New Nanny Needs Solution to Tax Problem

opinion 2 I was offered a part-time nanny-household manager position starting after Labor Day. The position involves caring for three children (6, 4.5 and 3 years of age), child related cleaning duties, along with weekly and monthly household cleaning, plus household organization, something their former nanny (the one I am replacing) didn't do when asked. (I have seen the list of chores, and they are very simple things that the kids can help out with). MB and DB and the kids and I connected, and I am really looking forward to this job, because I need a challenge.

Anyway, MB mentioned that the more I put into the job, the more I get out of it. She doesn't appear to be a critical control freak with unrealistic expectations, or unreasonable and demanding. She mentioned that while they had a good relationship with the last nanny, she didn't like the fact that she (MB) would come home at the end of the day and find a mess created by the kids and the "nanny list" not being checked off. MB gave me the example of how her 4.5 year old went into the fridge, took an egg, and it ended up cracked open underneath the sofa while their nanny was on duty. Dried egg on a carpet. Other examples were various areas of the house that need organization, such as the kids' rooms, closets, etc. I think MB is frustrated and felt let down by the former nanny in terms of household things not being done, thereby having MB come home to work "second shift" (doing the shift that all working parents do at the end of the day).

I plan on being the best nanny I can. The children appear to be well behaved, however, MB did mention that the youngest child will play the "wandering eater", eating a few bites and wandering to and from the table in between bites. She also mentioned that he still uses a sippy cup. During the working interview, I arrived on a Saturday morning where MB cooked breakfast and went to run errands, giving me some time with the kids. (DB was in his office upstairs.) The youngest one did the "wandering eater", when I explained to him after the second time he left the table that I would throw his breakfast out if he didn't sit down and eat. I was firm and gentle, and he sat and ate. The second time I was there was last week, and I explained the same thing about leaving the table and eating. I also used a regular cup instead of a sippy, and he did great with it, if you don't count the fact that he spilled milk on his shirt. Overall, the kids and I got along well and we made fruitt putti. The 6 year old, who loves arts and crafts, said "we like playing with this stuff. Our nanny never makes things with us". I thought that was interesting, and wondered what their nanny did with them during the day.

MB admitted the children need a pinch of discipline, a dash of structure and more activities. It is my own personal belief to gradually introduce changes and new things in child's life during a transition period, such as new teachers/caregivers. MB gave the go ahead for a daily schedule, the "behavior bubble ladder", household rules, and "cleanest plate" and "I tried everything on my plate" awards (I developed these awards this summer because I have a child in my class that won't eat peas).

MB, DB and I feel that the children transitioned well to me: do I jump in with the changes or gradually introduce them as they get used to me being their new nanny. I am thinking the second one, however, I would love to have your thoughts.

The other issue is taxes. DB and MB own three businesses, and I will not be claimed as an employee. I will be working 15 hours a week to start with, and as MB said, there is the potential for more hours due to the seasons changing (DB is a contractor with business busy from April-October and his hobby which is bow hunting and his other business related to hunting, which keeps him busy from end of September to December and again from February-April). The hourly wage will go up based on effort, performance and dedication to the job. I am wondering if they are aware that they can be fined if they don't pay on the books and deduct necessary taxes. This isn't a deal breaker for me, as there has to be a solution to the problem. What are some suggestions you may have in terms of taxes?


Anonymous said...

This job has so many flags attached, you should run like (*)(*).

CHECK OFF A LIST? What is this, grammar school?
ORGANIZE THE CLOSETS, after taking care of children and apparently cleaning the whole house.
CLEANING THE WHOLE HOUSE-The better you do, the more you will get to do.
PAY BASED ON PERFORMANCE? Trust me, you will never be able to do it well enough to be paid properly.
PAY YOU OFF THE BOOKS? When they have THREE businesses?

This post has actually given me a (*)(*) of a headache. Don't take this job. And if you do, and it ends badly, which it will, blackmail the hell out of them. And if that doesn't work, turn them into the IRS. (Get immunity first.) These people steal from other people, and they will steal from you. They are TELLING you they will. LISTEN TO THEM!

Now where is the Advil?

Truth Seeker said...

Ah..Village you beat me to the punch. LOL. I wholeheartedly agree this job could be the next "Nanny Horror Story." Run for the hills and do not look back.

Sure, we all love a challenge OP, but this job sounds like a nightmare. You have to care for three children, clean the house, organize the house, manage the house, etc., etc...Man you couldn't pay me enough for all the duties you have to do.

And MOMBOSS told you "The more you put in, the more you get out..." WTF??! She means, "The more you put in, the more SHE gets out of this..." And you get paid more based on performance?! Childcare is not commission based work. Give me a break.

