Dear Au Pair Mom–
I’m confused about Income Taxes. I am a second year Au pair who extended with a new family.
Last year (2012) I worked 51 weeks and my host mom paid me $200 every week instead of $195.75. She declared $200 on her tax files. What number am I supposed to declare?
I read that tips are taxable and because she paid me by check not in cash I think I need to declare $200/week.
Is it legal that she paid me $200 or can I or her get in trouble for this?
Dear Au Pair–
Of course you’re confused! It’s confusing!
Here’s what’s straightforward and easy-
It is completely legal for your host mom to pay you more than the required stipend.
Many host parents ’round up’ to $200 these days because it’s easier.
(No decimal points to type in, no cents to balance in the checking account. Serious time savings!)
You should declare (aka state as your income) exactly the amount that you were paid.
Reporting your actual income and paying your actual fair tax is something for every adult to practice. Feel proud that you are honest. Practice good citizenship.
(And take that, Gerard Depardieu!)
Once you take your tax forms to the post office (or submit them online) take yourself out to Starbucks.