You have hired a household worker

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:37 pm
A household worker is someone you hire to work in or around your home: for example, a nanny, a maid, a cook, or a gardener. If you pay a household worker $1,100 or more in cash wages during a year, you are required to pay their social security and medicare taxes, and report the wages on your tax return. This includes any cash you pay for their transportation, meals, or lodging. In order for your household employee to be eligible for social security and medicare some day, you must have paid the necessary taxes to the irs. As their employer, you contribute half of the social security and medicare taxes, which is 7.65 percent of wages up to $68,400. The other half of these taxes is withheld from the employee's paycheck. There are some exceptions to these rules. Household workers under age 18 are usually exempt from social security tax, unless household work is the employee's primary occupation. However, if you run a hotel, boarding or rooming house, all wages you pay to employees must be reported, even if they earn less than $1,100 a year. For more details on your tax responsibilities when hiring a household worker, contact the social security office, or the I-R-S.

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