TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / IRS Tax Forms / What Is Schedule H: Household Employment Taxes

What Is Schedule H: Household Employment Taxes

Updated for Tax Year 2014


OVERVIEW

If you hire people to do work around your house on a regular basis, they might be considered household employees. Being an employer comes with some responsibilities for paying and reporting employment taxes, which includes filing a Schedule H with your federal tax return. But even if you have household employees, filing Schedule H is required only if the total wages you pay them is more than certain threshold amounts specified by federal tax law.


Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

Start for Free

Household employees defined

People who provide services at your home as independent contractors aren't treated as household employees. The plumbers, electricians and babysitters you occasionally hire, for example, are independent contractors who take care of their own employment taxes.

Household employees commonly include housekeepers, maids, nannies and babysitters if you control which tasks they're responsible for and how they complete them. It essentially depends on the facts and circumstances of each situation. But if you have a nanny who lives in your home and takes care of your children five days per week, she's more likely a household employee than the plumber you call a few times per year.

When schedule H must be filed

Your tax return must include Schedule H only if you pay any single employee at least $1,900 in the current tax year, or cash wages to all household employees totaling $1,000 or more during any three-month calendar quarter during either the current or previous tax year. Although you're not required to withhold federal income tax from a household employee's wages, you must file Schedule H if you do withhold tax for an employee who requests it.

When you use TurboTax to prepare your taxes, we’ll ask you simple questions about your situation and use your answers to fill in the appropriate tax forms.

Household employment taxes

The household employment taxes that you may have to account for on Schedule H cover the same three taxes that are withheld from all employment wages: the 12.4 percent Social Security tax, a 2.9 percent Medicare tax and the 6 percent federal unemployment tax, or FUTA. If you also pay state unemployment insurance taxes, Schedule H gives you credit for them by reducing the FUTA rate.

You are responsible for paying all of FUTA – employees don't make contributions through withholding. You also must pay half of each household employee's Social Security and Medicare tax liability; the employee pays the other half through amounts you withhold from her wages. If you have to pay these taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, Schedule H calculates the precise amount that you should have withheld, as well as the portion you owe.

How schedule H affects your 1040

Schedule H helps you calculate the three formulas needed to figure out how much employment tax you owe – which is based on the total amount of wages you paid out to household employees. Once you complete Schedule H and know the total amount of household employment tax for which you're liable, enter the figure on the relevant line in the “Other Taxes” section of your 1040 form and combine it with your personal income tax bill for the year.

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax Online pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal efile of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Mobile: Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Come back here before you file to confirm that the price has not changed, especially if it's been a while since you downloaded this app.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app features and content. TurboTax mobile app devices supported include Android 4.1 and above, iOS 8 on iPhone 4s and above, and iPad 2.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support (phone or chat) vary by time of year. Phone support not included with Free Edition.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Click here for full terms and conditions. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • Get up to 10% on top of your federal refund: Amazon.com Gift Card offer is for federal refunds only. Limits apply ($2000 per e-card, maximum $10,000 per customer). Offer available only for TurboTax Online (except Federal Free Edition) or CD/download versions sold and shipped, or downloaded directly from Intuit or Amazon. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards cannot be canceled, transferred for value or redeemed for cash.

    Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ('GCs') cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2013 TurboTax products.
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars: Average based on customer ratings on TurboTax.com for TurboTax Online and CD/download products tax year 2014, as of January 2015.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • TurboTax CD/Download priority phone support: Priority phone support for TurboTax CD/Download Premier and Home & Business is accessible exclusively via the TurboTax.com Help Center.
  • Benefit Assist: After you file, TurboTax automatically shows you a full list of government benefits you may qualify for, like Food Stamps or reduced phone & utilities. Plus, we help you apply, saving you time and making it easier than ever to get more money! Estimate based on calculation of Benefit Assist users from tax year 2013 and published reports of average benefit and savings amounts from federal and state programs. Actual amounts and qualifications based on your individual situation; some individuals will not qualify. Feature may not be available for all customers.
  • Simplified State Experience: New, simplified state tax preparation available for most filers.
  • Eligibility for $25 cash back for returning Deluxe customers: Customers who have completed their 2013 taxes in TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), and have completed their 2014 taxes in either TurboTax Premier or TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download), and apply here before 11:59PM PDT April 20, 2015, are eligible for $25 back. 2014 TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.
  • $0 Upgrade Offer: Valid for customers who filed their 2013 taxes with TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), completed prior year data transfer this year, and encounter an upgrade to either 2014 TurboTax Premier or 2014 TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download). Valid February 6, 2015 through April 20, 2015. TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. This offer may not be combined with our $25 cash back offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.