At this time of the year we often hear from nannies with questions about taxes. If you are a nanny and haven’t received a W-2 from your employer, here are a few things you can do:
1. Ask the family if they’ve prepared your W-2 and when you can expect it. It’s entirely possible that the family got busy and completely forgot to prepare your W-2, or they didn’t realize the deadline was January 31. Also, if you recently moved and didn’t update the family with your new address, they could have mailed it to the wrong place.
2. If you discover the family isn’t going to provide a Form W-2 because they didn’t withhold or pay taxes last year, remind them that failing to handle the “nanny tax” obligations is extremely risky (felony tax evasion with expensive penalties) and denies you several important benefits. They may think that nanny taxes will be very expensive, so it’s worth letting them know that tax breaks for childcare expenses can offset most – if not all – of their employer tax costs.
3. Don’t accept a Form 1099 from the family in place of a W-2. This form is for independent contractors only. This is important to you financially because independent contractors have to pay the entire FICA tax liability (15.3%) whereas employees only have to pay half (7.65%). For a caregiver making $30,000 per year, that’s a difference of $2,295! It not only hurts your pocketbook, it’s also risky for the family. The IRS has ruled definitively that nannies should be classified as employees and families that misclassify their employee as an independent contractor are subject to tax evasion charges.
4. If the family simply refuses to give you a W-2 prior to the April 18 tax reporting deadline, you’ll be forced to file Form 4852, which is the substitute for Form W-2. Filing this form can trigger an audit for the family, but as a last resort, it’s the only way to legally report your income to the IRS. The form and instructions for filing it are available here.
Thank you Regardingnannies.com and Stephanie Breedlove for sharing this helpful information.