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Publication 926

Household Employer's Tax Guide


Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Publication 926, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to

What's New

Social security and Medicare tax for 2015.
The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2014. The social security wage base limit is $118,500.
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2014. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household employees you pay $1,900 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation.
Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit.
For 2015, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $250 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $130.
Medicaid waiver payments.
Notice 2014-7 provides that certain Medicaid waiver payments are excludable from income for federal income tax purposes. See Notice 2014-7, 2014-4, I.R.B. 445, available at For more information, including questions and answers related to Notice 2014-7, visit and enter "Medicaid waiver payments" in the search box.


Additional Medicare Tax withholding.
In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1.45%, you must withhold a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit and enter "Additional Medicare Tax" in the search box.
Credit reduction states.
A state that has not repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits is a "credit reduction state." The Department of Labor (DOL) determines these states. If you paid any wages that are subject to the unemployment compensation laws in any credit reduction state, your federal unemployment (FUTA) tax credit is reduced. See the Instructions for Schedule H (Form 1040) for more information.
Outsourcing payroll duties.
Employers are responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and payments are made, even if the employer contracts with a third party to perform these acts. The employer remains responsible if the third party fails to perform any required action. If you choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party payer, such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent, visit and enter “outsourcing payroll duties” in the search box for helpful information on this topic.
Photographs of missing children.
The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


The information in this publication applies to you only if you have a household employee. If you have a household employee in 2015, you may need to pay state and federal employment taxes for 2015. You generally must add your federal employment taxes to the income tax that you will report on your 2015 federal income tax return.
This publication will help you decide whether you have a household employee and, if you do, whether you need to pay federal employment taxes (social security tax, Medicare tax, FUTA, and federal income tax withholding). It explains how to figure, pay, and report these taxes for your household employee. It also explains what records you need to keep.
This publication also tells you where to find out whether you need to pay state unemployment tax for your household employee.

Comments and suggestions.

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can send us comments from Click on More Information and then click on Give us feedback.
Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service
Tax Forms and Publications
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224

We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
Tax questions.
If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-4933 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability at 1-800-829-4059) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time). We cannot answer tax questions sent to the above address.

Do You Have a Household Employee?

You have a household employee if you hired someone to do household work and that worker is your employee. The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done. If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full time or part time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job.


You pay Betty Shore to babysit your child and do light housework 4 days a week in your home. Betty follows your specific instructions about household and child care duties. You provide the household equipment and supplies that Betty needs to do her work. Betty is your household employee.

Household work.

Household work is work done in or around your home. Some examples of workers who do household work are:

Workers who are not your employees.

If only the worker can control how the work is done, the worker is not your employee but is self-employed. A self-employed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business.
A worker who performs child care services for you in his or her home generally is not your employee.
If an agency provides the worker and controls what work is done and how it is done, the worker is not your employee.


You made an agreement with John Peters to care for your lawn. John runs a lawn care business and offers his services to the general public. He provides his own tools and supplies, and he hires and pays any helpers he needs. Neither John nor his helpers are your household employees.

More information.

More information about who is an employee is in Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.