Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

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Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:57 am

My wife and I have recently had a baby, and are in the process of hiring a nanny. We've discovered that many (most?) nannies prefer to be paid off-the-books. From asking around, this seems reasonably common, and doesn't carry with it much risk from the IRS.

The question is whether this will present any issues if I later apply for a job with the federal government. I am in a practice area where many associates eventually spend 5-10 years working for the government, which carries with it an FBI background check, complete with interviews of references, etc...

Does anyone have any idea as to whether paying a nanny off the books is going to be something that they'll catch, or care about if they do catch?

lawalum

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby lawalum » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:54 am

Google "Zoe Baird".

I paid our nannies on the books - but I grossed up and paid their taxes. But I agree - most nannies prefer to be off the books. Not sure if a FBI background check would look at nanny pay.

albanach

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby albanach » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My wife and I have recently had a baby, and are in the process of hiring a nanny. We've discovered that many (most?) nannies prefer to be paid off-the-books. From asking around, this seems reasonably common, and doesn't carry with it much risk from the IRS.

The question is whether this will present any issues if I later apply for a job with the federal government. I am in a practice area where many associates eventually spend 5-10 years working for the government, which carries with it an FBI background check, complete with interviews of references, etc...

Does anyone have any idea as to whether paying a nanny off the books is going to be something that they'll catch, or care about if they do catch?


Check your state's requirements for worker's comp cover for a nanny. If your nanny is injured while working for you, you could be making payments for the rest of their life. And even if you don't need cover, you might want to double check your liability insurance.

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Taco

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby Taco » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:17 pm

Have you considered hiring an au pair?

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:17 pm

lawalum wrote:Google "Zoe Baird".

I paid our nannies on the books - but I grossed up and paid their taxes. But I agree - most nannies prefer to be off the books. Not sure if a FBI background check would look at nanny pay.

OP here. Obviously sympathetic to the Nannygate issue, but I'm not smart/ambitious/successful enough to be put through Senate confirmation hearings here. Just trying to make sure I can land a DOJ job. Seems a bit different?

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:29 pm

Taco wrote:Have you considered hiring an au pair?

Don't have room for a live-in.

lawalum

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby lawalum » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawalum wrote:Google "Zoe Baird".

I paid our nannies on the books - but I grossed up and paid their taxes. But I agree - most nannies prefer to be off the books. Not sure if a FBI background check would look at nanny pay.

OP here. Obviously sympathetic to the Nannygate issue, but I'm not smart/ambitious/successful enough to be put through Senate confirmation hearings here. Just trying to make sure I can land a DOJ job. Seems a bit different?



Maybe not. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that whether or not you paid nanny taxes isn't likely to show up on a background check, but it is the kind of thing the DOJ would care about if it did - even if you aren't gunning for attorney general. When faced with this question years ago, I dealt with it by grossing up. Our nannies were happy with this arrangement - but probably many still prefer to be completely off the books.

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:58 pm

I have heard horror stories of nannies reporting that they literally weren’t paid in order to screw over their employers after being fired. If you’re paying them off the books, you really do not have much defense against that kind of complaint. That is a potentially criminal issue & your defense will be that you were just trying to evade taxes...not a good look for a barred attorney who can’t claim ignorance of the law OR an inability to afford childcare.

It really is much riskier for you than it is for the nanny, and you probably make enough to pay on the books. So just do that.

nleefer

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Re: Nanny Taxes and FBI Background Checks

Postby nleefer » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:33 pm

lawalum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawalum wrote:Google "Zoe Baird".

I paid our nannies on the books - but I grossed up and paid their taxes. But I agree - most nannies prefer to be off the books. Not sure if a FBI background check would look at nanny pay.

OP here. Obviously sympathetic to the Nannygate issue, but I'm not smart/ambitious/successful enough to be put through Senate confirmation hearings here. Just trying to make sure I can land a DOJ job. Seems a bit different?



Maybe not. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that whether or not you paid nanny taxes isn't likely to show up on a background check, but it is the kind of thing the DOJ would care about if it did - even if you aren't gunning for attorney general. When faced with this question years ago, I dealt with it by grossing up. Our nannies were happy with this arrangement - but probably many still prefer to be completely off the books.


The background check form you fill out when starting most government jobs specifically asks about past failure to pay taxes. Lying on this form is generally considered a bad idea.



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