Our client, John M. came to us after working with a nanny that he thought could work as an independent contractor.
At the Federal level, private employers are not required to offer sick leave - whether paid or unpaid - to their employees. Most household employers voluntarily offer some paid time off to their nanny, senior caregiver or housekeeper in their work agreement.
California has some of the most complex household employment labor laws in the country! So complicated in fact that the California Household Employers Guide, published by the state, runs 70 pages of explanation, and that is just for the taxation component!
For employers, managing payroll smoothly and properly is a delicate, critical matter. There may be no quicker way to turn a happy employee into a disgruntled one than by mishandling his or her paycheck (exactly why many household employers use us).
This year, employers have an additional challenge with which to contend. When Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) late last year, it meant the IRS withholding tables would have to be updated. And now they have been.
The decision to hire a nanny requires plenty of interviewing and research. There are many wonderful nannies out there that are looking for the right family to work with and it’s exciting to think of the many possibilities that you have in finding the right one that fits just perfectly with your children. Nannies are not babysitters, but they are instead nurturing professionals that are committed to helping influence your children’s growth and overall development. Nannies that are young and are looking to gain experience often have energy and unique ideas to bring to a family, but there is also something to be said about hiring a seasoned nanny that has years of experience. Here are some reason why you should consider hiring an experienced nanny.
Employers must exert a certain amount of time and resources to properly retain their income tax records. But these aren’t the only documents you need to maintain. Retention of your organization’s payroll records is also important. This goes for both corporate and household employment.
Unless you’re a tax expert, you likely have some questions about what your responsibility is when it comes to paying taxes on your household employee. If you have a nanny and you have paid this person $2,000 or more in wages, you’re officially considered a household employer and you’re required to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes. You will also need to report your nanny’s income and taxes that are paid for the year, as well as pay Federal employment taxes with your federal income tax return. Most states require filings every quarter and the state and federal thresholds are often different, based on quarterly or annual wages. Although you file a schedule H annually, be aware you may be required to pay quarterly estimated tax payments.
Many employers use background checks as a regular part of their hiring processes. But “many” does not mean “all.” In fact, recent research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management indicates smaller businesses tend to skip this important hiring step. Among companies with fewer than 100 employees, fewer than half conduct criminal background checks on job candidates vs. 83% for employers with at least 2,500 employees. Background checks can be particularly helpful in the household employment world too. After all, if you hire a nanny don’t you want to know about the person caring for your child(ren)?
Finding the perfect nanny to work with your family is an exciting and rewarding experience. Once you’ve found the person that you want to hire, you’ll need to verify your nanny’s work eligibility and be sure that she can work legally in the United States.