Last week, GTM Payroll Services “laid out the consequences for intentionally avoiding nanny taxes and getting caught. But what about families who want to do it right but make a mistake and find themselves in trouble? Getting nanny taxes right can be confusing and time-consuming especially if you’re trying to do it yourself.
Here are four easy nanny tax missteps with tax, wage, and labor laws even when you’re trying to the right thing.”
Trust the experts when it comes to Nanny Taxes and Payroll. GTM Payroll Services has been a trusted partner of TLC for over 20 years. You can avoid the stress and worry, but trusting the experts in Household Employment and Taxes.
“Not paying your nanny taxes may seem like an easy way to save some money and not have to deal with the hassles of calculating and remitting taxes. Plus, if you don’t pay nanny taxes, how is anyone going to find out? Your nanny is on board as she gets a few extra dollars in her paycheck. You’re not running for political office or being nominated for a position in government. And those are only the people who get caught not paying nanny taxes, right?
There are a number of ways to easily get caught if you don’t pay nanny taxes. Most will end up with you paying much more in fines and penalties than in the actual tax responsibility you chose to ignore.”
Our friends at GTM Payroll Services have laid it all our for you, and what can happen if you avoid Nanny Taxes.
TLC Family Care has always asked families and nannies to complete a work agreement before the nanny begins. Our friends at Breedlove and Associates share with us why the nanny work agreement or nanny contract is so important.
Hiring a nanny can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially for ultra-busy, sleep-deprived families. Often, the obsession with finding the perfect caregiver causes families to overlook important employment details.
A Virginia family began searching for a nanny to care for their new bundle of joy. After an emotionally-draining 6-week quest to find the ideal nanny, they hastily agreed — verbally — on a work schedule and hourly rate. The nanny started work the next day without any kind of written agreement in place.
In some jurisdictions, a basic employment agreement is legally required. Whether required or not, we highly recommend that families use a placement agency or an attorney who can facilitate a comprehensive contract between family and nanny.
The discipline of drafting detailed job responsibilities, house rules, emergency procedures, work schedule, vacation/sick time procedures, compensation, pay frequency, communication/review procedures, etc. radically reduces problems and misunderstandings. It also tends to lengthen relationships because it makes the employee feel like a valued professional. Finally, it can be an important and cost-effective means of arbitrating any family/nanny issues.
Within a few weeks, the honeymoon was over:
The family had trouble hiding frustration with the nanny’s housekeeping habits. She was tidying up the baby’s room and kitchen as well as cleaning toys and baby clothes. But the family had expectations of the nanny doing the family’s laundry and light housekeeping.
The nanny resented not getting paid for Labor Day. She needed the money and had assumed that she’d get paid for major holidays.
When the nanny got her first pay check, she was confused by the tax withholding’s. She thought the agreed-upon amount would be her “take-home” pay.
The family talked to friends and did some online research into the typical duties of nannies. They quickly realized that nanny job descriptions vary wildly and that they had done a poor job of articulating their desires at the beginning of the search process.
Similarly, although the family had done some research on household employer tax and legal obligations, they had not discussed the compensation and benefits offer at the appropriate level of detail for their nanny.
Despite the rocky start, the family really liked the way the nanny took care of the baby so they made a considerable effort to keep her. They created an employment agreement and sat down with her to discuss all the “relationship details” they should have discussed a month earlier.
Unfortunately, the nanny took another job shortly after their meeting. She did not feel valued or respected and opted for a fresh start with another couple.
The family hired their next nanny through one of our agency partners. The agency used a thorough job description process to focus the search on nannies who met the family’s expectations. After a comprehensive vetting process, the agency held the family’s hand through an employment agreement that left no room for misinterpretation or confusion. It’s been almost 18 months and the relationship is going strong.
How the Whole Thing Could Have Been Avoided
When searching for household help, busy families are tempted to take short cuts. Aside from being pressed for time, it can feel somewhat awkward to have a formal contractual agreement with someone with whom there is such a personal relationship.
