The Best 12 Books Coming Out This October
The weather is taking a turn (and threatening a full-blown hurricane if you’re on the East Coast), but there’s no shortage of books offering up the same dose of comfort as a warm blanket or bowl of hot soup. These juicy plotlines will have you happily holed up inside. From novels about 20-somethings trying to make it — boy drama and dead-end jobs be damned — to a new twist on a classic fairytale, there’s plenty to get lost in this fall.
1. Bliss by Shay Mitchell and Michaela Blaney ($18): Yep, you read that right. Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell is coming out with her own novel, and it’s as juicy as her hit show. Written with her best friend, vlogger Michaela Blaney, the book is about three girls in their early 20s trying to conquer Hollywood life while also dealing with terrible jobs, friend drama and guys. (out October 6)
2. Popular by Lauren Urasek ($9): As the most popular girl on OKCupid — literally — author Lauren Urasek has been on more than her fair share of bad dates. In her debut memoir, she dishes all the dirt about dating in New York City. Not only will you be recounting these tales to your friends, but you’ll also score some tips on how to spice up your own online dating profile. (out October 6)
3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell ($11): Eleanor and Park and Fangirl author Rainbow Rowell is back with a new YA novel. Part fantasy, part romance, it’s about Simon Snow (Fangirl readers will already know him) who is really just your typical teenage boy, except he has been “chosen” to fight a battle he seems ill-suited for. It will make you think about the roles others may have assigned you, and what it means to rebel against those expectations. (out October 6)
4. M Train by Patti Smith ($14): If you’ve ever wished you could hole up with Patti Smith in a little Greenwich Village cafe and listen to her ruminate about life, this is your chance. These essays are straight from her journal and take readers all around the world, from Mexico to Berlin. She shares her experiences, what inspires her and stories about some of the people she loves most. (out October 6)
5. Weird Girl and What’s His Name by Meagan Brothers ($13): This new LGBT YA novel is as gripping as it is heartfelt. It’s about Lula and her best guy friend, Rory, who’s gay. They’re as close as can be until Lula discovers a string of secrets that not only have her at odds with Rory, but also has her questioning her own sexual identity. (out October 13)
6. Copygirl by Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa ($11): Imagine a Mad Men-esque advertising agency, only run by women and set in present times. That’s pretty much the premise of Copygirl, a salacious novel best read with a cocktail by your side. It’s about a woman who wants to make it in the ad biz, but she’s tested to see just how far she’s willing to go to get there. (out October 6)
7. The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max White Stone ($15): It’s a little funny how one decision can literally change everything. Dahlia Moss is living in St. Louis and dead broke until she takes an interesting-sounding job. Suddenly, she’s in the middle of a murder case. This thriller will keep you guessing and giggling until the very end. (out October 20)
8. You Blew It! by Josh Gondelman and Joe Berkowitz ($11): Comedian Josh Gondelman offers up his commentary on everything from passive-aggressive roommate notes to texting faux pas in the same hilarious way that made his “Modern Seinfeld” Twitter account go viral. You’ll 100 percent be able to relate to this dissection of modern culture. (out October 6)
9. The Pleasure of Reading by Antonia Fraser ($14): In this anthology, over 40 celebrated writers put into words exactly what it is about reading that they love so much. With essays by Margaret Atwood, Tom Stoppard, Sue Townsend and many, many more, you’ll feel a kinship with these seriously talented writers. (out October 20)
10. See Me by Nicholas Sparks ($16): Blockbuster-author Nicholas Sparks is at it again, making us cry with his new novel, See Me. This love story brings together Maria, a second-generation Mexican who, despite the odds, graduates from Duke Law School and has a successful career as a lawyer. Maria falls for Colin, a guy with a rough past who isn’t exactly looking for a relationship. (out October 13)
11. Binge by Tyler Oakley ($13): YouTube sensation Tyler Oakley gets more honest than ever before in his memoir, Binge. The title doesn’t just refer from the act of binging all his thoughts; Oakley reveals his struggles with an eating disorder, something he has kept hidden for a long time. Luckily, he’s in a much better place now, but he hasn’t forgotten his past and he’s sharing his experiences as a way to help others. (out October 20)
12. After Alice by Gregory McGuire ($15): 150 years after Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland comes a new twist on the classic story. Gregory McGuire wrote Wicked, so you know this one’s going to be good. In After Alice, readers discover the world Alice left behind when she went tumbling down the rabbit hole. Hooked yet? (out October 27)
What’s on your October reading list? Tell us in the comments.
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