As for the taxes, since you are only working less than part time, I am not sure if legally you have to claim what you make. Hopefully some of the other posters on here can answer this one...I just think you need to leave this job alone.

Phoenix said...

I think you should say something like. "I always thought that a nanny has to be on the books. I always thought people could get fined for that?"

Make it a question/comment/suggestion statement. Sometimes saying something like in a way that isn't telling them to do something but still making the point is the best way to do it. it will start a conversation up. You don't want to flat out tell them what to do. People get offended easily.

Also did you tell MB how you made her kid sit still and eat? Maybe she could take some pointers from you and do the same things. She needs to reinforce what you are doing.

pgh nanny said...

Why would you want to work with this family? They sound like complete asses...there are so many red flags. First, the checklist..are you kidding? I find that disrespectful to the nanny. Second...I have met families like this-i can tell you there will be boundary issues and that they will push your limits.

pgh nanny said...

Are they guaranteeing you !5 hours a week 52 weeks a year? What happens if they call you off or go away? What happens if you are sick? Is it paid or unpaid?

I would suggest that you have them guarantee you 15 hours a week and then anything over that is paid at an additional hourly rate.

Also seems like everyone is critical of the old nanny..she probably is spending all of her time cleaning their house and has no time for arts and craft...I am just saying that after you are there 6 months the novelty of this will wear off and you will feel unappreciated...Also consider if this family is firing the nanny you are replacing they will do the same to you.

nannies and moms...what are you responsible for? said...

Upon arrival I unload and reload the dishwasher and change the garbage..wipe off the counters and prepare sippy cups and cut up fruit for snacks. If needed start the laundry.
At naptime I finish the laundry, put the kids stuff away and fold the parents. Reclean the counters and swiffer the floors and vacuum as needed.
I do keep the kids clothing and toys organized and once a month go through things and move the stuff that the girls have outgrown.
Once a week prepare dinner and once a week toss out the old food in the fridge. Also grocery shop and run errands as needed. (usually 2 stops a day) Fridays I get fresh flowers.

Nannies and moms-what do your nannies do? I think this is all reasonable and that it helps the family I work with but this is as much as I can do..the kids I care for are 1 and 3...I would love to hear what other things nannies do and what is considered appropriate.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

If you work regularly for a family and earn more than $1700 per year, you must report the income.

If you are an employee, as all nannies are, then your employer is responsible for withholding at least SS/Medicare from your pay. If they choose not to withhold fed/state taxes, you must bank that money and submit it quarterly to the IRS as an "Estimated Tax Payment".

OP, this job is full of danger signals. I hope I (and the other posters) are wrong, but I would guess you will burn out fast here, since you'll be doing 3 or 4 jobs and only being paid for 1.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

To expand a bit after re-reading your post...

You cannot be added as an employee in one of their businesses - that's illegal. You have to be a household employee. There are multiple businesses that will handle all the tax paperwork for this family, so I would look them up and print out the info for the parents.

Sounds like MB prefers to have the Nanny List checked off as opposed to having her kids do crafts or have fun playing. If you prefer to focus on nanny work as opposed to being a housekeeper, this is going to become an issue for you.

It also sounds as if MB has unrealistic expectations - she wants you to accomplish in 15 hours what she cannot accomplish in the 40+ hours she has outside of work, eating, and sleeping. That means she will eventually become critical and controlling, since her expectations have no relationship with the reality of what a single person can accomplish in 15 hours a week. MB needs to either hire someone (or 2 someones) FT and then not worry about her second shift work or she needs to grow up and realize that being a mom who works for pay means having to work a second shift at home.

You say you want a challenge, but I think this challenge isn't a good choice for you. From what you wrote, you sound like you could find a terrific job as a NANNY, not a Nanny/Housekeeper/Personal Assistant/Professional Organizer. You wonder what the previous nanny did with them during the day? She ran around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to do 4 jobs and doing none of them well enough to meet MB's expectations.

If you do take this job, please update us in about 2 months and let us know if you're burned out or loving the "challenge"!

keep looking said...

I would want specific clarification on the "mess" that the nanny left for Mom at the end of the day, as well. It's one thing to still have a huge mess from lunch left at 5 pm when the kids take a 2 hr nap, while another to be in the middle of a craft project with the kids at the moment mom happens to arrive home 40 minutes late, and you are eager to get out the door and the kids aren't finished creating yet.

You are only there 15 hours per week, and there are tons of chores you have to accomplish. I doubt you will find much time to actually play with the kids. Also, for something so part-time, it doesn't make sense to implement so many of your own techniques (like a daily schedule, awards, etc), since it's really not that much time you'll be with the kids, and the parents likely won't reinforce it.