However, in our experience, the formal work agreement is the single-best predictor of the long-term success of the relationship. Without one, the relationship almost always seems to be rife with misunderstandings and resentment. With one, the relationship enjoys clear direction and increased professionalism.
We encourage families to retain a reputable placement agency that can guide them on employment agreements and other important aspects of due diligence involved with household employment. It dramatically enhances the odds of an endearing and enduring employment relationship.
If you have additional questions about this or any other aspect of household employment tax and labor law, visit them online.
Every January, we’re asked by both nannies and parents on how to file taxes as an employee / employer. A nanny is considered a household employee and should receive a W-2. Many times both nannies and parents find this process confusing. There are some wonderful services out there to help both parties navigate the complicated world of nanny taxes.
Still unsure what you need to do? Our friends at HomeWork Solutions have a wonderful library of resources with all the answers.
On December 1st, 2016 the final rule for the overtime laws in the Fair Labor Standards Act takes effect. The rule simplifies overtime laws and makes them easier for employers and employees to understand.
The final rule will:
- Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.
- Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.
- Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.
- Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.
Nannies, and other domestic workers, are non-exempt and protected under The Fair Labor Standards Act. Therefore, a nanny who works over 40 hours in a week is required to earn time and a half for those additional hours.
For example, lets say a nanny works 45 hours a week and earns $617.50. Her hourly salary is $13/hr for the first 40 hours and $19.50 for the additional 5 hours worked that week.
Watch the video for more information on nanny overtime pay and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Taxes are due in just a few days! As a household employer are you looking for a way to reduce some of your tax burdens?
GTM and Associates recommends a few ways you can do this.
1. You can reimburse your dependent care expenses with pre-tax funds through an employer sponsored Flexible Spending Account. Check with your company’s HR department to see if this works for you.
2. You could also take advantage of Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit on your income tax return.
If you need help with any of these options please contact GTM and Associates at 1-800-929-9213.
Don’t forget that TLC is here to help you with all your in home childcare needs. If you are interested in hiring a full time, part time, summer or after school nanny visit our website at tlcforkids.com.
April 15th is almost here and many of you are working on filing your taxes. Over the last few weeks TLC for Kids has received calls and emails about how to handle nanny taxes. We are not tax experts at TLC for Kids, so we recommend using Homepay for all your household employment needs. Here is some information on nanny taxes that you may find helpful.
Paying taxes tends to invoke negative feelings for most people. Fortunately for household employers, there’s a silver lining– tax breaks. As long as you and your spouse are working or are a full-time student and have at least one child under 13, you’re in a great position to make back most, if not all, of your nanny taxes. Here are two ways you can save:
1) Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. Many companies offer their employees the option to set aside up to $5,000 of their pre-tax earnings into a Dependent Care Account to pay for childcare expenses. This means there is no federal or state income tax, Social Security tax or Medicare tax on $5,000 of either you or your spouse’s income. Depending on your state and your tax bracket, this deduction will save you anywhere from $2,000 to $2,300 per year.
2) Child Care Tax Credit. If you don’t have access to a Dependent Care Account, you can claim the Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care (IRS Form 2441) on your federal income tax return at year end. If you have one child, you can save up to $600 per year (20% on up to $3,000 in childcare expenses). If you have two or more children, your savings will be up to $1,200 per year (20% on up to $6,000 in childcare expenses).
Great News! If you have two or more children under the age of 13, you can use a combination of these two tax breaks in order to achieve a maximum of $2,500 in tax savings.
For many families, the tax breaks will offset a large portion of the employer tax costs. This is especially true for those employing someone on a part-time, seasonal or NannyShare basis.
We hope you find this helpful. Please call TLC for Kids St. Louis 314-725-5660 or TLC for Kids Miami 305-256-5905 for your child care needs.
Do you have a summer nanny working for you this season or an after-school nanny starting in the fall? Many of TLC’s clients hire a TLC caregiver to be their full-time nanny during the summer or a part-time, after-school nanny to help out during the school year. Having a nanny makes life a lot easier, but we often get phone calls asking questions about paying your nanny taxes.
