What to do if you employ domestic help

Chapter 40
What to do if you employ domestic help


Table 40-1. Household Employer’s Checklist

You may need to do the following things when you have a household employee.

When you hire a household employee:

  • Find out if the person can legally work in the United States.
  • Find out if you need to pay state taxes.
When you pay your household employee:

  • Withhold social security and Medicare taxes.
  • Withhold federal income tax.
  • Decide how you will make tax payments.
  • Keep records.
By February 2, 2015:

  • Get an employer identification number (EIN).
  • Give your employee Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
By March 2, 2015 (March 31, 2015, if you file Form W-2 electronically):

  • Send Copy A of Form W-2 to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
By April 15, 2015:

  • File Schedule H (Form 1040), Household Employment Taxes, with your 2014 federal income tax return (Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or Form 1041). If you do not have to file a return, file Schedule H by itself.


Social security and Medicare wage threshold is $1,900. The social security and Medicare wage threshold for household employees is $1,900 for 2014. This means that if you pay a household employee cash wages of less than $1,900 in 2014, you do not have to report and pay social security and Medicare taxes on that employee’s 2014 wages. For more information, see Social Security and Medicare Wages in Publication 926, Household Employer’s Guide (For Wages Paid in 2014).

Employment Taxes for Household Employers

If you pay someone to come to your home and care for it, your dependent, or your spouse, you may be a household employer. If you are a household employer, you will need an employer identification number (EIN) and you may have to pay employment taxes. If the individuals who work in your home are self-employed, you are not liable for any of the taxes discussed in this section. Self-employed persons who are in business for themselves are not household employees. Usually, you are not a household employer if the person who cares for your dependent or spouse does so at his or her home or place of business.