A common approach used by many business owners is to hire their spouse as an official employee. Hiring your spouse as an official employee can have some disadvantages; however, there are least six tax benefits you can receive from taking this approach.
The following tax benefits may be applicable to you:
1. Retirement plan contributions deduction in the full amount. Within generous limits and if all tax law requirements have been met, contributions made on behalf of your spouse can be deducted by the company.
2. Taking a salary. If you are operating a C Corporation, any wages you pay to your spouse would have stayed with the company. Assuming your corporation is in a higher tax bracket than your personal tax bracket, you will save tax overall if your spouse draws a salary.
3. “Back to school” advantages. Education expenses acquired to improve an employee’s job skills are deductible by the company and tax-free to the employee. Therefore, your company can plan to send your spouse “back to school” on either a part-time or a full-time basis.
4. Travel expenses. In general, you cannot deduct the travel expenses attributable to your spouse if he or she accompanies you on a business trip. On the other hand, if your spouse is an authenticated company employee and is going for a valid business reason, his or her travel costs — including airfare, lodging and 50% of meal expenses — may be deducted.
5. Health insurance coverage. If you are currently paying more to cover your spouse under your company health insurance plan, hiring your spouse shifts the expense to your company. Typically, your company can deduct the full cost of the health insurance paid for your spouse, just as it can for other employees.
6. Other benefits. Similar to health insurance, your spouse is entitled to the same group-term life insurance coverage as other employees in the company. The first $50,000 of employer-paid group-term coverage is tax-free to an employee.
In addition, depending on your form of business, you may also be entitled to new tax breaks for hiring a spouse under the Hiring Incentives for Restoring Employment (HIRE) Act. Hiring your spouse may have other tax-related implications, which is why you should always consult a tax specialist. Seeking advice from a tax accountant professional, like Emil Estafanous, CPA can minimize your taxes. For additional details, please contact the Tax and Accounting office of Certified Public Accountant, Emil Estafanous at 562-868-6333 and his accounting staff will be glad to discuss the particulars of your situation and your no-cost, no-obligation Free Consultation.