12 Stylish Essentials That Will Have You Rethinking the Winter Blues
We’re right in the heart of winter, and it’s already been a long, snow activity-filled season. But the surest way to stay positive is to appreciate all the good things that come along with the chilliest season, like fancy hot cocoa, fireplaces and DIY date nights at home. So instead of trying to beat the winter blues, join ’em with these 12 must-haves.
2. Seletti North America Ltd. Pantone Metal Storage Box ($22): You can add some blue to your life and get organized at the same time with this designer-approved box. This little guy makes for great desk decor — it’s ideal for holding a slew of writing utensils and stray papers.
3. Organization Essentials Utility Tin ($20): If you need something a little bigger than a tin to get your mess in order, this utility box is the answer to your prayers. Pack it full of all of your clutter and tuck it away in a corner — all the essentials will still be at hand, just hidden away in this pretty box instead of on display for your guests.
4. Ofina Druzy Prong Studs ($58): If you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel for your next excuse to buy more jewelry, matching your accessories with your winter sentiment will do just fine. And judging by how pretty these studs are, you’ll be wearing them well past winter.
5. Fluffy Co. Easy Tiger T-Shirt ($30): Everyone gets a little edgy when winter weather hangs out for a little too long (aka right about now). This tee will remind everyone, including yourself, to calm down and enjoy the season before the humid summer has you wishing for snow.
6. Isobell Designs Paso Necklace ($46): If you want to go the blue jewelry route but earrings aren’t really your thing, then this necklace is for you. It’s simple yet stunning, and will be a classy addition to any ensemble.
7. Boom Movement Swimmer Waterproof Speaker ($60): When winter really gets us down, sometimes the only thing we can do is plan for summer. If you’re already thinking about your next pool party, this waterproof speaker is a must-have addition to your early 2016 months.
8. Brit + Co Laser Cut Statement Necklace Kit ($25): Forget simply buying jewelry — make it yourself with this statement necklace kit. If you kind feel like you need a break from the blues, there’s also a lavender version available.
9. Printed Village Turquoise Happi Hat ($18): This hat is stylish, super warm and just the right color nod to winter. We love the warmer, more ocean-y direction the blue tones take. There isn’t a soul on earth that could do without a little Caribbean-inspired hue in their winter wardrobe.
10. Found by B+C California Blue Wig ($21): If you’ve got a night out with the girls on the docket, make it a night to remember by painting the town red (or in this case, blue) with all the fun you’ll have sporting sassy wigs for absolutely no reason at all.
11. Bracket Birthday Headbands ($22): Hosting a friend’s winter birthday party or want to surprise your gal pal during birthday drinks? This pack of ten birthday headbands will take the festivities up a notch by putting the spotlight on the birthday girl.
12. Avril Loreti Bubbles Art Print ($20): Add some blue to your wall art game without bringing down the mood with this balanced print. The playful bubble shapes are wonderfully whimsical.
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