Dear AuPairMom Readers-
I never thought that I’d be writing a post asking you all to take political action, but there’s an issue that hits the Au Pairing Community right at the heart.
Congress is deciding this week whether to impose a 7.65% FICA tax on au pairs.
Yes, that’s right. Congress wants to tax Au Pairs (and by extension, us host parents) to pay for Social Security/Medicare, even though these au pairs will never in their lifetimes receive any of the Federal benefits of these programs.
“Au pairs and other J-1 visa holders have always been exempt from FICA taxes because they return home after their programs and will never benefit from the Social Security or Medicare that these taxes fund. Thus, to impose these additional taxes on au pairs and American working families seems both inappropriate and unfair.”
While I understand that the Government needs to raise revenues to sustain a safety net for the old, the infirm, and the unlucky, I’d rather they did it by addressing tax inequalities among high earners (e.g., taxes on carried interest of investment bankers) and by closing tax loopholes exploited by corporations. Au Pairs and exchange students are a pretty defenseless lot. But I digress…
It’s Easy for Host Parents to Protest This Tax Proposal
Thank goodness for the internet, and for the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange (an association of many U.S. exchange organizations). Together, they are making it easy for any host parent to send a pre-written letter to our own representatives. Also, they have detailed information about their opposition to this tax, so you can learn more about it.
I used this very webpage to send a letter to my two senators and my Congressperson earlier this morning. It took me a total of 3.5 minutes– and I hadn’t even had my coffee.
So, AuPairMom community, if you oppose this tax on Au Pairs, I ask you to do three things:
1. Go to the Alliance page and send letters to your 3 representatives
2. Email or phone one other Host Parent, and ask them to do the same.
3. Tweet this post, or share it on Facebook, to publicize the issue to your hoat parents friends and interested others.
[Also, while you’re at it, you could ask your host parent friends to come visit AuPairMom too. On snowy Saturday mornings it can get a bit lonely here. :-) ]
A special shout out to readers KM, Heather and Carrie for their emails about this issue!