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2011 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 2011?(p1)
If you did not have any household employees in 2011, you do not have to file Schedule H (Form 1040) for 2011.

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 2011 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 17, 2012.
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, 2012Give your employee Form W-2.
February 29, 2012 (April 2, 2012, if you file electronically)Send Copy A of Form W-2 with Form W-3 to the Social Security Administration. Visit for details.
April 17, 2012, (see below for exceptions)File Schedule H and pay your household employment taxes with your 2011 tax return.

The Basics(p2)


What's New(p2)

Changes to tax rates and wage threshold.(p2)
The FUTA tax rate was 6.2% from January 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011, and decreased to 6.0% for July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011. The tax rate is scheduled to remain at 6.0% for all of 2012.
For 2011, the tax rate for the employee portion of social security was reduced to 4.2% from 6.2% and the threshold for cash wages paid to household employees remained at $1,700.
For 2012, the threshold for cash wages paid to household employees will be $1,800.
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 2011, there are credit reduction states. If you paid wages that were subject to the unemployment compensation laws of a credit reduction state, you are not allowed the credit reduction rate (i.e., .003 or .006) of the regular .054 credit for that credit reduction state.
Advanced payment of earned income credit (EIC).(p2)
The option of receiving advance payroll payments of EIC is no longer available after December 31, 2010. Individuals eligible for EIC in 2011 can still claim the credit when they file their federal income tax return.


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 2011 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.
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.
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.

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, Household Employer's Tax Guide.

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 2011 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. Even if the wages are not subject to these taxes, if 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 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 2011, you probably have to pay contributions to your state unemployment fund for 2011. To find out if you do, contact your state unemployment tax agency right away. See the Contact List for State Unemployment Tax Agencies in these instructions 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.