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Nanny Payroll Part 4: Federal Income Taxes

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By now, you’ve learned managing nanny taxes takes a bit of time, number-crunching, and paperwork. Once you’ve determined if you owe nanny taxes, you’re probably responsible for collecting two types of nanny taxes:

nanny payroll part 4 - nanny with kids coloring
  1. Social Security and Medicare taxes (usually called the "payroll tax")
  2. Federal unemployment taxes (sometimes referred to as "FUTA" after the Federal Unemployment Tax Act)

Once you've finished all the paperwork and payments for these two taxes (and kept all the records), you may be entirely done because collecting your nanny's federal income taxes is completely optional.

You read that right. According to the IRS Publication 926, The Household Employer's Guide, "You are not required to withhold federal income tax from wages you pay a household employee. You should withhold federal income tax only if your household employee asks you to withhold it and you agree."

So what if your nanny asks you to withhold it, and you agree? You have to follow a few steps to collect your nanny's federal income taxes:

1. Ask her to complete an IRS form W4. Keep this form on file as it will help you determine any income tax exemptions when you calculate how much to withhold from her paychecks.

2. Check IRS Publication 15 (Circular E) to determine the amount of federal income taxes to withhold.

3. To submit the payments and the paperwork, you have two options:

       a. If you don't own a business, complete Schedule H when you file your personal income tax returns.

       b. If you do own a business, you may add your nanny's federal income taxes to either Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax                     Return, Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, or Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural                           Employees, depending upon which form your business normally files

If you or your nanny want to stop withholding federal income taxes at any time, either party should end the agreement in writing. As always, check with your state and local governments about their income tax policies for household employers.

You may have to collect other incomes taxes, though it's highly unlikely.

This marks the end of our Nanny Payroll series. By following the steps outlined in these posts, you can manage all federal nanny payroll and nanny tax responsibilities. Of course, you can always use SurePayroll's Nanny Payroll Services and Nanny Tax Services if you'd like to leave it to the pros.

Nanny Payroll Part 1: Do I Owe the Nanny Tax?

Nanny Payroll Part 2: Social Security & Medicare Taxes

Nanny Payroll Part 3: Unemployment Taxes

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.