Note: all tax information provided by PROaupair is general in nature regarding U.S. income tax requirements of au pairs working in the U.S. as part of the J-1 au pair program. For specific questions, please speak with a professional tax advisor or accountant. PROaupair, our staff, and Area Directors are not able to provide additional tax guidance or advice.
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether a host family needs to provide their professional au pair with a W2 form for stipend payments. The answer is no. Because the au pair stipend is paid for domestic service in a private home, stipend payments are not subject to mandatory U.S. income tax withholding and reporting on Forms 941 and W2.
In addition, stipend payments are not subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. The Internal Revenue Code states “Services performed by a non-resident-alien while temporarily in the United States as a non-resident under subparagraph 9J) of section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and nationality Act are excluded from coverage under the Social Security Program if the services are performed to carry out the purpose for which the non-resident alien was admitted to the United States.”
However, stipend income is still taxable to the au pair as wages. Federal withholding is not required unless the “employee” (the au pair) asks the “employer” (the host family) to withhold Federal income tax and the “employer” agrees to do so. Any withholding must be mutually agreed to.
Another frequently asked question is whether the weekly stipend or program fee represents a qualifying childcare expense to the host family. PROaupair advises host families to verify their particular situation with their tax advisor, but we believe the stipend is a qualifying childcare expense. To claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for the au pair stipend, the host family will need to provide the au pair’s social security number. We recommend you collect you au pair’s Social Security information and maintain it for your records.
For a list of frequently asked questions, visit the PROaupair web page for tax information for host families: https://proaupair.com/tax-resources-for-host-families.
For more detailed information about taxes and the J-1 au pair program, please visit the IRS website pages specifically related to au pairs: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/au-pairs