This Creative Taylor Swift Mashup Is the Only Thing Your Morning Needs
Can you feel it?! We’re soooooo close to October! And that means one thing — it’s officially Halloween season! When you’re not busy thinking about your costume(s) every morning and afternoon during your commute, you should be passing the time with a handful of entertaining outlets. There’s only so much twiddling of your thumbs you can endure ;)
This week’s commute must-watch is the latest mashup video from YouTube sensation (and MTV star) Todrick Hall. After slaying us with his Beyoncé medley and giving us all the nostalgia feels with his Disney x ’90s R&B music vid (and countless other visuals on his YouTube channel), he’s back with another mega mix using another pop star’s music catalog. This time it’s Taylor Swift, and the multi-talented singer (who was our social media correspondent at Re:Make 2015) totally nails waaaaay more than a handful of Swift’s iconic tunes. The “Bad Blood” singer loved it so much, she shared her own enthusiasm for the tribute on Twitter and added Todrick to her ever-expanding squad. Fingers crossed next up in Todrick’s mashup lineup are Rihanna, Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj.
Bonus Commute Essentials
- Sad Animal Facts: This playfully illustrated Instagram feed is full of sometimes-sad, always-interesting tidbits on all kinds of animals (domesticated and wild). You’re gonna be hooked.
- Switched on Pop: Pop music lovers will be obsessed with this podcast that dives deep into the making and meaning of today’s Top 40 tunes.
- Get Peanutized: Gear up for the upcoming Peanuts movie by turning yourself, your friends, your family and whoever else into a Charles M. Schulz character. Funny, entertaining and time-consuming, exactly what your commute requires.
- Hatch (Free on iOS): This app is the modern-day time capsule. Upload photo and video messages for yourself and others in your life to open in the future. Set a date and time you want the messages to be unlocked, then when the time comes enjoy your thoughts and theories on where you thought everyone would be years from now.
Let us know if you’ve got other commute essentials for the week 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