Even though I operate a one-person business, I’ve never thought of employing my spouse because he doesn’t really get involved. Wouldn’t hiring him be illegitimate in order to establish a MERP? : FAQ/Blog/Solutions
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Even though I operate a one-person business, I’ve never thought of employing my spouse because he doesn’t really get involved. Wouldn’t hiring him be illegitimate in order to establish a MERP?

by Tom Luker on 05/01/15

Not if the spouse can be “trained” to work in the business, and it doesn’t have to be full-time. See our comments elsewhere where we’ve discussed the eligibility rules in detail.

  • Even 5-10 hours per week of contribution to the business. These duties can include, but are not limited to:
    • Doing some of the books.
    • Answering the phone.
    • Cleaning up after the messy business-owner.
    • Being sure the office has less clutter – that’s one of TLC’s EE’s duties.
    • Keeping track of the owner’s schedule.
    • Occasionally contacting the customers to be sure that all’s going well and asking for referrals.
  • Even traveling with the ER was a “duty,” and the travel to conferences/conventions, etc. added to the average number of hours put in the work. The many Mary Kay Consultants we’ve helped easily qualified their husbands by their help in putting together presentation baskets, plus the items mentioned above.
  • Spousal involvement in farming is obvious and for Home Child Care businesses. The husband is already repairing toilets, building shelves, mowing the lawn and shoveling snow, etc.
  • A big advantage of spousal employment can be surprising while traveling, by using per diem meal allowances and other travel costs that the owner cannot take 100%.
  • Finally some business owners [usually husbands] exclaimed that “this is the first time in our married life that I can tell her what to do!”

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