Q&A: Reporting caregivers’ pay to the IRS

Dear Liz: We have a gardener, pool man and caregivers. We pay the gardener, pool man and some of the caregivers directly, while we pay an agency for the other caregivers. Do we have an obligation to report payments to the IRS?

Answer: As an individual taxpayer, you typically don’t have to report payments to businesses. Your gardener and pool cleaner probably either are self-employed or work for a company that takes care of reporting requirements for its workers. Likewise, the caregiving agency should handle reporting requirements for its employees.

The caregivers you pay directly, however, are generally considered your household employees. That means you may be responsible for reporting their wages to the IRS and paying their employment taxes. That responsibility kicks in if a caregiver receives at least $1,000 in any calendar quarter or at least $2,400 per calendar year for 2022 (or $2,300 per calendar year for 2021), says Mark Luscombe, principal analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. IRS Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide, has details.

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