The Law Dictionary

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Do We Need To Give Our Babysitter A 1099 Tax Form?

Generally speaking, because babysitting is a personal service rather than a business expense, you do not have to give your babysitter a 1099 tax form. Only companies give out 1099 tax forms for services rendered in the course of trade or business. There are exceptions, of course. If someone provides babysitting services as a contractor for a business, then the business must give that person a 1099 form detailing the income she received if she made more than $600 in a single year.

A babysitter is technically determined to be a self-employed individual when it comes to taxes. Your babysitter is responsible for reporting her income to the IRS, but unless you are a business entity, you have no responsibility to document your payment for the IRS, no matter how much she charges for her services.

Babysitters As Employees

The one exception for which you would be eligible to account for your babysitter on tax forms is if she were your employee. This is the case for live-in nannies and regular childcare providers who operate under your strict rules. The IRS defines an employee as someone whose work affairs are controlled by the employer, whether reimbursements are paid and whether there is a written contract involved in the transaction. In this case, you need to prepare a W-2 form for the babysitter or nanny if you paid at least $1,800 in a year (as of 2012) or if you withheld federal taxes on any amount of money.

Filling Out A W-2 For A Babysitter

It may seem silly to file official paperwork for something as casual as a babysitting agreement, but if your babysitter is treated as an employee, provided with her own tools, controlled while on the job or given an employment contract, she may in fact technically be an employee. The process of filling out a W-2 involves downloading the form from the IRS website, filling it out and filing it with the IRS, giving sections B, C and 2 to your employee by the end of January of the year following the tax year, and copying section A with form W-3 to the Social Security Administration by the end of February.

How It’s Often Done

If a self-employed individual markets herself as a babysitter, generally speaking you don’t have to worry about it with the IRS. Even if she works for you on a regular basis, the IRS will generally not audit you or them. The only case in which a babysitter will get audited if she doesn’t have a W-2 is if she lives on the premises of her employers.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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