Thursday, June 25, 2015

5 Reasons Why Hiring Your Child Is A Good Idea

Cathy A. Robinson, CPA
Senior Manager
School is out for the summer. College and high school students alike will be in search of jobs. So how does it work if you own your own business and have a child looking for a summer job? Is it wise to hire them on? If you hire them, how does that work for deductions? There are five tips that can help to answer these questions.


1.)    Hiring your child can be an effective income-shifting strategy for a taxpayer that owns his or her own business.  In fact, there may be favorable payroll taxes that apply to you and your business. Many business owners who are parents do not understand is that should you hire your child, if they are under the age of 18, you are not required to withhold any payroll taxes.  This stipulation, however, only applies to Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Sole Proprietorships.


 It should also be noted that if you own an S-corporation or a C- corporation, you also do not receive the benefit of avoiding payroll taxes when employing your child.  Instead, you will have to pay your child out of a corporation and have to withhold payroll taxes.


2.)    If preparing your child for the future is also of concern, hiring your child can also help to ease your mind.   With earned income they can contribute to a ROTH IRA. This is a great opportunity that would allow the earned income to be put into an account and later be pulled out for college.  You may be able to pull the money for college expenses penalty and tax free. 


3.)    You may have also heard of something called Kiddie Tax. For many parents who are business owners, this tax may be something you find yourself concerned with. However, earned income is not actually subject to Kiddie Tax, regardless of age.  This tax, in fact, only applies to unearned money or the child’s investment income.


4.)    So what does this mean for you the parent?  The first $6,300 of income made isn’t taxed by the federal government. By hiring your child, you keep that money in the family. Other deductions include claiming your child on your return as a dependent and taking that exemption, as well as the Child Tax Credit.


5.)    The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep your business legitimate even when hiring your child. Your child should only be paid for the services that they render to your business or property. Payments must also be made to your child and should be in accordance with the services they are providing.  It should go without saying that by hiring your child they should be performing a necessary task to the business so that they may be legitimately involved with it. Hiring them to do chores around the house will not qualify you for deductions, and could also involve setting yourself up to be audited.


In conclusion, hiring your child could be a good idea for a parent who is a business owner. It can help you pay for college later on down the road, give you a tax break and also teach your children the importance of having a work ethic. 


Consulting your accountant before making any financial move is always important, as they can help to guide you as you take the steps towards a better financial plan for you and your child. Be sure that you bring up the above points as your business takes the steps towards hiring your child.

This update is published periodically by HW&Co. as an information service to our clients, business associates and friends. It is general information and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any comments contained in this document.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Succession Planning...It Starts Now.

Cathy A. Robinson, CPA
Senior Manager

Succession planning isn’t always the first thought on your mind as a business owner or professional.


You have put in the time, the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears that have made your company or your profession what it is today. How could you possibly just hand over the reins to someone else?


The truth of the matter is simple you can’t predict the unpredictable.  


There are several ways to leave a company:





Expected departure

Involuntary departure

Eventually your partnership with your company will end, and it is important to make sure you are on a path that is suitable for you, your company, and your clients. What would happen to your company or your partner should you unexpectedly pass away? What would happen to your practice if your partner wanted to leave to be closer to his or her children or grandchildren?  Or, what if your children didn’t want to take over the family business?  Do you have the necessary steps in place to help with any of these situations should they arise?


Addressing these questions sooner rather than later will help you deal with the unavoidable later on down the road.  In fact, there are two tips mentioned by lawyer Eliot M. Wagonheim in a blog on Huffington Posts that are especially important to keep in mind.


1)      Consider a valuation. Use an expert experienced with doing valuations in your industry for an appraisal of your company.

2)      Work out a purchase agreement with your partner utilizing your accounting professional to ensure everyone is receiving a fair share of the company.  Having a plan in place will help to avoid any possibilities of a sticky situation when someone leaves, expectedly or unexpectedly.


Talking with your family members is also important if you own your own business. If you plan on passing the business down, make sure they have a serious interest in taking it over. If they do not, you need to start planning for succession or the possibilities of selling off the business.


If you are in the professional service industry, it is also important to sit down and have a conversation with your clients.  Planning according to what is best for the client and the long-term relationship with your company is crucial. The best and smartest succession plans begin with a thoughtful plan that incorporates the wants and needs of your existing and developing clients.


Spending just a few hours to put a plan into place now can keep you or your partner from putting fires out later, while helping to manage emergency situations later should they arise.  The earlier you begin planning for the next stage, the better the chances of your company’s continued success will be.

This update is published periodically by HW&Co. as an information service to our clients, business associates and friends. It is general information and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any comments contained in this document.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mid-Year Tax Moves You Should Consider

Cathy Robinson, CPA
Senior Manager

Recently, AccountingToday & Kiplinger published an article touching on 8 mid-year tax moves that could help people save more money. So what are these recommendations?

1.) Fix Your Withholding
If receive an average refund somewhere around $2,700 this is applicable to you. By adjusting your withholding now, you can boost your take home pay by somewhere around $225 a month for the rest of the year. This also means that since you'll still be able to receive a nice size refund in the spring.
 2.) Midyear Adjustment for Obamacare Healthcare Premium
If you've experienced a change in the size of your family or perhaps received a raise at work it's important to know that the size of your subsidy for your healthcare premium could be affected.  Should the change affect your subsidy so that it should be bigger, you have the option to pay lower premiums for the rest of the year. However, if the changes in your life means that your subsidy should fall experts recommend paying higher premiums for the rest of the year so as to avoid being surprised next spring with a bill when you file your form 1040.

3.) Reevaluate Your 401 (k) Contributions
Do you know what you're investing into your 401 (k)? Now is the time to evaluate where your money is going and if you can contribute more.  It's good rule of thumb to keep in mind that roughly every $100 you place into a traditional 401 (k) your pay only is cut by $75 if you're on the 25% federal tax bracket or less.

4.) Flexible Spending Check
 If you divert money into a flexible spending or reimbursement plan it's time to check and see how much money you have diverted into it. Mid-year tracking of reimbursement spending can help you not lose your money later on down the road.

5.) Probe Your Taxable Portfolio
 Keeping your investments in mind now can also be helpful. Kiplinger writes, "If you decide it’s time to take some money off the table by realizing profits now, consider whether this is a good time to harvest losses. Never make an investment move solely for tax purposes. But the tax-saving power of dumping a poor performer might be the extra push you need to seek out a better investment."

6.) For the Newly Minted Septuagenarian
For those who turned 70 earlier this year and will be 70 1/2 by the end of the year it means the start of required minimum distributions (RMDs) from IRAs and other retirement plans. Working with your accounting professional to map out your strategy now can help prevent the unexpected.

7.) Let Uncle Sam Help With Your Debt
Check your credit card debt. Would it make sense for you to borrow home equity to pay off your credit cards?  Kiplinger lends this advice, " Imagine this: $10,000 of credit card debt at 15% costs you $1,500 a year in carrying charges. The same $10,000 of debt on a 4.5% home-equity line of credit costs $450. And, if you’re in the 25% tax bracket, Uncle Sam effectively picks up $112.50.

8.) Take a Good Look at Yourself
Make sure you have an understand of the options available to you. Did you know there are tax breaks for new college grads, new parents, the recently divorced, and the newly widowed?  You don't want to overlook something that could save you money.

The recurring theme with analyzing your financial status mid-year is this, by making sure you're prepared now you could save yourself money in the long run.

It's important to also consult your accounting professional before making any financial moves so as to make sure you have the best strategy working for you and your money.

Have questions? Find us online at And to read Kiplingers full article click here.