Outsource Your Love Notes With #Poemgrams
According to my scientific and historical calculations, Valentine’s Day is around 1744 years old. Time for some upgrades, Cupid! We’re freshening things up on the flower front with our 3D printed rose delivery and now PayPal of all places is helping us find the right words to share what’s in our hearts with the custom, on demand poem service: #poemgrams.
Visit the pop-up site and live chat with one of 12 poets who will compose some socially shareable prose from you, for your Valentine. A few of the poets are actually stationed today IRL in a park near Brit HQ, but it’s raining so I decided to try this out from the comfort of my ergonomic office chair and warm laptop.
I pressed the blue “chat with poet” button and waited less than 30 seconds before a little white box appeared in the right corner of my screen. Your personal Pablo Neruda (actually, mine was named Anayvelyse) introduces themselves and gets a little info about the subject of their art. I don’t have just one Valentine this year (cough, #imsingle, cough cough) so I told her we had some options: The guy I went on a (good) date with recently, a guy I’m hopelessly in love with (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or a guy who is a very good friend (also: gay).
She asked if the guy I’m hopelessly in love with knows it. I’m sure JGL has some idea that women he’s never met find him attractive, so I replied: “Well, I’ve never said it to him but he probably knows deep down inside.” Seemed fair. She felt most inspired by the newbie in my life, asked me if there was anything else I thought she should know (that response is for my and Anayvelyse’s eyes only,) said she’d have a poem to me soon and sent me a link to it when she was done. All in about five minutes! Talk about a whirlwind romance, even for a Tinder user. Kidding, what’s Tinder, I’ve never heard of it??
I was breathlessly describing this “super cool idea” to my desk nabe Kelly and she informed ME that it is pretty similar to the job that Joaquin Phoenix has in Her, a movie I clearly haven’t seen. I still think it’s a really interesting stunt that’s actually a pretty nifty form of public, social media art. I don’t know if I’ll share the poem with my potential Valentine, so I’ll share it with all of you instead. Not weird at all, right?
The poets are available to chat between 8am to 8pm PST, now until February 13. If you can’t find time to get to know your Emily Dickinson* (*who probably would have invented this/loved the Internet if she was alive now since she was a pretty serious recluse) live, fill out a form on the site any time before V-Day to get your poem delivered to your inbox. It sounds impersonal, but you’ll give them basically the same info that I gave Anayvelyse in our quick conversation.
The service is free but you also have the option to send a little love to your poets via PayPal. Good news because they sign off right after they link to your poem. PS: Thank you, Ana’!
What do you think of #Poemgrams? Would you try it for your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Do you think it’s romantic or weird?
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