Talking about taxes can often seem overwhelming. Luckily, TLC can refer you to professionals that can help. We recommend using Breedlove and Associates for all your household employment needs.
By definition, a nanny working in the home of a family is an employee of the family (even if the job is temporary, permanent, part-time, or full-time). The nanny is NOT an independent contractor. The ‘employee’ classification is determined by the nature of the work performed—not by how much the nanny is paid or the amount of time she is with the family. The IRS has ruled definitively that caregivers are employees of the families for whom they work.
If you are only employing a nanny for a few months in the summer or for very part-time hours during the school year, you may not think you need to withhold taxes from your nanny’s wages, but you are most, likely mistaken.
If you pay your nanny more than $1,900 (2014) in a calendar year, you, as an employer, must meet the household employment tax withholding and reporting obligations. You are required to withhold payroll taxes from your nanny’s wages and then report and pay those taxes to the tax agencies quarterly. Before your nanny starts, have her fill out a w-4. This form helps determines how much will be withheld from your nanny’s paycheck. At the end of the year, your nanny should be sent a Form W-2 detailing her wages, as well as the taxes that she has pre-paid throughout the year.
Filing the necessary papers and to pay your nanny legally may seem like a hassle, but it is illegal for you—the employer—to fail to withhold taxes and file employment tax returns. Our friends at Breedlove and Associates, will take the stress out of paying your nanny legally and will educate you and help you take advantage of the tax breaks you may enjoy by doing so. Visit their website to learn how.
We hope you find this helpful. Please call TLC for Kids St. Louis 314-725-5660 or TLC for Kids Miami 305-256-5905 for your child care needs.
TLC for Kids helps St. Louis and Southern Florida families find permanent nannies. 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 15 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.
Nanny tax experts Breedlove and Associates share the reason why.
Nannies who work for one or more families on a temporary basis usually have lots of tax and legal questions. There are special provisions in the law for “casual babysitting,” so here’s what you need to know:
Temporary nannies are still employees; not independent contractors. They are employees of the family.
A nanny working in a family’s home — whether the job is temporary or permanent, part-time or full-time — is an employee of the family. It is illegal for the family to treat you as an independent contractor (a designation which increases your tax burden significantly). The “employee” classification is not determined by how much you are paid or the amount of time you work for the family; it is determined by the nature of the work performed. The IRS has ruled definitively that caregivers are employees of the families for whom they work.
Your employer may not need to withhold taxes from your wages.
Household employment tax requirements are determined by the amount of the gross wages paid to an employee. In 1995, the IRS modified household employment tax requirements to exempt temporary employment and casual babysitting from the tax process. This is sometimes referred to as the “Casual Babysitting Exemption.” As a temporary employee, if you earn less than $1,900 (2014) in a calendar year, your employer is not required to withhold any taxes from your salary.
However, if you earn more than $1,800 (2013) from a family in a calendar year, your employer — the family — must meet the household employment tax withholding and reporting obligations. They are required to withhold payroll taxes from your wages and then report and pay those taxes to the tax agencies quarterly — along with some employer taxes that provide you with retirement and unemployment benefits. At the end of the year, the family should give you a Form W-2 detailing your wages as well as the taxes that you have pre-paid throughout the year.
If your employer fails to withhold taxes and file employment tax returns, they are breaking the law — and you will not be entitled to the retirement and unemployment benefits mentioned previously. Hopefully, you won’t face that situation. But if you do, the best thing you can do is make sure you avoid tax and legal problems for yourself by reporting your wages and paying your income taxes at the end of the year.
You are responsible for keeping track of your wages.
If you are paid less than the $1,900 (2014) threshold per family you work for, you will most likely not have any taxes withheld from your pay since your employers are not obligated to do so. However, temporary nannies are still required to track the amount of money earned from every employer — no matter how little you are paid. You are responsible for reporting all wages earned during the year by filing annual income tax returns — even if your wages are not high enough to trigger a tax payment.