Q&A: Paying your spouse to work at your practice

January 23, 2009

My spouse works in my medical practice. Should he be paid?

Q: My spouse works in my medical practice. Should he be paid?

A: The advantages-besides domestic tranquility-of paying your spouse are that he can participate in your retirement plan and your family contribution will increase, you can justify travel expenses when accompanied on continuing medical education trips, and your spouse will qualify for a separate Social Security benefit. The disadvantage is that you will be subject to additional Social Security taxes. Your tax attorney should do the math to confirm the benefit of this strategy.