Oregon Nanny Tax Rules
Our Guide for Oregon Household Employers
Need help with the legalese around nanny taxes? 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 $49 a month. You can even try Poppins for free!*
If you pay a household employee such as a nanny, babysitter, caregiver or house manager more than $2,600 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.
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.
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 Oregon Secretary of State.
- 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 OR-W-4 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 Oregon obligations in Oregon’s Employer Guide.
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 $49 a month! That includes all your 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. You can even try Poppins for free!*
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 $2,600 in a calendar year, file Schedule H.
Oregon Directory of New Hires: Complete this form to report your new employee to the State.
OR-W-4: Have your employee complete this form which dictates how Oregon income tax is withheld.
But if that sounds like too much, Poppins can take care of all these filings for $49 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.
You are not required by law to have a written employment agreement with your nanny or household employee. Still, it is 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.
We’ve put together a Sample Nanny Contract and a Sample Caregiver Contract for your reference. This should give you a good idea of the issues that are usually covered.
The Oregon minimum wage depends on the location of your workplace:
$12.50 per hour for Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties.
$13.50 per hour for Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Yamhill, and parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, & Washington outside the urban growth boundary.
$14.75 per hour within the urban growth boundary, including parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.
The minimum wage may increase on July 1, 2023 based on changes to CPI.
Household employers in Oregon must pay overtime at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek. You must also pay overtime if your employee lives in your home and works more than 44 hours a week.
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.
Oregon 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.
Oregon household employers are required to pay employees on a regular schedule and paydays can be no more than 35 days apart.
Oregon does not require household employers to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If you elect to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you are then subject to the Oregon Workers’ Benefit Fund (WBF) assessment. As most household employers in Oregon do not obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Poppins is not set up to make WBF assessments on behalf of our clients. So, if you elect to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you will have to handle registering for WBF and paying WBF assessments.
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 taxed, enter mileage reimbursements as a “Reimbursement” amount on your payroll.
If an Oregon employee is terminated, he or she must be paid their accrued wages by the end of the next business day. If the employee quits, he or she must be paid on the earlier of the next regular payday and 5 business days.
There are a number of other notices that Oregon employers must post or provide to their employees.
Household employers must keep accurate records of hours worked by employees and wages paid on an ongoing basis. These records must be kept for at least 3 years. With Poppins, we’ll keep all this information in your online filing cabinet, which you’ll be able to access even after you’re not using us to run your payroll.
Employers must provide domestic workers with 24 consecutive hours of rest per week, and eight consecutive hours of rest per day if living with the employer.
Employers must provide at least 3 paid personal leave days off to domestic workers who worked an average of at least 30 hours per week during the previous year.
Oregon employers with less than 10 employees must provide each employee not less than one hour of unpaid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Once the employee has worked for 90 days, they can start taking sick leave. An employer may cap the annual accrual of sick leave for each employee at 40 hours. With Poppins, you can track sick leave right in our system and the balances will be automatically included on your employee’s pay stubs based on the polices you set up.
Oregon provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave (PFML) funded through a payroll tax paid by both employers (if they have more than 25 employees) and employees. Employers and employees will start paying into PFML in 2023, and the earliest employees will be able to take this paid leave is September 3, 2023.
OregonSaves is a state retirement program. Oregon employers are required to register and provide their employees with the opportunity to save through payroll deductions (unless the employer offers another qualified retirement plan). Employees are automatically enrolled into the Program unless they opt out within 30 days after notice of their enrollment.
Poppins does not handle your registration with OregonSaves or make your payments to OregonSaves. With Poppins, you can enter the percentage elected by your employee and the OregonSaves contributions will be reflected on your employee’s paystubs. You will still need to submit the payments to OregonSaves on behalf of your employee.
The Portland Metro Supportive Housing Services Income Tax provides funding for housing services for persons experiencing homelessness. The program is funded by two separate taxes:
- A business tax on net income of businesses with gross receipts above $5 million; and
- A personal income tax of 1% on taxable income above $125,000 for those filing single or married filing separately ($200,000 for those filing jointly, qualifying widow(er) or head of household).
Beginning January 1, 2022, withholding is mandatory for all employees who work in the Metro District and earn $200,000 or more during the calendar year, unless the employee opts out.
Please note that Poppins is not able to withhold the Portland Metro Supportive Housing Services Tax. So, if your employee is subject to this tax and desires to have it withheld from their paycheck (instead of paying when it comes due), you will need to use another service.
The Multnomah County Preschool for All Income Tax provides funding to establish a tuition-free preschool program. The program is funded by a personal income tax based on the following thresholds:
- Single taxpayers. All Oregon taxable income over $125,000 is taxed at 1.5%. All income above $250,000 is taxed at 3%. In 2026, the tax rate increases by 0.8%
- Joint filers. All Oregon taxable income over $200,000 is taxed at 1.5%. All income above $400,000 is taxed at 3%. In 2026, the tax rate increases by 0.8%.
Withholding is voluntary, but please note that Poppins is not able to withhold the Portland Metro Supportive Housing Services Tax. So, if your employee is subject to this tax and desires to have it withheld from their paycheck (instead of paying when it comes due), you will need to use another service.
THE CONTENT OF THIS WEBSITE IS GENERAL AND INFORMATIONAL IN NATURE AND MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. THE INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL.