skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help

Topic Index

Tax Topics

About Tax Map Website

2010 Instructions for Schedule H (Form 1040) 
Household Employment Taxes






Here is a list of forms you need to complete:(p1)

For more information, see What Forms Must You File? in Pub. 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide.
No household employees in 2010?(p1)
If you did not have any household employees in 2010, you do not have to file Schedule H (Form 1040) for 2010.

We have been asked:(p1)

What do I do after I fill in Schedule H?(p1)
Enter the taxes from Schedule H on the Household employment taxes line of your Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or 1041. You do this because these taxes are added to your income taxes.
How do I file Schedule H?(p1)
File Schedule H with your Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or 1041. If you are not filing a 2010 tax return, file Schedule H by itself.
Do I make a separate payment?(p1)
No. You pay all the taxes to the United States Treasury, even the social security taxes.
When do I pay?(p1)
Most filers must pay by April 18, 2011.
How many copies of Form W-3 do I send to the Social Security Administration (SSA)?(p1)
Send one copy of Form W-3 with Copy A of Form(s) W-2 to the SSA, and keep one copy of Form W-3 for your records. Instructions for filing Forms W-2 and Form W-3 electronically are available at

Important Dates!(p2)

ByYou must
January 31, 2011Give your employee Form W-2.
February 28, 2011 (March 31, 2011, if you file electronically)Send Copy A of Form W-2 with Form W-3 to the Social Security Administration. Visit for details.
April 18, 2011 (see page H-3 for exceptions)File Schedule H and pay your household employment taxes with your 2010 tax return.

The Basics(p2)


What's New(p2)

Credit reduction state.(p2)
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 determines these states. If an employer pays wages that are subject to the unemployment tax laws of a credit reduction state, that employer must pay additional federal unemployment tax. For 2010, Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina are credit reduction states. If you paid any wages in Indiana and South Carolina that are subject to the unemployment compensation laws of these states, you are not allowed .003 of the regular .054 credit. If you paid any wages in Michigan that are subject to the unemployment compensation laws of Michigan, you are not allowed .006 of the regular .054 credit. See the instructions for line 23 on page H-5 for more information.


Paid preparers are required to sign Schedule H.(p2)
Your paid preparer must sign Schedule H in Part IV unless you are attaching Schedule H to Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or Form 1041. A paid preparer must sign Schedule H and provide the information requested in the Paid Preparer Use Only section if the preparer was paid to prepare Schedule H and is not your employee. The preparer must give you a copy of the return in addition to the copy to be filed with the IRS.
If you must file a 2010 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, for any household employee, you must also send Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statement, with Copy A of Form(s) W-2 to the Social Security Administration. You are encouraged to file your Forms W-2 and W-3 electronically. Visit the Social Security website at to learn about electronic filing.

Who Needs To File Schedule H?(p2)

You must file Schedule H if you answer Yes to any of the questions on lines A, B, or C of Schedule H.
Did you have a household employee?(p2)
If you hired someone to do household work and you were able to control what work he or she did and how he or she did it, you had a household employee. This is true even if you gave the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you had the right to control the details of how the work was done.


You paid Betty Oak to babysit your child and do light housework 4 days a week in your home. Betty followed your specific instructions about household and child care duties. You provided the household equipment and supplies Betty needed to do her work. Betty is your household employee.
Household work is work done in or around your home. Some examples of workers who do household work are:
CaretakersHealth aidesPrivate nurses
Cleaning peopleHousekeepersYard workers
If a worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full or part-time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. Also, it does not matter if the wages paid are for work done hourly, daily, weekly, or by the job.
Note.(p2) If a government agency or third party agent reports and pays the employment taxes on wages paid to your household employee under its employer identification number (EIN), you do not need to file Schedule H to report those taxes.

If you are a home care service recipient receiving home care services through a program administered by a federal, State, or local government agency, you can designate an agent under section 3504 to report, file, and pay all federal employment taxes, including FUTA taxes, on your behalf.
Workers who are not your employees.(p2)
Workers you get from an agency are not your employees if the agency is responsible for who does the work and how it is done. Self-employed workers are also not your employees. A worker is self-employed if only he or she can control how the work is done. A self-employed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business.


You made an agreement with Paul Brown to care for your lawn. Paul runs a lawn care business and offers his services to the general public. He hires his own helpers, instructs them how to do their jobs, and provides his own tools and supplies. Neither Paul nor his helpers are your employees.
For more information, see Pub. 926.

Who Needs To File Form W-2 and Form W-3?(p2)

You must file Form W-2 for each household employee to whom you paid $1,700 or more of cash wages in 2010 that are subject to social security and Medicare taxes. To find out if the wages are subject to these taxes, see the instructions for Schedule H, lines 1 and 3, on page H-4. If the wages are not subject to these taxes but you withheld federal income tax from the wages of any household employee, you must file Form W-2 for that employee.
If you file one or more Forms W-2, you must also file 
Form W-3.

Do You Have an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?(p3)

If you have household employees, you will need an EIN to file Schedule H. If you do not have an EIN, see Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. The Instructions for Form SS-4 explain how you can get an EIN immediately over the internet or by telephone, in 4 business days by fax, or in about 4 weeks if you apply by mail. See How To Get Forms and Publications on page H-7 for details on how to get forms and publications including Form SS-4. Do not use a social security number in place of an EIN. To get an EIN over the internet, visit and click on Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online.

Can Your Employee Legally Work in the United States?(p3)

It is unlawful to employ an alien who cannot legally work in the United States. When you hire a household employee to work for you on a regular basis, you and the employee must each complete part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. You must verify that the employee is either a U.S. citizen or an alien who can legally work and you must keep Form I-9 for your records. You can get the form and the USCIS Handbook for Employers by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by visiting the USCIS website at

What About State Employment Taxes?(p3)

If you employed a household employee in 2010, you probably have to pay contributions to your state unemployment fund for 2010. To find out if you do, contact your state unemployment tax agency right away. See page H-11 for some helpful contact information for each state. You should also find out if you need to pay or collect other state employment taxes or carry workers' compensation insurance.
See the Appendix in Pub. 926 for a complete listing of contact information for state unemployment tax agencies.