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Before Hiring Family Members What to Know on Your Small Business



It is common for entrepreneurs, especially micro-entrepreneurs, to employ relatives. After all, you already know these “recruitment candidates” as people and know their capabilities. But before you bring your spouse or children to work, there are tax considerations to consider. Let’s see.

Before Hiring Family Members What to Know on Your Small Business

Hire your Wife

The IRS says that a spouse is considered an employee if one spouse exercises “substantial” control over the company (such as being responsible for making management decisions, entering into contracts, etc.) and the second spouse follows the instructions of the first spouse and complies. In such circumstances, the working spouse typically receives payroll tax (income tax, social security, and health insurance contributions) from the company.

In this regard, they are treated like any other employee, except that the company does not have to pay FUTA tax (unemployment tax) on the spouse. However, FUTA taxes must be paid to the spouse’s IRS if the business is a corporation.

If the spouses manage the company jointly and have a say in the management of the company, then the spouses can be considered shareholders. As partners, neither is on the payroll and can file a partnership income tax return on US Form 1065. Reimbursement of association income.

Business news today, while a registered business jointly owned and operated by spouses is generally considered a partnership by the IRS, a “qualified joint venture” option exists for small couple-owned businesses. Ensuring shared income. IRS qualification requirements for joint venture election:

  • The spouses must be the sole owners of the joint venture.
  • Both spouses are engaged in commercial or business activities.
  • The company cannot be incorporated as a legal entity such as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.
  • Both spouses choose not to treat them as cohabitants.

Married business owners with no other partners can choose not to be treated as cohabitants, avoiding filing cohabitation returns while both spouses count on Social Security and Medicare.

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Do you have to pay a salary to your working husband?

Going back to the scenario where one spouse runs the business and the other spouse is employed as an employee, in this case, the business is a sole proprietorship. In most states, a sole proprietor who employs his wife is not required to provide compensation in the form of wages or salaries. Instead, they can pay with tax-free employee benefits (such as health insurance, sick leave, and retirement benefits) and avoid payroll taxes, tax returns, and W statements.

Note: The husband/wife must carry on business for the company. Documents proving that the spouse receives benefits as wages must be available.

Can an LLC or Business Owner Hire Their Spouses?

Generally yes, although some requirements vary by state. Employing a spouse as an employee brings tax advantages, since the employees’ salaries and wages are deductible for the entrepreneurs.

If the spouse is an employee of a business entity (such as a corporation or corporation) rather than a sole proprietorship, the business must have the spouse on the payroll and comply with applicable laws. Minimum wages and other employment systems.


Hire your kids

Child labor is permitted as long as it meets the labor law requirements for family businesses.

The wages of all working children (regardless of their age) are subject to income tax, which must be deducted from wages. In a sole proprietorship or partnership in which both partners are the child’s parents, the child’s salary is not subject to social security and health insurance if the child is under the age of 18. Additionally, payments to working children under the age of 21 are not subject to federal unemployment tax rates.

Payments to a child working in a family business are subject to income tax, Social Security, health insurance, and FUTA withholding in the following cases if:

You are working in a partnership or LLC with a spouse/member who is not the child’s parent.
You work for a company, even if one of the child’s parents runs it.

Hiring relatives can put a company in the spotlight with the IRS and the State Department of Labor. It is therefore necessary to document the work done by the farmer’s children.


Your mother’s and father’s work

Parents can bring years of experience, strong work values, dependability, and loyalty to the work environment. Business owners must follow many of the same rules that apply to hiring other family members.

According to the IRS, wages for parental services received by their children are subject to withholding and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes, but not FUTA taxes.

Hire family members as independent contractors.

One way to avoid payroll taxes is to employ family members as independent contractors. Certain conditions must be met. in general with independent contractors The Company will hire a contractor for the project or for a specified period of time. Companies incur large fines and penalties for violating state laws and IRS regulations.

The IRS considers three types of controls when categorizing employees as employees or contractors:

1. Behavior control

If the company controls when, where, and on which equipment that person works, that person is an employee. Employees may be considered employees if the hiring organization provides training or detailed advice to the individual.


2. Financial Control

If the company controls the finances of an employee’s work (such as buying a laptop or paying regular salary or wages), the employee is the employee. Independent contractors often purchase their own equipment and submit invoices. (often based on total project fees)

3. Types of Relationships

An employee is more likely to be considered an employee if he or she provides the financial planning services necessary to run the business. and/or if there is no contract stating that the employee acts as an independent contractor and is entitled to his or her employment. Other factors that commonly affect employees other than contractors include employee benefits. (health insurance vacation, sick leave, etc.) and hiring employees in the hope of using the service indefinitely.

California takes a more proactive approach with Assembly Bill (AB) 5 to protect state workers from misclassification. The law requires the following three conditions to be met for employees to be considered independent contractors:

  • He is “usually involved in trade, occupation or independent business”.
  • performing duties outside the normal business path of the recruiting company
  • independent from the control and direction of the hiring organization regarding the performance

It depends on the IRS rules and what those states enforce. It can be difficult for business owners to classify family members as independent contractors. Although they are employed part-time during the summer and on holidays.

Before hiring family members in your business

The same way you would hire employees. It is important to understand and comply with all federal, state, and local labor laws that apply to your company when hiring family members. Consultation with legal, accounting and other experts Having in-depth knowledge in related fields will be helpful.

The more you know about hiring family members, the better. The more prepared you are — and the more peace of mind you have.

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