W-4 Forms for Nannies and Caregivers

filling out tax forms

Whether you're a caregiver or a family hiring a caregiver, if the total wages paid out will be $2,100 or more in a calendar year, certain taxes must come into play. Specifically, the caregiver needs to account for federal (and possibly) state income taxes owed to the IRS and state tax agencies.

Federal W-4 Forms
At the time of hire, caregivers should fill out Form W-4 so the family can accurately calculate how much federal income tax to withhold from them each pay period. To make this process easy, you can click here to download the document.

State W-4 Forms
Most states also have income taxes and recommend caregivers fill out a specfic withholding allowance certificate or exemption certificate to account for state income taxes. Some states simply allow the caregiver to use the same allowances they selected on the Federal W-4 while a few don't have any state income taxes at all.

To figure out how much caregivers should be paying in taxes each week, check out our Nanny Tax Calculator.

A List of State W-4 Forms
Click on your state to find the right W-4 form.

  1. Alabama (called an A4)
  2. Alaska (No state income tax)
  3. Arizona (called an A-4)
  4. Arkansas (called an AR4EC)
  5. California (called a DE 4)
  6. Colorado (use a federal W-4)
  7. Connecticut (called a CT-W4)
  8. Delaware (use a federal W-4)
  9. District of Columbia (called a D-4)
  10. Florida (No state income tax)
  11. Georgia (called a G-4)
  12. Hawaii (called an HW-4)
  13. Idaho (use a federal W-4)
  14. Illinois (called an IL-W-4)
  15. Indiana (called a WH-4)
  16. Iowa (called an IA W-4)
  17. Kansas (called a K-4)
  18. Kentucky (called a K-4)
  19. Louisiana (called an L-4)
  20. Maine (called a W-4ME)
  21. Maryland (called an MW507)
  22. Massachusetts (called an M-4)
  23. Michigan (called an MI-W4)
  24. Minnesota (called a W-4MN)
  25. Mississippi (called an 89-350)
  26. Missouri (called an MO W-4)
  27. Montana (use a federal W-4)
  28. Nebraska (use a federal W-4)
  29. Nevada (No state income tax)
  30. New Hampshire (No state tax income)
  31. New Jersey (called an NJ-W4)
  32. New Mexico (use a federal W-4)
  33. New York (called an IT-2104)
  34. North Carolina (called a NC-4)
  35. North Dakota (use a federal W-4)
  36. Ohio (called an IT4)
  37. Oklahoma (called an OK-W-4)
  38. Oregon (use a federal W-4)
  39. Pennsylvania (No state W-4 required -- flat income tax rate for state residents)
  40. Rhode Island (called an RI W-4)
  41. South Carolina (use a federal W-4)
  42. South Dakota (No state income tax)
  43. Tennessee (No state income tax)
  44. Texas (No state income tax)
  45. Utah (use a federal W-4)
  46. Vermont (called a W-4VT)
  47. Virginia (called a VA-4)
  48. Washington (No state income tax)
  49. West Virginia (called a WV/IT-104)
  50. Wisconsin (called a WT-4)
  51. Wyoming (No state income tax)


Your Next Steps:

* The tax information contained in this article should not be used for any actual nanny relationship without the advice and guidance of a professional tax advisor who is familiar with all the relevant facts. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for your specific circumstances and may require consideration of other matters.


Join the conversation

Photo of Rutu M.

Rutu M.

We have paid our nanny more than $1900 and she no longer works for us. She refused to give us her tax info saying she will pay tax by herself. How do we deal with this situation?
April 24, 2015 at 1:47 PM
Photo of Avonelle S.

Avonelle S.

Hi, my family wants to do a nanny share so that they can both pay around $12 an hour each for 45 hours weekly. I want to know how much do they have to pay in order for me to receive $20 in total (after they both pay) after taxes are taken out.
April 21, 2015 at 5:58 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Thanja. Federal and state wage & hour laws require you to be paid at least minimum wage for every hour you work. Even signing an employment agreement saying you'll work for under the minimum wage does not get around this law.
April 15, 2015 at 12:30 PM
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Thanja B.

I am going to be a live-out Nanny. Are they required to pay me min. wage or is it ok, if their budget won't allow it, when both parties agree on a lesser wage? Thank you!
April 09, 2015 at 6:24 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Leslie. You're correct that your nanny doesn't need to file anything because of the low wage amount she earned from you last year. She should just claim the income she earned from you on her personal income tax return on Line 7 with the letters "HSH" to designate household employment income. If you believe you will hire a nanny in 2015 and pay her more than $1,900, you should get ahead of schedule and apply for a federal and state tax ID so you can be prepared for your tax filing deadlines this year.
February 02, 2015 at 6:15 PM
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Leslie S.

