bag cozies right up to your iPad to keep it standing up when you want to watch a movie on your bed or couch. We love that the bag part of it doubles as a storage area for headphones, power cords, and what not.
8. SynthStation Keyboard Controller ($269): For the musically inclined, this keyboard comes complete with an iPad dock allowing you to use your iPad to read music, record music, and even video tape yourself rocking out on the keys.
9. iPad iBed ($13): At first glance, we were into this lap desk. On second look, we have a hard time believing that it would actually keep your iPad upright unless you have heavy things on the desk part. Perhaps that is why this is not currently available on Amazon or even the manufacturer’s website?
10. Torino Grey Side Table ($199): We’re not calling this an essential, but we do love the fact that you can keep things charging seamlessly inside the table. Maybe a hack on existing side tables is in order?
12. iConvert Scanner ($100): If you scan documents all the live long day, this is actually a pretty awesome device. It fits easily on any desk and makes scanning a much more seamless process than trying to wirelessly connect to a printer/scanner at the other end of your office.
14. iPad Table ($1,700): This. Is. Bonkers! $1,700 for a table designed exclusively for your iPad? While we think it’s a cool idea, it is definitely not hot enough to drop that kind of cash. Sorry iPad table!
15. iPotty ($40): And last, an oldie but a goodie. The iPotty! What more is there to say but please pass the TP?
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