A household employee is anyone you pay to provide domestic services in your household, such as:
- Babysitters, nannies, and au pairs
- Caretakers, health aides, and private nurses
- Housekeepers and maids
- Gardeners, landscapers, and yard-keepers
- Drivers and chauffeurs
- Personal assistants, personal chefs, and cooks
If you hired a household worker through an agency, and the agency is responsible for who does the work and how the work is performed, then the agency is responsible for all employment taxes. This should be specified in your contract for services with the agency.
If you hired a self-employed worker, then that individual is responsible for his or her own Social Security and Medicare taxes (the self-employment tax). A self-employed worker is someone who controls how the work is performed, and provides his or her own supplies and equipment.