Learn a New Language by Chatting With a Bot + 4 More Rad Apps!
CHEERS TO YOU! YOU MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER WEEK! As the weeks get colder, it seems like they also get longer. So now’s your time to celebrate. There are always lots of different ways to spend your two days off. For the tech-ier among you, we’ve got (as always) your list of the five best apps you should DL to your phone right now. Spend your weekend learning a new language, trying on some virtual makeup or directing an art film. You’ve got until Monday to play with these new apps.
1. Duolingo: Duolingo just released a new update that will make learning a language easier than ever before. Yes, learning vocab and grammar is important, but most of us want to know how to actually speak a language. The app’s new AI bots simulate conversation so it’s almost like you’re talking to a real person.
2. Looks: Imagine if there were Snapchat filters to try out makeup, and you kind of have an idea as to how this new app works. Focus on your face, select which products you’d like to “try out” and see how they look in real time.
3. Charmer: See what your friends really think of you in just three words. This new app lets you select three words to describe all your friends. As each friend selects words about you, your “word map” profile will grow. It’s almost like a personality quiz, but curated for you by your pals.
4. Dramatic Ellipsis: We love hyper-dramatic texts. This new iMessage add-on will bring all of your mundane texts to comic book action in a second. Now you can slide into an inbox with a KA-POW!
5. Prisma: You’ve definitely seen some Prisma “artsy” profile pictures popping up on Facebook recently, right? Well, the app just issued a new update that will let you add the cool effects to any video you shoot. So now you can turn your home movies into a work of art.
Which was your favorite app this week? Let us know @BritandCo!
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