Is Your State the Happiest? This Report Might Surprise You
How’s your day going so far? Follow-up question — are you going to tell your friends all about it online? Because a lot of us do, whether that’s venting our frustrations or celebrating our wins. You know, things like, “The cute barista remembered my name… it’s gonna be a good day!” and “Ughhhh someone stole my lunch from the fridge! Could this day get any worse?! #fml.” No social media platform is better suited for this emotional outlet than Twitter, so Brandwatch took a look at tweets from all around the country and the world and published their findings in The Twitter Happiness Report: A Study on Positive and Negative Emotions Expressed on Twitter. They’re revealing which states are walking on sunshine, and which ones are just Negative Nancys.
Happiest States vs. States Having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Go west, young man (or lady), or south, because that’s where all the shiny, happy people seem to live. Georgia, Colorado and South Carolina have the highest Good-Days-to-Bad-Days tweet ratios, while Delaware, West Virginia and Iowa have the lowest. But that’s not a blanket statement about any of those states, because users who live in urban areas tend to Tweet much happier thoughts than those in rural areas. Some of the jolliest cities are Denver, L.A. and Nashville, while some of the saddest include Louisville, Fort Worth and Boston.
Battle of the Sexes: Happiness Edition
Just like in offline life, it breaks down to a “seeing the forest for the trees” type of mindset where men and women are concerned. When it comes to tweeting about day-to-day activities, guys are more likely to be positive than girls are. But ladies tweet a lot more about life in general (as in, “Loving life right now!” or “I hate my life”) than they tweet about day-to-day stuff. It all works out in the end, because ultimately men and women are on the same page when it comes to how we feel about life in general.
Everybody’s Working for the Weekend
No surprises here! The cycle of the traditional work week is a glass case of emotion. Tweeters are WAY happier with their days on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and pretty much everyone gets a case of the Mondays. We all must be using our days of rest properly as well, because we tend to be much more reflective about life over the weekend.
What Matters Most in Life
Not to blow your mind or anything, but what is life? It’s a question for the ages, and on Twitter, it seems to boil down to friends + family, money and work. Money is a pretty big day-maker (pay day, woop woop!), and work is what’s negatively affecting most tweeters’ general happiness in life. But the biggest source of both daily and long-term well-being is friends + family.
5 Tips for Boosting Your Mood
We assume you’ve had a look at your own Twitter feed to see how you measure up to these statistics, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve realized that there’s always room for improvement in the positivity department. Here are some ways to start looking on the bright side.
1. Wake up on the Right Side of the Bed: Get in the habit and become a morning person.
2. Travel to the Happiest Countries in the World: It’s a surefire way to make a big perspective change.
3. Get Your Yoga on: Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. Now, do you really need to tweet about your boss being a jerk?
4. Learn the Science behind a Happy Relationship: There are no surprises here — happy wife, happy life.
5. Hit the Books: Learn something new about yourself every day with an online course on happiness.
Do you think you’re more positive/negative on social media than you are IRL? Share your feelings 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