My Nanny was paid less than $1,900 last year (we no longer use her), but says she needs a state tax ID from me. We live in MN. When i called the Fed tax office, they said I shouldn't file anything because the wages were less than $1,900. I am unable to get a MN tax ID online. I don't know what to do. We did not fill out any paper work when she started.
February 01, 2015 at 3:32 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hey Stephanie. Ideally you should have the W-4 and NC4 filled out before your first paycheck because those forms tell your employer how much in federal and state income taxes to withhold from you. Based on the information you provided, I can't tell if any taxes at all have been withheld during the time you've been working, if only Social Security & Medicare taxes have been withheld, or if your employer is withholding income taxes, but just at a rate they've decided for you. Regardless, you should fill out both forms and give them to your employer. They're easy to follow, so just read the instructions and fill it out honestly. There's no other paperwork you need to worry about as your employer should be handling it all. If they have any questions, please have them call HomePay at (888) 273-3356 or visit our North Carolina tax and payroll page for advice specific to your working relationship. (http://www.myhomepay.com/Answers/State-Nanny-Tax/NC/Overview)
January 14, 2015 at 11:02 AM
Photo of Stephanie W.

Stephanie W.

I started working last August, however, my employers and I never filled out any paperwork before I started to work. They have committed to needing me until the first week of June. I have started filling out my W4 and my NC4 (I live and work in North Carolina) but I still have a few questions. Was the W4 supposed to have been filled out before I started? If so, what should I put for remaining work period left (I can't remember the exact wording)? Is there any other paperwork that needs to be done besides the W4 and NC4 before I file this year? Thank You
January 13, 2015 at 7:13 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hey Megan. You don't need to worry about any tax withholdings or tax forms for your nanny if she was paid less than $1,900. The only thing you'd need to pay attention to is how much you paid her in a calendar quarter. If it was $1,000 or more, you'll need to file a Schedule H with your personal income tax return and file a state unemployment insurance tax return.
January 09, 2015 at 11:05 AM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Lorie. Since Michigan and New York are not reciprocal states, generally speaking, you should have state income taxes withheld from the state in which you're working. In some cases, when you're working temporarily in another state, you can use your permanent resident state. Since I don't know how long your employment will be in New York, I would advise filling out the New York IT-2104 to be on the safe side.
January 09, 2015 at 11:00 AM
Photo of Megan S.

Megan S.

My nanny was paid less than $1900 in the time she worked for us. Do we need to file any forms or give her any forms for tax purposes?
January 08, 2015 at 12:22 PM
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Hi, My situation seems a little complicated for me and my employers. My permanent resident state is Michigan where my family lives, and I'm gonna begin to work in New York. So it's gonna be kive in MI, work in NY. Which W-4 form I should fill, NY w-4 or MI w-4? And is there any additional forms to this one? Thank you!
January 07, 2015 at 1:32 AM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Tara. When your nanny starts, you're correct that you'll need to fill out the Form I-9 to verify her work eligibility. You don't need to file this form with any agency, but you need to keep it for your records. Your nanny will also need to complete a Federal W-4 and state withholding form if you live in a state that has income taxes. At year-end, you'll provide your nanny with a W-2, file a W-2 Copy A/W-3 with the Social Security Administration and attach a Schedule H to your personal income tax return. There are other requirements you'll have to comply with throughout the year. You should visit the main HomePay site for answers specific to the state you live in (http://www.myhomepay.com/Answers/RequirementsByState). And please feel free to call us for a consultation. We'll be happy to help you out and you may want to use our service to handle everything for you.
December 08, 2014 at 6:12 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Suli. Your pay rate is going to ultimately be determined on what you and the family agree to. If you're getting paid $15/hour for live-out work, you can ask for that same rate and see what the family says. The thing to remember about live-in work is that you'll probably end up working more hours than your live-out job, so make sure the rate is above minimum wage. Also, most states don't require overtime for live-in employees (NY, MD, MA, MN, ME, HI, CA are the exceptions).
December 08, 2014 at 6:05 PM
Photo of Tara H.

Tara H.

I recently hired a nanny. It is my understanding that I will need the following: FROM HER: an I-9 with documentation, social sec. humber. Then I will need to do the following at year end: Provide W2, file Federal W4 and state W4 and send a 1040 quarterly? This is VERY confusing!
December 08, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Photo of Suli N.

Suli N.

I am not sure how Live In Care-givers should be paid if I am paid $15/hr for live-out, am I supposed to be paid $15 or less for 24hrs or is a set rate should be applied? Thanks.
December 06, 2014 at 1:19 AM
Photo of Khady N.

Khady N.

Thanks a lot Tom, we did as you advised and everything is ok. We really appreciate your support at care.com
October 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hi Khady. In the household employment world, you only need to fill out a W-4 and work with the family to complete the I-9 when you are hired. There's no reason to mess with a W-10 as that form is generally for people that are self-employed running daycares in their own homes.
September 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM
Photo of Khady N.

Khady N.

Hello I need some help please. I ve recently been hired as a nanny for a developmentally delayed girl and the family asked me to fill in a W-10 form. Is it ok? What other forms should I request In order to be compliant with the law? Thanks in advance
September 19, 2014 at 3:17 AM
Photo of Tom B.

Tom B.

Hello Aretousa. I'm Tom Breedlove, Director of Care.com HomePay and I can help you out with your question. The federal W-4 sets the amount of allowances you'll claim on your taxes so your employer knows how much federal income tax to withhold from your way. In terms of selecting the correct amount of allowances, we have a very helpful page on our website that can break everything down for you. (http://www.myhomepay.com/Answers/EmployeeInfo/ChoosingTheCorrectNumberOfW4Allowances)
September 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

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