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Filing household employment taxes: A timeline for what to do when

Managing taxes for your caregiver is a year-round responsibility. Learn how to stay on top of it.

Keep up with your nanny tax deadlines with this handy timeline

If you’ve hired a nanny or senior caregiver, you likely know that with this added help comes the responsibility of following tax and payroll rules. For the DIYers out there, we’ve put together a list of all the important dates you need to know so you don’t miss a tax deadline. And if this looks like too much work, our service is here to help.

Remember that your state may require you to file state tax returns on a different schedule. Check your state’s Department of Labor and/or Department of Revenue for details.

Your 2021 month-by-month household employment tax deadlines

January

15: File the fourth installment of Form 1040-ES (estimated tax payment) with the IRS. This comprises Social Security and Medicare taxes (employer and employee portions), federal unemployment insurance taxes (FUTA) and any federal income taxes withheld from your employee’s pay from September through December of last year.

January is also a good time to conduct a performance review with your caregiver to formally close the 2020 working year.

February

1: File state tax returns for the unemployment insurance taxes you’ve accrued and the income taxes you withheld from your caregiver during the fourth quarter of last year (October – December).

1: Prepare Form W-2 and give it to your caregiver. This is what they’ll use to file their personal income tax return.

1: File Form W-3 and Form W-2 Copy A with the Social Security Administration. This is how your caregiver gets credit for the taxes withheld from their pay that ultimately helps determine their retirement benefits.

March

You have no tax deadlines this month. If your caregiver has already filed their taxes and did not get the refund they expected, let them know they can change their income tax withholding to have less or more taxes withheld each pay period.

April

15: File your first Form 1040-ES for the current tax year. It covers your federal household employment tax liability for January – March.

30: File a state income tax return and a state unemployment insurance tax return for the quarter that ended on March 31.

May

17: Your personal income tax return is due. Make sure you’ve prepared and attached a Schedule H to account for your federal household employment tax liability from last year. And don’t forget about including the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as well. You could save up to $1,200!

June

15: File Form 1040-ES with the IRS to cover your federal household employment tax liability for April and May. This will most likely be a smaller payment since it only covers two months.

July

You’ve got a month off from any tax-related duties. Still, take a few minutes to brush up on the household employment requirements in your state to make sure you’re staying on top of things.

August

2: Quarterly state income and unemployment insurance tax returns are due for the taxes withheld from your caregiver and accrued by you respectively during the months of April, May and June.

September

15: File the third Form 1040-ES of the year with the IRS. It’s an accumulation of your federal household employment taxes for the months of June, July and August.

October

There are no tax filing deadlines to worry about this month. However, your company is probably going through Open Enrollment for benefits around this time, so make sure you sign up for a Dependent Care Account. You could save thousands of dollars next year on your care-related expenses.

November

1: File quarterly state tax returns to account for the unemployment insurance taxes you owe and the income taxes you withheld from your caregiver. Taxes are based on the wages you paid your caregiver from July – September.

This is also a good time to talk to your caregiver about any changes to their schedule during the upcoming holiday season. Both of you need to be on the same page about when care is needed. 

December

You have no tax filing deadlines this month. However, most new laws take effect in January so make sure you’ll be in compliance when the New Year begins. It’s also a good time to review the employment contract you have with your caregiver and make any necessary changes.

Hopefully this timeline helps you keep your responsibilities organized. And remember that we’re here to help if you’d like to offload these tasks. We’ll make sure all your state tax returns and estimated tax payments are accurate and filed on time.

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