Au Pair Taxes: A Guide for Au Pairs and Host Families

Au Pair Taxes: A Guide for Au Pairs and Host Families

The day taxes are due is typically April 15. The deadline to submit your 2024 taxes without an extension is April 15, 2024. AuPairCare gets many questions from host families and au pairs on how to report au pair income and au pair tax deductions. So we aggregated some of the most requested information regarding au pair taxes for your easy reference. While we are experts in live-in childcare, we're not tax experts, so it's always best to consult a tax professional. For current families and au pairs, log into Family Room or Au Pair Room and search "taxes".

General Information on Au Pair Taxes

Your best resource for information on au pair taxes is, of course, the IRS. Visit their site for detailed definitions and information about au pair-related filings. If there is something you don't understand reach out to the IRS directly either on the IRS website or by phone, 1-800-829-1040 within the US or 267-941-1000 outside of the US. The federal tax ID number in reference to program fees paid to AuPairCare is 94-2919816.

The information below applies to most, but not all au pairs because most au pairs are considered 'non-resident aliens.' If, however an au pair had previously been in the U.S. as a student, teacher, trainee, or researcher in F, J, M, or Q nonimmigrant status before they become an au pair, the IRS has different rules for their taxes and both the host family and au pair should consult a tax advisor.

Au Pair Tax Information For Host Families

Your au pair is responsible for declaring their own income, submitting a tax return, and paying taxes. Further, host families are not required to withhold taxes unless the au pair (employee) requests that taxes be withheld and the host family (employer) then agrees to do so. Host families usually do not need to pay federal unemployment tax for their au pairs but for more information on au pair taxes, please refer to the IRS website.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: To find out if you can claim the child and dependent care credit, the IRS offers a tax assistant that will help you determine your eligibility. Visit the 'For Au Pairs' section below for information on obtaining a social security number for an au pair. You can also view the Tax Guide in your portal.

Are Au Pairs Tax Deductible?

Dependent Care Reimbursement Programs: If your family needed child care to work or look for employment, then the stipends paid to your au pairs, the costs of room and board, and the program fees paid to AuPairCare may qualify as a dependent care provider expense under employers' Dependent Care Reimbursement programs. Your employer is your best resource for specific guidance on au pair taxes

The eligibility requirements for these programs are identical to those for the tax credit described above. As long as a Host Family needed child care in order to work or look for employment, the stipends paid to au pairs, the costs of room and board, and the program fees paid to AuPairCare are all qualified as a dependent care provider expense under employers’ Dependent Care Reimbursement programs. Contact your employer for specific guidance on this issue or other au pair taxes questions..

As long as a Host Family needed the au pair’s child care childcare services in order to work or look for employment, the stipends paid to au pairs, the costs of room and board, and the program fees paid to AuPairCare are all eligible under the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. A fee paid to AuPairCare is eligible only once the au pair begins to provide services. However, amounts paid to AuPairCare, and that are later forfeited, do not qualify. Note that if a Host Family pays a fee (e.g. the deposit due upon matching) in one calendar year, but the au pair does not begin to provide services until the next year, the fee is eligible in the year during which the au pair began to provide services. So, a Host Family who matches in December 2022 for a January 2023 au pair arrival can include the match payment in the expenses for the 2023 tax year. To file for the credit, your au pair must obtain a Social Security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) from your local branch of the Social Security Administration. To claim the credit, you can file form 2441. Use your au pair’s Social Security number or ITIN as the tax identification number for the childcare provider

I-9 Form: As a host family, you are expected to complete Form I-9 to report the host family au pair relationship and prove the au pair is authorized to work for the host family as part of the au pair program (in association with the J-1 cultural exchange visa). Host families should complete the form according to instructions for Exchange Visitors. For au pairs, the 'acceptable documents' are in List A, #5. You do not need to file this form with any government body but should retain the I-9 form in your records.

Tax Information For Au Pairs

Do Au Pairs Have to Pay Taxes?

The IRS considers an au pair to be an 'employee' of the host family so au pairs are required to file U.S. individual income tax returns. Au pairs need a record of their au pair income (stipends) received from their host family to file. If you are a current AuPairCare au pair, log in to Au Pair Room and search for the tax guide, as it will include the Stipend Payment Receipt template.

For instructions on applying for a Social Security Number for J-1 Visa holders, visit the Social Security Administration's site.

Nearly all au pairs can use Form 1040-NR to file their returns, the instructions for which can be found on the IRS website.

Credits: According to the IRS, au pairs are not considered "students" in the United States, and therefore are not eligible to exclude their au pair wages from gross income under the student article of any U.S. income tax treaty. Au pairs are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Hope Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Don't forget if you are a current AuPairCare host family or au pair, you can reach out to your local Area Director for things like social security letters. For more technical questions regarding au pair taxes, reach out to your tax professional. For any general questions on our au pair programs or au pair costs, please reach out to us directly! Happy filing!

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