Meet Some of the SOTU Attendees Affected by Immigration Reform
While some members of Congress have decided to wear black to tonight’s State of the Union address, and others are skipping it entirely, a number of Democrat attendees have extended an invitation to everyday Americans — including some who hope to become citizens — who are being affected by the GOP’s planned immigration reform, which may see hundreds of thousands of people deported over the next 18 months.
The attendance of these people at Trump’s inaugural SOTU will help shine a light on the humanity of immigrants, and why they should be protected. Here are some of tonight’s SOTU guests:
With #DACA I was able to intern in a Congressional office, study abroad in Spain and Morocco and graduate from one of the top institutions in the nation, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with my BA. The time is now for a permanent solution for undocumented youth. pic.twitter.com/WEx8LoedYV
— Denea Joseph (@DeneaRandeen) January 21, 2018
California Senator Kamala Harris has invited DACA recipient Denea Joseph, who arrived in the US from Belize as a child. Since receiving DACA, Joseph has truly embodied the American Dream: She graduated from UCLA, interned with a congressperson, and has fought for undocumented Black immigrants in the US since she was a student.
In a statement announcing her guest, Senator Harris said of Joseph, “Dreamers like Denea represent the best of who we are as a nation. Her commitment to the representation and empowerment of Black immigrant communities is inspiring. We must continue to fight to give her and the hundreds of thousands of other young people like her who are living in fear, the security they need to live up to their full potential.”
Honored that Jean Bradley Derenoncourt will be my #SOTU guest. He immigrated to Brockton from Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, became a citizen & the first Haitian-American man elected in MA. He embodies American values of hard work, service, & persistence.https://t.co/DZC9lWdL8p
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 29, 2018
Senator Elizabeth Warren has tapped a guest whose attendance packs multiple punches: Jean Bradley Derenoncourt, a Haitian-American immigrant, and the first Haitian to be elected to city council in Warren’s home state of Massachusetts.
Derenoncourt arrived in the US after the devastating 2010 earthquake that plunged his home country into infrastructural chaos, from which it never fully recovered. Many Haitians fled to the US both in 2010 and again in 2016 after Hurricane Matthew wreaked further havoc on the island nation. Last summer, the president announced plans to remove TPS protections for Haitians who had been living legally in the US since the 2010 disaster, which prompted thousands to flee on foot to Canada.
Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell has opted to bring Cindy Garcia as her guest to the SOTU. Just a few weeks ago, Garcia’s husband, Jorge Garcia was arrested and deported to Mexico after arriving as a child and living in the US for 30 years, leaving behind his wife and children.
Garcia had tried to resolve his immigration status as early as 2005, but immigration officials mixed up his paperwork and delayed the process. Though Garcia had technically been living without legal immigration status, the landscaper had avoided deportation until this year due to immigration officials’ own role in bungling the process. On January 15, Garcia was sent to Mexico by a new immigration officer, who said that the president’s newly handed-down rules made Garcia’s original order of deportation a top priority.
Senator Nancy Pelosi will also be bringing a guest affected by immigration reform. Melody Klingenfuss is a DACA recipient and activist who originally came to the US from Guatemala on a tourist visa at the age of nine. Though she outstayed her visa, she was able to qualify for DACA protections and eventually received a master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, meanwhile, has invited mechanical engineer and DACA recipient Elizabeth Vilches. Vilches created latinoTECH, a conference for Latinx members of the tech world, and in 2016, squared off with Rick Santorum, who said that undocumented immigrants should go back to their countries of origin and return “the right way.”
“I stand to lose all the work that I’ve done if the new administration decides to end DACA,” Vichis told the former Senator.“My career will come to an end if that program ends and I will also potentially be labeled for deportation, which means I am going to be removed from the communities that I’ve contributed to so much.”
The Dems will be bringing over 30 guests whose personal stories are intertwined with American immigration, including State Senator Kwame Raoul, a first-generation Haitian-American, and a huge amount of DACA recipients.
Democrats will also be arriving with guests affected by #MeToo, and those who have served in the military, including Staff Sgt. Patricia King, a trans service person who will attend with Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who is set to give the opposition’s rebuttal to the SOTU shortly after the president concludes his remarks.
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(Photo via Win McNamee/Getty)
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