As you review your filing requirements for 2018, make sure you don’t overlook the nanny tax related to household employees. If you have a housekeeper or any other household employee, you could be liable to pay state and federal payroll taxes.
How to know if you must pay the nanny tax.
First, you’ll need to determine whether you have a household employee. Generally, this is someone you hire to work in or around your house. It could be a babysitter, nurse, gardener, etc. It doesn’t matter whether they work part-time or full-time, or whether you pay them hourly, weekly, or by the job.
But not everyone who works around your house is an employee. For example, if a lawn service sends someone to cut your grass each week, that person is not your employee.
If you have a household employee, you’ll generally be responsible for 2017 payroll taxes if you paid that individual more than $2,000 last year. However, federal unemployment tax kicks in if you pay more than $1,000 to all domestic employees in any quarter.
It’s not always easy to tell whether or not you have a household employee, or whether exceptions apply. If in doubt, consult your tax professional.