Hiring Children In The Family Business For Tax (And Other) Benefits

Executive Summary

Becoming a successful small business owner is one of the hardest things that a person can do. For decades, the chances of a small business with employees making it past the five-year mark has been remarkably consistent, at roughly a 50/50 proposition. And at 10 years, the numbers are even worse, with only around a third of the original businesses still hanging on.

With the chances of success being so statistically low, one has to ask themselves, “Why are there still so many people willing to take on the long odds?” And why the answers are surely varied, one of the most common reasons individuals seek to become business owners is that they are able to have more control over decisions. Those decisions include, among others, what types of solutions the business will offer, how it will service its clients/customers, who the business will use for vendors, and who the business will hire (and fire).

And as the IRS’s own website itself says: “One of the advantages of operating your own business is hiring family members”. That family member can be a spouse, sibling, parent, or even a child. In fact, while hiring a child may not seem like a top-of-mind move for many businesses owners, if you play by the rules, there can be a surprisingly broad array of tax (and other) benefits to doing so!

In fact, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increasing the Standard Deduction up to $12,200 (in 2019), children employed in a family business can earn that much in

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