What is a Household Employer? | IRS Definition of a Household Employer

A household employer is an individual who employs people around their home, such as maids, gardeners, and babysitters. This is not what is traditionally thought of as an “employer,” but it is still an employer. Usually a household employer pays someone on an independent contractor basis, but that’s not always true: a household employer can withhold tax from their employee’s wages if asked.

When hiring household employees, a household employer will be a sole proprietorship. They will be able to use their SSN on any 1099 forms that they give out. But if they elect to withhold tax from their employee’s wages, they are going to need to acquire an EIN. An EIN is also known as an Employer Identification Number. They will also need to get a W9 and other employment forms filled out to formalize the employment process. At the end of the year, the employer is responsible for sending out 1099 and W2 forms to their household employees so they can pay their own taxes.


Written by Maurice Mallory