The Tax Benefits for Family Employees

August 29, 2016 By Richard Poulson

Small business owners typically face a significantly higher tax burden than their employees when it comes to taxes.


Because businesses must match Medicare and Social Security contributions that are paid by employees.

Tax Benefits for Family Employees

The amount of taxes that small business owners are required to pay will depend, in part, on the number of employees on their payroll. One way to benefit from significant tax savings is to hire family members.

If you're reading this, you may wonder if there are tax breaks for hiring your children. We'll discuss that, among other things, over the next few minutes.

However, to take advantage of these opportunities, you'll need to ensure you have a professional CPA firm that specializes in working with small businesses. Not all deductions are available for every situation.

But don’t let that detour you!

Be sure to explore your options. Hiring your family, including your minor children, can potentially save you on your payroll and family income taxes.

Further, you may also be eligible to convert high-taxed income into low-taxed or tax-free income. It doesn’t stop there, as you can achieve Social Security savings and start your child’s retirement plan contributions a few years in advance.

Download Our Free Employee Benefits FAQ Guide

How do you convert high-taxed income into low-taxed or tax-free income?

If your child is under 18, moving your income to the child by paying them a wage is a common way to accomplish this.

This goes without saying that the work done by the child needs to be legitimate, and the salary needs to be appropriate for the job.

In other words, if your child is being paid to do a job, they need to be doing it and be paid a wage that would generally be accepted as appropriate for the position.

If your child is 18 or a full-time student, you still may be able to qualify for a tax break. This gets a little more complicated, so you may want to talk to your accountant for details on what will and won't work.

What about income tax withholding?

Like other employees, you'll most likely be legally required to withhold federal income tax on your children's wages. But if they didn’t have a federal income liability the previous year and don’t expect to have one this year, they might be able to claim exempt status.

However, once again, this can get a little complicated, so talk with your accountant before going forward with this strategy.

We have created a concise guide to simplify the process and reduce the chances of mistakes in federal income tax withholding. The guide will provide you with all the necessary information to accurately fill out the W-4 Form - Employee's Withholding Certificate.

What about retirement?

It's possible that you could potentially start contributing to your child’s retirement.

Of course, the type of retirement plan you want to contribute would need to qualify as eligible, so what do you need to do?

You guessed it, work with your accountant to determine what retirement program and employee status would qualify.

What about my spouse?

If your spouse works for the family business, you'll pay taxes like a regular employee, including withholding Medicare and Social Security taxes.


Taxes can often seem complicated and paying them can be a heavy financial burden. So employing your child can be a great way to save tax dollars while helping your child gain work & life experience.

As we mentioned, it's important to consult your accountant before you start employing your children. This will help you understand the tax implications.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with CMP by clicking the button below.

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