Post # 1
Okay you don’t have to be a legal bee, maybe just if you know something to help! Last summer, I was hired as a “nanny” for three kids. I was in college, and they offered to pay me 50 bucks a day, so I accepted it because I figured it was better than declining and taking more time looking for a better job. That “day” ended up being 10 hours long, 5 days a week, for a 1, 5, and 7 year old. That equals out to 5 dollars an hour for THREE children. I woke them up, dressed them, fed them breakfast, entertained them all day, made them lunch, and their parents came home at 6 in time to feed them dinner. Talk about being taken advantage of!
Anyway.. I know it’s my fault for not asking for more money, I just couldn’t bring myself to asking them.. I was afraid it’d be awkward since I had already agreed to the amount. I was just going to cut my losses, and forget about it. Tax season rolled around though, and I found out they had used me as a tax write off! I ended up OWING the government $350 since they called me a babysitter, which made it as though I had my own business so I had to pay those taxes.
I guess what I’m trying to ask is.. is this even legal? I was looking at another thread and a ton of people said.. “5 dollars? That’s illegal!” which makes me wonder. What should I do? The only bad thing is this was summer of 2010, so it’s been awhile.. but they live one street from my parents so it’s not like it’d be hard to get ahold of them. I didn’t even realize they filed me on their taxes until June of this year when my husband and I were doing a tax amendment through H&R block.
Post # 3
The law generally recognizes agreements parties make with one another, even if they wouldn’t be acceptable to everyone. I think in this case, there’s really nothing you can do. I don’t know the tax implications of using “babysitter” but I think you just have to tell them that if you work for them in the future, you need more money.
Post # 4
Have you contacted your tax department? You can appeal every decision. Set up an appointment to meet with someone and explain that you were hired as an hourly employee.
I have no idea why the designation of “babysitter” vs “nanny” affects whether or not you are considered a business. In Canada parents can deduct the cost of child care but it certainly doesn’t turn an hourly employee into a business.
Post # 5
did you have anything in writing? if not, then I am not sure where to go from there….
Post # 6
@LoveMySailor1018: It’s natural that they would use you as a write off, but if you made less than $8375 (for 2010), then you are exempt from paying income taxes as an individual.
Post # 7
Yes, it is illegal- if they are going to claim you on their taxes and not pay you under the table they need to pay you minimum wage. The also need to with hold part of your taxes. I have a lot of research on this because I went through a very similar situation- message me- I’ll give you my information once I get home today. You were not a babysitter- you were a nanny.
My situation was a little different because I ended up convincing them to not use me as a tax write off and pay me under the table.
Post # 8
Not a legal bee, but I know some stuff about this…
About how much did you make total working for them?
Also, did you get paid the full $50 or did they take money out from your paycheck at all?
Post # 9
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: H&R block didn’t tell me I was exempt! I only worked for the summer so I definitely didn’t make $8,000 at 200 a week (I just remembered the dad would stay home some Wednesdays so sometimes it was only 4 days a week instead of 5). Darling Husband ended up getting a ton of money back so I didn’t actually have to pay that money out of pocket, but it was still deducted from our return. I know $350 isn’t THAT much, but it’s still the principle of the matter, right? Thank you for the information!!
@accorn: Great, thank you!! Minimum wage is 7.25 and I only got paid 5, so that’s only 70 percent of what is the legal minimum, besides the fact that I should’ve gotten paid even more for taking care of three children! I wish mine had been different, they didn’t even tell me they used me until one day they asked for my SSN and I asked why and they were like “ohh.. we’re using it for this, don’t even worry about it it won’t affect you…” please do let me know!!
@canthugallcats: I don’t remember exact start and end dates, but I worked about 14 weeks so about $2800. They would pay me exactly 50 for every day I worked. =[
EESH! I make that in a month now, ridiculous.
Post # 10
Sounds like they counted you as a household employee but didn’t pay the required FICA taxes (unless they paid them but did not withhold them–that is allowed). That alone would account for over $200 owed based on your $2800 figure, above. (And I don’t think you can be exempt from those the way you can Federal income tax.)The rest could have something to do with your state laws.
And while I no longer use H&R block for my taxes (FI is an accountant, I save $$ by having him check my returns), they’re usually pretty good. If you think there’s something wrong you can ask them to review your return.
If you made over $1600 then, yes, you were covered under the FLSA and should have been paid minimum wage. I believe you CAN ask them for back wages but I’d probably let it go (not to mention what headache the taxes would be for *this* year to deal with delayed wages, etc.).
Post # 11
@thirdtimebride: I read somewhere that unless the person employs 4 or more people, they aren’t considered an “employer” so the don’t have to pay minimum wage?? I’m not sure about anything though. And I would like to just drop it but I also think they have been doing this to other girls during the summers for awhile now. They are trying to “save money” but are shafting people in the process, and they probably don’t even realize it! If anything I’d want to bring it to their attention and show them how much they “owe” me, but tell them I don’t even want it anymore.
Although.. DH’s Navy Ball is coming up and I could certainly use that $350 I paid to the government back to buy a dress, and for other bills! It’s really just the principle of the matter. Whether it be $350 or $3500 they shafted me, it’s still wrong!!
Post # 12
@LoveMySailor1018: My boss employes only me & then a seasonal co-worker & we are definately employees & pay taxes. We’re a very small business. It could be that over 4 people they have to pay something else too… not sure what though.
If you made over $1600 in a year for babysitting/ nanny-ing, what SHOULD have happened is they should have withheld a little from each check (around $7), & then they paid another $7 so the gov got $14 each time. Not that exact amount, but just used it as an example.
Its called a “nanny tax” but it applies to any household employee. Whether you were called a babysitter or a nany, a butler, etc… if you made over $1600 than you have to pay taxes.
Idk if they’re trying to trick you. They may not really know about all this that you’re now going through, just that they had to pay taxes on you also. Or maybe they used you as a tax write off & have no idea what this does to their former employees. I had no idea that you had to pay employee taxes for a babysitter!