The thought of fall evokes images of leaves falling from trees, fires in fireplaces, scarves and hot steaming beverages. Those things aside, the number one item that comes to mind is pumpkin. Like, everything pumpkin. From pumpkin patches bursting with gourds to the more obvious pumpkin pie to the drink people crave throughout the year: the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
We are obsessed with all things pumpkin, and rightfully so. This delicious (and good-looking) squash has so much to give. And it’s just that much more special because we only get to indulge for a few months each year. That said, in partnership with Starbucks, we’ve got six reasons why we’re smitten with that lovable orange gourd.
1. The Pumpkin Spice Latte: We think about the PSL all year long, waiting patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for it to show up on the Starbucks menu. Made with Starbucks espresso, real pumpkin, seasonal spices and steamed milk, this drink is the beacon of fall. It combines our favorite drink (coffee) with that classically fall pumpkin essence. It’s the perfect meeting of flavors and is oh-so addictive.
At Brit HQ you can see PSLs littering desks all over the office. Lucky for us, there is a Starbucks on our street corner, so we can easily get refills of our favorite drink.
Halloween:costume tag, you know that we have a thing for Halloween. Clearly our favorite holiday — we just can’t get enough. The sky’s the limit with costumes, decor and recipes. And of course, it’s a celebration of pumpkins. Whether you’re into carving, painting or decorating pumpkins, they are essential for the Halloween spirit.
3. Pumpkin Pie: We are chomping at the bit for a bite of one of the most iconic fall desserts: pumpkin pie. This crowd-pleaser fits perfectly with any fall meal and is sure to bring back fond memories of time spent in the kitchen.
Why are we obsessed? Need we explain? Just take a peek at our Ultimate Pumpkin Pie recipe and all your questions will be answered.
4. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: While the outside of the pumpkin is beautiful to look at and the meat of the pumpkin is delicious to eat, pumpkins don’t seem to stop giving. The seeds are a treat in themselves. Roasted and salted, they are a great snack on their own and a delicious topping on salad, soup or curry.
5. Pumpkin Centerpieces: Okay, we’ve talked about how good pumpkins taste, so let’s get into how amazing they look. We’re pretty sure that autumn leaves and pumpkins are the reason we see the color orange so often in fall palettes.
Be sure to pick up a few pumpkins to eat and a few for fall decor. Our recommendation: pumpkin centerpieces. Place them on your table in odd numbers (1, 3, 5) and surround them with other fall essentials like leaves, candy corn or even spiders :)
6. No-Carve Pumpkins: Pumpkin carving is a fun activity, but jack-o-lanterns only last for so long. To keep your pumpkins on display for the entire season, we suggest painting them and studding them. For a creative activity, get your pals together and see what cool designs you can come up with. All you need are some pumpkins, studs, acrylic paint, brushes and some painter’s tape to make straight lines.
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