WHAT ARE AU PAIRS RESPONSIBILITY?
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers au pairs to be “employees” of the host family for tax reasons, even though in the United States on a “cultural exchange” visa. Therefore, the weekly au pair stipend is subject to U.S. income taxes. Au pairs are responsible for declaring their own income, submitting a tax return and paying taxes if necessary.
In order to file income taxes in the U.S., you need to have either a social security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (“ITIN”).
HOW MUCH DO AU PAIRS HAVE TO PAY?
Because the maximum tax burden for the vast majority of au pairs is less than $1,000, there is usually no need for the au pair to make quarterly estimated payments, or to have the host family withhold taxes. However, if an au pair is paid a particularly large stipend amount*, they and their host family should consult with a tax advisor to check whether there is a need to withhold taxes or make quarterly estimated payments. In the rare case that an au pair has previously been in the United States with an F, J, M or Q non-immigrant visa before becoming an au pair, she might be considered a “resident alien” for tax purposes. In such a case, the host family and au pair should consult a tax advisor because the host family may need to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes and to pay Federal Unemployment Tax for their au pair.
Au pairs are allowed to claim a personal exemption for themselves, but are not eligible for the standard deduction in their tax filing. Au pairs are not considered “students” by the IRS so they are also not eligible to exclude au pair wages from gross income under the student article of any U.S. income tax treaty.
We recommend for the au pair to set aside 10 to 15 USD per week to cover any taxes you might owe. To see an example of how much taxes might be you can follow the steps in the Tax information for au pairs guide.
*Some families choose to pay more than the required $195.75 stipend. However, this is not an exchange for more hours. Many families choose to increase the stipend during an extension year.
WHERE CAN AU PAIRS AND HOST FAMILIES GET HELP?
The IRS website (irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Au-Pairs) has the most recent and only official information about au pairs and taxes.
IRS Help number: 1-800-829-1040 within the US, and +1-267-941-1000 outside the US.
IRS Chat function helps to direct you on their webpage.
Download our Tax information for au pairs guide.
If additional information is needed, we advise host families and au pairs to speak with a local professional tax advisor or directly with the IRS.
WHEN DO AU PAIRS NEED TO FILE TAXES?
By April 18, 2018 the au pair should file form 1040NR-EZ to report her/his au pair stipend for the previous calendar year.
HOW TO SUBMIT THE FORM?
To mail: Please see the 3rd page of “Instructions for Form 1040NR-EZ” under “Where To File”.
For E-File options: https://www.irs.gov/filing/e-file-options
Tuesday, 3 April 2018 2:31 PM