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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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My mother has alzheimers. i am currently paying two

Customer Question

my mother has alzheimers. i am currently paying two health-care workers approximately $1,600 every two weeks, private pay, to take care of her, by check. i told them that they would be responsible for any taxes due. I am not withholding any taxes, nor paying any workers' comp or unemployment premiums on them. am i responsible for withholding or anything else? or issuing them a 1099?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 10 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your patience. It took me a while to compose.

Part I.

Household employees are deemed employees. You need to at least to have them fill out Form W-9 for you to give you their Social Security Numbers and addresses with their signature.

If you feel embarrassed to have them fill out the form, you need to have them write down the information to you so that you will not be liable for their income tax if they have not filed their income tax returns.

The tax issue is dealt with on Schedule H of your or your mother's Form 1040. l

Most states deem household helpers employees, as well. Ohio is such a state.

It is suggested that you retain a professional tax return preparer to help you with the filing requirement or to retain a professional home care staffing agency to let them worry about the payroll tax issues. The filing requirement and paperwork are not so easy to do.

If you start to withhold payroll taxes from their current salary, wages, they will feel that they are short changed. Maybe consider to pay for their payroll taxes for them. Their salary could be too low for income tax withholding.

Part II.

If you pay for your mother's home care, either she or you can deduct the long-term care expenses, on the Schedule A, itemized deduction. You may or may not be able to claim her as your dependent on your tax return. But you can claim the medical expenses, including long-term care, on your own tax return.

Part III.

You may want to contact you or your mother's county's Department of Aging or Senior Services. Because your mother has 24 hours care already, you are not afraid that they take her away from you. Sometimes, they do that by claiming that the person does not have 24 hours care. The reason for such inquiry, or you can research on line, is that your mother seems to qualify for home care and home health care. If qualified, the current care givers can be paid up to about 20 hours per week with $25/hour. That much burden is reduced from you. Also, she would have home health care visiting nurse and physical therapy, etc. paid by the state. She may be qualified for Medicaid, food stamp, utility help, etc. In some more populated states, the seniors may even qualify for day care in senior day care facilities. Usually, they are equipped for Alzheimers care because that is why the seniors needing day care. That facility use can be paid by Medicaid, as well.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 10 months ago.

p.s. You can use form W-4, too.