♥♥ Leslie ♥♥ said...

@Nannies and Moms: I think having to get fresh flowers is a little over the top as a Nanny duty, but if you like doing it...more power to you.
In this terrible economy, what a waste to spend money on fresh flowers!! That money would be better used to fund a local library or buy a shelter pet a bowl of food.

Anyway, I think your duty of folding the parent's laundry may be a little too much. Personally, I hate folding my MomBoss and DadBoss's undergarments...ucky.

Australian nanny. said...

I would not take this job.
I had a full time nanny job exactly like this, with 4 children. 2 were at school one at kinder and the 4th child stayed home with me. I did not have much time to spend with the youngest child as 99% of the time i was ironing and doing all the house work. One time the mother came home early and saw my sitting at the dining table playing a board game with all of the kids. She start asking me have i finished the house work and ironing naming everything that i had to do . I told her yes. She then told me to pack up the game and go do another job she had thought of. The poor kids were upset and had to watch tv. I only lasted 3 months in this job and since then i have made sure that all my other nanny jobs i take,i only have light housekeeping chores to do like sweep, mop the floors and vacuum so the little ones don't eat off the floor.Plus do the laundry and load an unload the dishwasher plus maintain the childrens room and make sure the kitchen and family rooms are tidy before the parents come home. Alot of this can be done while the children sleep and the kids can help out with the smaller chores , ( this is what i do in both my current nanny jobs.
I can see op spending more time doing the house hold chores and being a house manager then playing and doing fun things with the kids.

Dr. Juris said...

My big warning flag (and I'm shocked more of you haven't mentioned it) is it sounds like you don't have a set it's going to be an arbitrary figure based on how much the mom thinks you "deserve."


christine said...

This is so clearly NOT a nanny position. It is a cleaning lady slave job. With all you have to accomplsh in such a short amount of time, you will never actually interact with the kids except to ask them to move out of your way so you can get your chores done.

This family is a joke! Giving you the title of "Household Manager" is ridiculous... they want a slave who will make her living based on how hard she works. Please don't work for these jerks... you will regret it.

MissMannah said...

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I am really looking at it from a different perspective. I'm just assuming that OP has a salary or set hourly wage and when MB said "the more you put into the job, the more you get out of it" she meant that if you go above and beyond, you can expect some sweet bonuses...which you can get in many industries.

I'm not too certain about this nanny list MB writes up, but as long as there isn't anything too ridiculous on there, I wouldn't have a problem with it. My first nanny employers sound a lot like these people, their previous nanny sucked and would leave the house in a disaster area at the end of the day. I told my MB that it is general nanny duties to clean up after the kids and that I will gladly do their laundry. (kids, not parents) They were over the moon with excitement because previous nanny was so lazy.

OP, ultimately you have to decide if you like this job. If you can handle all the chores and still spend plenty of time with the kids then it seems like no problem. I'm sure you can get MB to phase out the nanny list in time once she sees that you're not lazy. But, if it seems like everyone else here is right and you think MB is trying to just take advantage of you, keep on looking.

As for taxes, it depends. Legally yes, you are their employee and they are supposed to withhold taxes. But I've found this can be a deal-breaker if you insist upon it. I've just started a PT nanny job and just decided to work as a contractor and pay my own taxes at the end of the year, rather than argue with my bosses over it. I also told them that if they don't claim me, they won't get the childcare tax credit and they were ok with that. I think Phoenix had a good idea about phrasing it as a question/suggestion.

Keep us updated with what you decide!

UmassSlytherin said...

run. fast. far.

Bostonnanny said...

I don't think you or the family understands what a household manager is. Traditionally, they oversee the household staff such as nannies, chef, housekeepers and gardeners. A house manager would make sure they are doing their jobs, being paid on time, coordinate schedules etc. HM's also pay bills and run quick errands. They manage, they don't do the job of four household employees which is what you seen to be doing.

Get every little detail in writing, ask to speak to the previous nanny and tell them to go through a payroll company. But personally I would never take this job. There are way to many red flags and I just see you getting fucked over. You will have a never ending list of stuff to do, get stiffed on pay and will end up getting a poor reference if you don't do everything they expect which is over the top.

ericsmom said...

Bostonnanny: Do you love dropping the "F" bomb or what? This is a child-oriented site after all.

Bostonnanny said...

This is not a site for children, so I guess I don't feel the need to sensor myself. And as far as I can tell there are no rules about not using the word fuck unless it's directly insulting an OP. I'm sorry I offended you, it was never my intention.

ericsmom said...

You mean censor.

No offense taken dear.

LOL said...

You go BN, speak your mind!

Bostonnanny said...

LOL..I always do you idiot.