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IRS Regulations for Hiring Your Children in Your Business

Understanding the IRS Regulations:

The IRS has specific guidelines and regulations in place to govern the employment of family members, including children, in a business. Here are key points to consider:

  • Reasonable Compensation: When hiring your children, it's crucial to ensure that the compensation they receive is reasonable for the services they provide. The IRS requires that the pay is in line with industry standards for similar roles.

  • Age Restrictions: The IRS allows children to be employed by their parents' businesses, even at a young age. This can provide an opportunity for teenagers to gain valuable work experience while contributing to the family enterprise.

  • Tax Deductions: Hiring your children can result in tax advantages for the business. The wages paid to your children are considered a business expense, which can be deducted from the business's income, thereby reducing the overall tax liability.

  • Employment Taxes: Social Security and Medicare taxes are generally not required for children under the age of 18 working for their parents' sole proprietorships or partnerships. Additionally, if the business is a corporation, these taxes may be exempt for children under 21.

Benefits of Hiring Your Children:

  • Income Splitting: Distributing income among family members can lead to tax savings. By paying your children a reasonable salary, you effectively shift income from your higher tax bracket to their lower bracket.

  • Teaching Financial Responsibility: Hiring your children provides an opportunity to instill a strong work ethic and financial responsibility from a young age. It allows them to learn about the value of money and work in a practical, real-world setting.

  • Contributing to Education Savings: The income earned by your children can be used to fund their education expenses. Establishing a custodial IRA or a 529 plan can help secure their financial future while enjoying potential tax benefits.

  • Building a Family Legacy: Involving your children in the family business not only contributes to its success but also helps build a family legacy. It fosters a sense of connection, responsibility, and shared values.


Navigating the IRS regulations for hiring your children in your business requires careful consideration and adherence to guidelines. When done thoughtfully, hiring family members can result in a harmonious family-business relationship, valuable work experience for your children, and potential tax advantages for your business. As always, it's advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with current tax laws and regulations.


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