Topics: household payroll
Are you looking to hire a nanny? This is arguably one of the biggest and most important decisions that you will make as a parent. Narrowing down your candidates can be hard, but once you have done that, you’ll need to spend some time getting to know the person and doing an in-depth check of their references. This nanny reference check is a necessary step in the process of hiring a new nanny for your family.
Topics: nanny reference check
Tax accountants know the complexity needed to meet the everyday demands of their clients. While many tasks are routine, others are complex tax matters that allow the individual tax accountant to demonstrate their deep subject matter expertise. Increasingly, accounting firms opt to outsource time consuming, non-revenue generating activities to help maximize efficiency, minimize operating costs, and gain competitive advantages. Often times, the decision to outsource certain activities is largely driven by the opportunity to reallocate resources internally to focus on the more complex, profitable client engagements. When it comes to nanny payroll and tax compliance, outsourcing to HomeWork Solutions can be incredibly beneficial.
Paid sick leave is an important benefit of any job. Nannies or senior caregivers often show up for work when they are ill because they cannot afford to miss a days' pay. People in these professions will be glad to hear that the Montgomery County (MD) Council recently joined other localities in providing paid sick leave as a mandated employee benefit after a unanimous vote. (1) It will work as a tiered-system that would provide four days paid sick leave and three days of unpaid leave for employers that have 5 or fewer employees.
Topics: nanny benefits
As if hiring someone to care for our children isn't complicated enough, sometimes our childcare needs simply don't warrant a full time caregiver or our budget doesn't stretch to employing a dedicated nanny. But still: having a committed full time person has extraordinary benefits. What to do?
Topics: nanny share
Mike and Joyce R. hired a caregiver to help Mike’s mom at home when she came to live with them after her husband passed away. They agreed with the caregiver at the time that they were going to pay her $500 a week off the books. She worked out wonderfully and she stayed with Mike’s mom for almost three years, and was let go with a generous severance when Mike’s mom had to enter a nursing home.
The Obama Department of Labor has been working for the last four years to include senior home-care workers employed by third parties under the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions. There was also a parallel effort to redefine the services a bona fide senior companion caregiver could provide to align with the Congress' intent of the 1974 expansion of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Hiring a nanny is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. If you have narrowed down a few candidates for the nanny position, it is imperative that you find out as much you can about the person. The more information you have, the better decision you will be able to make. Not sure what questions to ask nanny references? This article can help.
Are you an employer that employees one or more household employees? New laws require that employers providing wages to their employees now have the burden of proof, showing that they have paid the workers fairly and that they employees were not short changed out of the pay that they were due.
This shift of the burden of proof from the employee to the employer has huge implications in household employment. Household employment is in the midst of the perfect storm
“Everyone I dealt with at HomeWork Solutions was courteous and helpful, and I was given an immediate answer to every question. It is obvious to me that when it comes to household payroll taxes, working with a specialist is the only way to go.”
Our client, Linda M. came to us when her relationship with her husband’s caregiver was in crisis over taxes. Linda’s husband has dementia and needed supervision during the day. Linda lives in New Jersey and she hired the caregiver in the fall and was paying her in cash every week. An accountant handles the couple’s income taxes, and when she hired the home care aide her accountant told her that everyone treats these workers as independent contractors.
Linda is the first to admit that she doesn’t understand taxes, and prefers not to deal with them. In her circle of friends, all the families pay cash to their housekeepers. After checking with her accountant, she felt very comfortable with her arrangement.
In January, Linda’s accountant helped her prepare a 1099 form to give the caregiver, and that is where the trouble began. The caregiver went to a free tax clinic run by the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. After chatting with the volunteer about her job, the tax preparer advised the woman that her employer had likely misclassified her as an independent contractor, and that IRS guidance states that home care workers are employees and should receive a W-2 form. Moreover, the volunteer preparer showed the caregiver that the misclassification would cause her to owe an additional $2300 on her income tax return.
The volunteer tax preparer was absolutely correct. Senior caregivers paid directly by the family are employees and should receive a Form W-2 at the end of the year.
Linda was confused about the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. She did some internet research and then contacted her accountant. Her accountant explained again that everyone calls their housekeepers and senior caregivers an independent contractor, even though they really are employees.” No one wants to deal with the nanny taxes” he explained, “but if you do I suggest you talk to HomeWork Solutions.” Linda called HomeWork Solutions and received a quick education on why this was important and what her employer responsibilities were. HWS explained that the distinction between employees and contractors is important because employers of household employees such as housekeepers and senior caregivers file and pay employment taxes. Contractors handle their own tax filings. Linda’s accountant had steered her wrong, and there was some catch up Linda needed to do to straighten things out.
It was fortunate that the caregiver had only worked for them for a short time. HWS helped Linda to understand what taxes Linda needed to pay. Linda engaged HWS to help her get caught up on the taxes, and signed up for HWS’ payroll services so this could be done effortlessly going forward. Linda agreed to pay her employee’s portion of the Social Security and Medicare taxes – an option available to household employers. Linda convinced the caregiver to allow HWS to do paycheck deductions for her income taxes to help her avoid the stress of a large tax bill in the spring.
Since she began working with HomeWork Solutions, Linda has not had a single problem and she credits this with providing her a sense of relief when tax time comes around. Linda’s caregiver is delighted with her direct-deposit payroll, a convenience she has never had before providing private care.
On July 15, DOL Administrator David Weil issued an Administrator’s Interpretation that said “most workers [who are classified as independent contractors] are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.” This clarification by the government put the final nails in the coffin of the independent contractor myth.
According to attorney Cynthia Effinger of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC, "The defining question in this calculus is whether the worker is truly in a separate business that is independent economically from the employer. If the worker is economically dependent on the employer, the worker is an employee in the DOL’s eyes."