The earnings threshold for withholding and paying Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes for a household employee has risen to $2,000 for 2016. If you hire domestic help, that person may qualify as your employee for tax purposes.
Workers who may qualify as employees are nannies, housekeepers, gardeners, drivers, health aides, and babysitters, among others. A worker is not considered to be your employee when only the worker or an agency, and not you, controls how the work is done.
You are responsible for paying (and withholding the employee’s share of) FICA taxes if you pay your household employee $2,000 or more in cash wages. The dollar amount applies separately to each employee in your household. Generally, wages paid to someone under age 18 won’t be subject to FICA tax if the work isn’t the person’s “principal occupation.”