The Advantages of Hiring Your Kids and the Associated Tax Incentives

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Introduction to Hiring Your Kids

Hiring your children within your business can offer numerous benefits, both personally and professionally. Not only does it provide an opportunity to teach your kids about the work ethic and business management, but it can also yield significant tax advantages. The practice can help instill a sense of responsibility and achievement in your children while potentially lowering the tax liability for your business.

Advantages of Hiring Your Children

Skills Development and Work Experience

By employing your children in your business, you give them an invaluable early exposure to the workplace. This hands-on experience can teach them crucial skills such as communication, responsibility, time management, and teamwork. It’s a practical form of learning that supplements their formal education and can prepare them for future career endeavors.

Strengthening Family Bonds

Working together can enhance your family dynamics. It allows parents and children to spend more time together, fostering stronger emotional bonds and ensuring that your professional values are passed down to the next generation. This can be especially rewarding in family-owned businesses where continuity is a key concern.

Influencing Business Culture and Continuity

Your children can contribute fresh ideas and perspectives that might align well with emerging market trends, particularly in areas like technology and social media. Moreover, involving your children in the business early on can set the stage for a smoother transition of leadership and operations in the future.

Tax Advantages of Hiring Your Kids

Leveraging Tax-Free Income

One of the most immediate benefits is the ability to shift income from your higher tax bracket to your child’s lower one. As of 2023, the standard deduction for a single filer is $12,950, which means your child can earn that amount tax-free. This strategy reduces your taxable income while supporting your child financially.

Employment Tax Savings

If your business is structured as a sole proprietorship, a partnership (where the only partners are the child’s parents), or an LLC taxed as a sole proprietorship, hiring your child under the age of 18 may exempt you from Social Security, Medicare taxes (FICA), and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) payments. This can lead to significant tax savings compared to hiring an unrelated employee.

Deductible Salaries as Business Expenses

Salaries paid to your children are tax-deductible as a business expense. This not only lowers your business’s taxable income but also shifts income to your children who are likely in a lower tax bracket. This efficient use of tax brackets can result in overall tax savings for the family.

Compliance and Best Practices

Maintaining Proper Documentation

When hiring your children, it’s essential to treat their employment with the same level of formality as you would with any other employee. This includes maintaining accurate records such as time sheets, fulfilling all employment paperwork and contracts, and paying them a reasonable salary for their age and the tasks they perform.

Ongoing Compliance and Limitations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scrutinizes the employment of children closely to ensure there isn’t any abuse of these tax benefits. It’s crucial to be aware of the changing tax laws and ensuring compliance to avoid penalties. Consultation with a tax professional knowledgeable about employment and family business tax laws is advisable to navigate these complexities effectively.


Hiring your kids can be a great strategy for both training them and gaining tax advantages. However, the key to effectively employing your children lies in adhering to the legal standards and treating their roles within your business seriously. With proper management, this setup not only fosters a proactive work ethic but also maximizes the financial benefits through strategic tax planning. Overall, it can be a rewarding decision for both your family and your business.

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