Legal requirements for employing a nanny

Legal requirements for employing a nanny

You would be returning to work and have decided to employ a nanny to look after your newborn, in your absence. Hiring a nanny for your child would be expensive for your pocket. You also need to sign a legal agreement with your nanny in order to avoid any problems that might surface in the near future.

Who is a Nanny?

A nanny is caregivers to your child, who needs to be taken care of his daily needs in your absence. He has to be bathed, fed formula feed and made to sleep as per his daily routine. Nannies offer flexible comfortable service for your child, in the surroundings of your home. There is no training imparted for a nanny. But it is important that your child nanny has some background in child development, hygiene and emergency care for your benefit. Nannies can be of various types. Some of them are:

Nannies living full time in your home to look after your child.

Nannies that come in daily to look after your child needs and usually work for eight to ten hours.

Nannies that are shared with more than one family. Their services would be available to more than one kid in a centrally located place.

The legal agreement and the payment structure that you pay your child's nanny depends on the nature of the time she spends with your child i.e. full time or part time.

What is the role you want the nanny to play?

Before deciding on the legal process that you need to follow as an employer for your nanny , you have to understand what are the basic roles and responsibilities that you want your nanny to do by understanding the below questions :

What are the specific roles that you want your nanny to play and undertake for your child or your children?

What are the specific hours of work that you want her and in case you want her to do overtime what is the process laid out that would benefit you both?

Do you want your nanny to stay in your household or you want her to visit daily?

Would you go for office tours for a few days, then what would be her additional responsibilities that she needs to undertake for your child and family members?

Does your nanny have to baby sit your child or take her out for evening drives?

What is her current health status and is she a non smoker?

These queries might seem simple but your child's nanny's responsibilities have to be clearly cut out in order to understand the legal agreements that you have with her.

The process of hiring a nanny

If you want to employ a nanny to look after your child, you need to follow the necessary steps that are mentioned below:

Apply with the government for employer identification number.

The first step is to register you as an employer in both the national and at the state level.

At the National Level: You can log into the government website which deals with revenue process that is done internally or you can call help number (800) 829-4933. You need to apply for a fresh employer number and fill the SS-4 return form.

At the State Level: You can check "Employment" in your state phone book and call them. They would contact you and guide you regarding the process to get tour employer identification number at the state level.

By completing both these process, you have completed the first step in hiring yourself a nanny for your child care.

Checking on work eligibility criteria for your nanny.

You cannot hire a nanny out of the blue ,she needs to have a work permit to work for you .If you are in United States you can check with the Immigration Cell and check if she has work permit to work in United States . You can look up in the agency website that is recommending her to work for you .Here you can check on her work eligibility criteria.

Validating her documents.

You can ask the agency that is recommending her to verify het legal work documents like passport, social security card etc. It is in best if you check these documents and also her driving license, work permit card. This would keep you clear of unnecessary hassle if she is an illegal immigrant and has not registered with the immigrant services. For your convince you need to keep a Xerox copy of all the important documents along with the 1-9 application form that you have downloaded from the agency website .

Keeping the government informed on your hires.

As a regulatory measure, the state government needs to be informed on the various hires that you are undertaking as a employer in a year. You can call the employment service cell of your state and ask what the necessary process that you need to follow and do it at the earliest.

Implementing a pay and tax process for your nanny.

As an employer for your nanny, you are responsible to pay for her various mandatory taxes like Medicare. You can also check the list of other taxes that you have to pay for your nanny like income taxes in the state, taxes for unemployment at both national and state level. Your child's nanny would be responsible herself to pay her own income taxes to the government. In case your nanny is looking after your child full time, you can speak to her and deduct income taxes from the salary monthly. Otherwise she would have to face penalties on her own. If the nanny is working part time .she is not liable to pay taxes. Your nanny needs to fill up FormW-4 which clearly mentions that you as her employer is withholding income tax amount monthly from her paycheck. These processes are cumbersome but would help you and your nanny in the long run. This particular form clarifies your nanny's filing position and what are the basic tax exemptions, she is eligible for. You can also guide your nanny to check if she is eligible for any benefit in income taxes.

Helping your nanny with other fees like Medicare, Social Security.

If you are paying your child's nanny 2000$ wages in a year ,you are liable to pay for her Medicare and Social Security taxes that are deducted from your nanny's paycheck and the second part paid by you as an employer . In case you do not follow this process, you would be penalized and also cannot avail the various benefits that are offered in child care when you file your income tax in the federal level. As an employer you need to pay 6.2 % from your nanny's pay and to the income tax department service you have to pay 12.4% of your nanny's pay as the employer's part for the Social Security tax. For your nanny's Medicare tax you need to 2.9% to the income tax department and your nanny has to pay 1.45% from the total salary you give her. You additionally have to pay for federal employment taxes, which is 0.8% on the first seven thousand dollars in a year. This is directly paid to the revenue department. You can take the help of an online tax calculator to calculate the taxes. It is also important tom report all these federal taxes that you are paying your child's nanny in your personal income return and by filing up the necessary documents with it.

Documenting valuable information.

It is essential for transparent documentation and work process that certain details are maintained for four consecutive years. These are:

Details of your state and federal employer verification number.

Contact Details of your nanny with her security number.

The specified date from when she was employed as a nanny for your child.

The payment structure of your nanny with details like taxes paid on Medicare .Social security etc.

Xerox copies of all important forms that are important.

Date and amount details when her tax was deposited. All maintain the various tax processes and the websites from where these forms are available at the federal and state level.

Can you hire your nanny legally but take professional help in legal and tax matters?

Professional help is always present in the form of labor expert or expert in taxation. You can hire your nanny and leave the legal paperwork with them in return for a service fee. The tax expert will guide thru the various process and help you with the various forms that you need to fill. You can seek help on pay process service that would help you with the various payment structure of your nanny's salary and the various taxes that you need to pay the government.

Why your child's nanny is called a contractor?

Sometimes your child's nanny is called a "contractor," but neither party benefit from this and the revenue service has clear guidelines on the role of the nanny and the taxes that she and you as an employer need to pay the government. In case she is involved as a caregiver or a nanny for more than one family at a time and also has her own equipment that she brings with her to work than she can be called a "contractor". If she is employed to look after your child full time then she is an employer.

It would take time to build a healthy relationship between you and your nanny. You must give some time for the bonding with the child, which would allow her to take of your child in your absence.


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