Why You Should Consider a Virtual Internship This Summer
Imagine: You’re sitting on your sunny deck with an iced tea in hand along with your trusty MacBook. Instead of browsing Pinterest for hours, you’re gaining valuable real-world experience through a virtual internship. How amazing is that?
1. You can create your own schedule. Flexibility is a huge perk of virtual internships. Most employers are willing to work with students and their schedules too. Especially if you need to balance your internship with a part-time job, remote internships offer the flexibility you need.
2. You don’t have to leave your house. Another great benefit of virtual internships is that you don’t have to relocate unless you want to. No commute. No in-person meetings. No office hours. And if you want, you can work at a coffee shop for the afternoon. Virtual internships give you the flexibility to work from any location you desire.
3. You’ll build valuable connections. While it’s very likely you’ll never meet your boss in real life, you will have the opportunity to build relationships with professionals in your field. These connections will play a huge role in your career and discovering future jobs.
4. You’ll save lots of moo-lah. Finding an internship can be super expensive, especially if it’s unpaid. If you’re tight on cash, a virtual internship is a great option, seeing as you don’t have to worry about the cost of commuting, finding temporary housing or buying new clothes for work.
5. You have more options. The opportunities are practically endless for remote internships. In fact, you could work for a company across the world if you really wanted to. Resources such as Muse Jobs, Levo League and InternMatch make it easy to find remote opportunities. As long as you do your research and only apply for positions at reputable organizations, you’ll be able to find a valuable virtual internship that fits your needs.
6. You’ll gain real experience. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you won’t gain valuable experience. In fact, a virtual internship can offer just as much (if not more) experience than a traditional internship. You can expect to be assigned real-world projects and have the opportunity to build an outstanding portfolio.
7. You’ll learn how to manage your time. When you work from home as an intern, your employer will expect you to be independent and responsible. The skills you gain from this remote position will transform you into a more confident professional and teach you how to be an accountable employee.
Have you ever had a virtual internship? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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