Household Employment Forms: Paperwork to Complete Before Work Begins

Jun 18, 2019 | Hiring an Employee, Labor Laws


Before your household employee, like a nanny or in-home senior caregiver, begins work, there are some household employment forms that both you and your worker need to complete.

You’ve hired a nanny or in-home senior caregiver and you can’t wait for them to get started. You thoroughly screened your candidate, their references checked out, and their background checks came back clean. What’s next? There is still some household employment paperwork that both you and your employee need to complete before they start working.

Federal and State Employer Identification Numbers

If you’re a first-time employer, you need to obtain your federal employer identification number (FEIN) and your state ID. Your FEIN will be a nine-digit number issued by the IRS that will appear on all tax forms filed as a household employer including Schedule H and your employee’s W-2.

You can apply for an EIN online or receive one by mail or fax by submitting Form SS-4. You can get your EIN immediately if you apply online. It’ll generally take within four days by fax and about four weeks by mail.

Once you have an EIN, you don’t need to apply for another one even if you change employees. You can keep the same EIN for as long as you need it.

Don’t use your Social Security Number instead of an EIN on household employment tax forms.

For a state identification number, check with your state’s tax agency or department of revenue on how to obtain one.

New hire report

It’s a federal law that you file a new hire report, typically within 20 days of the start of your worker’s employment, for all newly hired and re-hired employees. There can be financial penalties if you file late or submit a report with false or missing information.

You may need to supply some or all of the following information about your employee:

  • first and last names and middle initial
  • address including street, city, state, and ZIP code
  • Social Security Number
  • hire date
  • date of birth
  • dependent health insurance benefits, if available, and when they qualify for these benefits.

You’ll also submit your employer information, which may include:

  • name
  • address including street, city, state, and ZIP code
  • federal employer identification number
  • state employer identification number

You can file a new hire report online through a designated state agency.

New hire reports are entered into a state registry and also transmitted to the National Directory of New Hires. Child support agencies use this database to locate and issue income withholding orders for parents who owe child support.

States also use new hire reporting to reduce fraudulent claims for public assistance, workers’ compensation, and unemployment benefits.

Form I-9

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of your household worker. As an employer, you must ensure the proper completion of Form I-9 for anyone you hire including citizens and noncitizens.

On Form I-9, your employee will attest to their authorization to work in the U.S. and provide acceptable documents attesting to their work eligibility and their identity.

Your employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment. Within three business days from the start of work, they must present original documents that establish their identity and employment authorization.

You’ll then review their employment authorization and identity documents to determine if they appear to be genuine and relate to your employee.

You’re required to retain an employee’s Form I-9 for either three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. You do not need to file Form I-9 with any federal agency. However, the form must be available for inspection by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.

Form I-9 audits have been significantly increasing and failing to comply can result in thousands of dollars in fines.

Form W-4

Form W-4 indicates the amount of federal income tax to withhold from an employee’s pay. It is not required for a household employer to withhold federal income taxes for their workers, but it is recommended. With regular withholdings, your employee won’t owe their entire tax obligation when they file their return.

GTM Can Help

Household employment comes with its fair share of hassles, including plenty of paperwork and forms. GTM Payroll Services can help remove these burdens and ensure you’re compliant with federal and state tax, wage, and labor laws. Call (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert and learn how we can save you time, reduce your stress, and give you peace of mind that your household taxes and payroll are being handled the right way.

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