Have Fun & Get Your Taxes Done

For some Au Pairs this might be the first time you have filed income taxes. For others, you may have filed income taxes in your country in the past. It’s really not that complicated. First you ask yourself, “did I earn more than $4,050.00 during the calendar year of January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017”? If no, then you will not owe income taxes for this period, but it is recommended that you still file a return. If yes, then you will owe income taxes and you will need to file a return.

Your 2017 Tax return must be post marked or filed by April 17, 2018.

You will file 2017 1040NR-EZ by April 17, 2018.

  1. You will need your Social Security Number in order to file your income taxes.
  2. Calculate how much you have earned in 2017 by multiplying the number of weeks you received a stipend by the amount of your weekly stipend. For example, 30 weeks x 195.75 = $5,872.50.
  3. $5,872.50 – 4,050 = $1,822.50 $1,822.50 is your taxable income.
  4. Find the amount you owe using the 2017 Tax Tables (scroll down to page 23). In the example above, the amount would be $181.
  5. Complete your 1040NR-EZ using this information. Follow the 2017 instructions.
  6. You have two options for submitting your 2017 tax return: Pay online and mail your paper return to: Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Austin, TX 73301-0215 U.S.A.  This is also the address you would mail your completed return if you do not owe income taxes for the 2017 calendar year. If enclosing a payment (check or money order), mail your completed paper form to: Internal Revenue Service P.O. Box 1303 Charlotte, NC 28201-1303 U.S.A.
  7. Au Pairs who no longer reside in the United States, but earned more than the standard deduction between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 will need to file their income taxes by April 17, 2018.

All Au Pair agencies provide instructions on on how to file your income tax. You might also check your agency’s online account/your profile for more information.

What about State taxes? Every state has different rules for minimums/standard deductions. In Virginia, if you earn less than $11,950 in a calendar year, you DO NOT need to file Virginia State Tax. This is probably true for most Au Pairs in a given calendar year (unless an Au Pair earns more than the minimum weekly stipend).

In the United States it is law to file a tax return every calendar year.  If you choose not to file taxes it could prevent you from obtaining a U.S. visa in the future. Your social security number that you received is used by the IRS and certain other government entities for information purposes. You will not receive a new one no matter what life change (marriage) or any visa you apply for in the U.S.. I do not recommend evading your taxes. Instead, I recommend budgeting in advance by being aware of the dollar amount that you will owe or not owe based on the number of stipends you received from Jan 1st to December 31st. Set aside a percentage of this amount with each paycheck. No one wants to be surprised with owing taxes in April.

Do Host Families pay taxes? No (here). Host Families do not withhold taxes from their Au Pair’s income. An Au Pair is a non-resident alien and therefore medicare and social security does not need to be paid. Also, the IRS does not hold the Host Family responsible if their Au Pair chooses not to pay their income taxes. However, Host Families should provide some record of stipend payments to their Au Pair in the event of an audit by the IRS.
For dependent care purposes, Host Families should use the agency fee receipt (usually found within their online account) as well as any record of stipends they paid to their Au Pair. See here for more information.
Disclaimer: I am not a tax expert or accountant. This is general guidance with direct links to the IRS for complete information. When in doubt, consult a licensed professional.

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