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  • Writer's pictureKyla Lopez

The Importance of Paying Your Nanny Legally

As the cost of living continues to rise, it's no secret that many families are feeling the financial strain. For families who rely on the services of a nanny, the costs can add up quickly, prompting some to seek ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, one of the ways some families attempt to save money is by paying their nanny under the table in cash to avoid taxes. However, this practice is both illegal and unethical, with potential legal and financial consequences for both the employer and the employee. As a professional nanny agency, we strongly advise against paying domestic staff under the table and encourage families to do the right thing by paying their nannies legally and fairly. In this blog, we'll explore the risks and consequences of paying nannies in cash.

LEGALITIES// Let's face it – no one wants to have the IRS knocking on their door, especially for something as avoidable as tax fraud. Yet, some employers still consider paying their nannies off the books to cut costs, which not only violates the law but also puts everyone involved in a dangerous situation. This is one mistake you don't want to make, as it can have serious legal and financial consequences for both you and your nanny. Tax evasion is a federal offense under the IRS tax code, and the penalties can be harsh, leaving you with a criminal record and hefty fines. Instead of taking this risky route, why not do things the right way and rest easy knowing you're following the law? As a professional nanny agency, we have worked with who we believe is the leading nanny tax company in the industry, Homepay, for over nine years. They take care of everything and offer a special discount for our clients, including the first month free and $59 a month thereafter. With their help, you can pay your nanny legally and fairly without the worry of legal or financial consequences hanging over your head. MIS CLASSIFICATION// Let's clear something up: when you hire a domestic employee like a nanny, they are not an independent contractor who can be paid with a 1099. They are, in fact, a W-2 employee, which means that you have certain legal responsibilities as an employer. This is an important distinction to make, as failing to classify your employee properly can have serious legal and financial consequences. As a professional nanny agency, we've had families go back and forth with us about this issue. So, who are independent contractors? They're people who provide their own tools and control the work they perform, such as contractors, sub-contractors, or handymen. When you control who, what, when, where, and how the employee performs their work, they are your employee and should be classified and paid accordingly. This is not just a matter of semantics – taxes are completed differently, and you don't want to find yourself in trouble with the IRS. By properly classifying and paying your domestic employee, you can avoid legal and financial headaches down the line and ensure that you're treating your employee with the respect and fairness they deserve.

APPLYING FOR CREDIT// Did you know that paying your nanny legally has benefits beyond just following the law? When you pay your nanny legally, it allows them to show their income, which in turn enables them to apply for important financial services, such as housing, cars, and credit cards. If your nanny isn't showing income, they'll likely be denied opportunities to apply for home rentals and home loans, car loans, and even credit cards.

This can be a major roadblock for your nanny's financial stability and future. By paying your nanny legally and providing them with a W-2, you're not only doing the right thing, but you're also helping them to build a solid financial foundation. This can have a positive impact on their life and wellbeing, allowing them to secure safe and stable housing, reliable transportation, and access to credit when needed.

VALUE AND APPRECIATION// As an employer, it's important to show your nanny that you value their hard work and dedication. One way to do this is by paying them legally and above board. When you pay your nanny under the table, it can create a sense of mistrust and uncertainty in your working relationship. On the other hand, when you pay your nanny legally, it sends a message that you value and appreciate them as an employee and as a member of your family. By showing your nanny that they are important and that you want them to be a part of your family for the foreseeable future, you are creating a strong foundation for a positive and lasting working relationship. This not only benefits your nanny, but it also benefits you as an employer, as you can rest assured that you have a reliable and trustworthy caregiver for your children. So, don't underestimate the power of paying your nanny legally – it's a simple yet effective way to show your appreciation and build a strong working relationship. As you can see, paying your nanny legally has benefits that extend beyond just following the law. If you're a first-time nanny employer or find yourself unsure of where to start, we strongly recommend seeking assistance from a reputable nanny tax company like Homepay. We are happy to put you in touch to get a discount, if you wish. If you have additional questions about hiring a nanny or the legalities surrounding it, don't hesitate to reach out to me at kyla@thenannyconsultant.com. Best, Kyla Lopez The Nanny Consultant

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