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Do You Need to Pay Employment Taxes for Your Teen Babysitter?

Most Teen Sitters Don't Require Tax Payments

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It's a question typically asked by families each year around tax preparation time: "Do I have to pay in any type of employment taxes for my children's teenage babysitter?" Typically, the answer is NO. Here's the scoop:

If you pay a household employee more than a certain amount (check the threshold each year), you may be required to pay Social Security, Medicare taxes, and to file the IRS Schedule H with your tax return. But not everyone is required to pay.

The IRS cites that you don't need to count wages paid to an employee who is younger than 18 at any time during the year. To confuse things a bit, you're supposed to count these wages if the employee's "principal occupation" is providing household services. However, if an employee is a student, then providing these household services isn't considered to be that individual's principal occupation.

Still confused? Check out Publication 926 from the IRS.
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