Maryland Nanny Tax Rules

Our Guide for Maryland Household Employers

Need help with the legalese around Maryland nanny tax rules? Trying to figure out how to pay your household employee the right way?

We’ve put together a bunch of useful info for you here. If it still seems like too much, we can handle everything for $39 a month. The first month is even free!

Am I a household employer?

If you pay a household employee such as a nanny, babysitter, caregiver or house manager more than $2,100 a year or $1,000 in a quarter to perform work in your home (or occasionally even out of your home such as in a nanny share), you are a household employer.

Why pay nanny taxes?

There are important benefits to following the law. It gives your employee Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance benefits. It also allows her to build her credit. Paying legally sets you up to take advantage of tax credits for dependent care. Finally, you never know when you might get nominated for the Supreme Court. And, we all know how that ends if you haven’t paid your nanny taxes.

So what are my tax obligations as a Maryland household employer?

As a household employer, you must comply with certain tax obligations, commonly referred to as the “nanny taxes” or “household payroll taxes.” It’s complicated, but generally, after you have registered as an employer with all the appropriate agencies, you must:

  • Register – You need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number and register with the Comptroller of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation here.
  • Report your employee – All employees must be registered with the State within 20 days of hiring.
  • Payroll - At every pay period, withhold Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from the employee’s paycheck per the employee’s W4 and MW507 elections and make employer contributions to the Social Security and Medicare and unemployment funds. 
  • Quarterly - submit the proper paperwork and payments to the correct agencies. The agencies will typically include the IRS and the State.
  • Year-End - provide your employee with his or her W-2 form, submit such information to the Social Security Administration, submit state reconciliations and prepare a Schedule H to file with your individual tax returns.

You can find all the information about your federal obligations in the IRS’s Publication 926 – Household Employer’s Tax Guide and your Maryland obligations on the Comptroller of Maryland website and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website

The IRS estimates that it would take you 60 hours to comply with the federal nanny tax regulations. That does sound, well, taxing. Poppins can take care of all of it for $39 a month! That includes all you state and federal registrations, new hire reporting, payroll calculations and direct deposit, quarterly state and federal filings and the year-end documents for you and your employee. This first month is even FREE!

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What are the required tax and legal forms?

If you decide to handle payroll and taxes yourself, you’ll need to know about these forms:

Form I-9: Have your employee complete this form when hired and provide the required proof of ID.

Form W-4: Have your employee complete this form which dictates how federal income tax is withheld.

Form 1040-ES: On a quarterly basis send this form to the IRS along with payment to report taxes from previous quarter. Don’t forget that federal quarter dates do not always line up with calendar quarters!

Form W-2: Fill out Form W-2 if you pay wages of $1,000 or more, and give Copies B, C and 2 to your nanny. Copy A (along with Form W-3) goes to the Social Security Administration.

Schedule H: If you pay your nanny cash wages of $1,000 or more in a calendar quarter or 2,100 in a calendar year file Schedule H.

Maryland Directory of New Hires: Complete this form to report your new employee to the State.

MW507: Have your employee complete this form which dictates how Maryland income tax is withheld.

Combined Registration Application: File this application to establish your Maryland Withholding Account and your Maryland Unemployment Insurance Tax Account.

DLLR/DUI 15, DLLR/DUI 16 and MW506: On a quarterly basis file these reports (along with payment) with the State to report taxes and wages paid in the previous quarter.

MW508: On an annual basis, file this report with the State to reconcile wages and payments to the State.

But if that sounds like too much, Poppins can take care of all these filings for $39 a month! We gather all the information we need from you during signup, generate your forms through our system, make all the appropriate tax calculations, and submit everything on your behalf.

Do I need to have a written contract with my employee?

In Maryland, an employer must give each employee, at the time of hiring, notice of: (i) the rate of pay of the employee; (ii) the regular paydays that the employer sets; and (iii) leave benefits.

For employers in Montgomery County, you must present a written contract to domestic workers (who work at least 20 hours per week for at least a 30-day period) and offer to negotiate employment terms. You can find more information about the requirements (and a sample contract) on the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection website.

Even if you are outside of Montgomery County, it is still a really good idea to have a written employment agreement with your employee.

A written employment agreement spells out the obligations of both parties, including hours, compensation, duties, benefits and PTO. This is really important if the relationship doesn’t work out, and there is ever a dispute. Just as important, it helps you discuss the important issues with your employee at the outset. This way you make sure you have a good relationship and understanding before you even start. 

If you decide to go this route, we’ve put together a Sample Nanny Contract. This should give you a good idea of the issues that are usually covered.

What other laws do I need to know about?

Time is money


Maryland’s minimum wage is $10.10. The minimum wage in Montgomery County is $12.50 per hour and the minimum wage in Prince George County is $11.50 per hour.


Household employers in Maryland must pay overtime at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a calendar week. In Maryland, domestic workers who live with their employer are also entitled to the same overtime rate.


Your employee is entitled to minimum wage and overtime regardless of whether they are paid hourly or salary. If they are paid by salary, it is best practice to document the hours worked (and the pay rate) included in the salary amount. 


Maryland law requires employers to give employees an itemized paystub with every paycheck. With Poppins Payroll, you can have paystubs emailed directly to your employee every payday. Also, advance notice of a change in the payday or a reduction in wage must be given at least one pay period in advance. 


You have to pay your household employee at least twice a month or semi-monthly.


Household employers in Maryland are required to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy if their employee earns more than $1,000 in gross wages in a calendar year. Employers in the State of Maryland are required to obtain workers' compensation insurance from any insurance company licensed in the State of Maryland or from the Chesapeake Employers' Insurance Company.

Your homeowner’s policy may already provide you with some workers’ compensation coverage. You should contact your insurer if you want to add workers’ compensation coverage for your household employee. 


Generally, residents of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are not subject to state income tax in Maryland even if they work in Maryland. So long as the employee indicates on their form MW 507 that they are EXEMPT from Maryland income taxes, state income tax will not be withheld from their paychecks.


If you choose to reimburse your employee for driving on the job, you can use the current federal mileage reimbursement rate. Mileage reimbursement is not considered taxable compensation. To ensure the amount is not taxes, enter mileage reimbursements as a “Reimbursement” amount on your payroll.


All employers are required to post certain notices for the benefit of their employees.


Businesses with fewer than 5 employees must provide each employee with both paid and unpaid sick and safe leave for work performed in the County at a rate of one hour of paid time for every 30 hours of work performed within the County. Each employee can accrue up to 32 hours of paid leave and 24 hours of unpaid leave in a calendar year. Employees can use up to 80 hours of earned sick and safe leave in any one calendar year. 


Let us help you.

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Poppins Payroll® happily presents an easier way to handle taxes and payroll for nannies, housekeepers, senior caregivers and anyone else you employ in your home. Turns out you don’t have to empty your wallet to run a perfect payroll.

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