Here’s a question I received from one of my clients: “I will hire my 15-year-old daughter to work in my single-member LLC business, and I expect to pay her about $12,000 this year. Do I pay her through payroll checks and file a W-2?”
Yes. And W-2 payment is essential. If you pay her on a 1099, she will pay self-employment taxes.
When you pay her on a W-2, neither you nor your daughter pays any Social Security or Medicare taxes, and in most states, you also don’t pay any unemployment taxes.
Key point 1. Your single-member LLC is a “disregarded entity” for federal tax purposes. It’s taxed as a sole proprietorship (unless you elect corporate treatment). In this instance, you are the child’s parent, enabling “no Social Security or Medicare taxes” for both your child and your proprietorship.
Key point 2. Your daughter has a $12,950 standard deduction. This means she also pays zero tax on earned income up to that amount.