Paying Nannies and Housekeepers on the Books

Nannygate for Treasury Secretary Nominee

Yesterday we discussed that President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, was nominated by President Elect Barack Obama as Treasury Secretary.

Geithner was supposed to have a confirmation hearing today after learning about his failure to pay self-employment taxes while working at the International Monetary Fund. In addition, questions were raised about a lapse of his housekeeper’s legal status.

But, the hearing has been postponed until January 21, 2009.

According to Ryan J. Donmoyer of Geithner said he was unaware that the woman’s immigration papers had expired three months before she stopped working for him, according to an official on Obama’s transition staff. The Finance Committee said taxes for the housekeeper were ‘appropriately paid.'” Here is the link to the article:

Please comment on this topic for the rest of the day and then we can discuss it after the hearing on January 21.


  1. Stephanie and others who commented yesterday. Yesterday you linked to an article by Mark Impomeni and I agree with him. Mark Impomeni wrote, “He [Geitherner] is and should be expected to be aware of all tax rules and to abide by them. No less is expected of any other citizen. As a potential Cabinet member, Geithner is and should be expected to take special caution not to violate laws such as those against employing illegal immigrants. Geithner’s problems are deeper than President-elect Obama suspects. It would not be a surprise if Geithner withdraws his name from the nomination process by early next week.”That really sums it up. Allison, Nanny, NJ

  2. I have a ton of money taken out of my paycheck each month for social security and medicare yet this brilliant man who helped create the bail-out package forgot (or made a mistake) when paying his ILLEGAL employee? Are we supposed to believe he just forgot $30,000+ dollars? I just don’t want Obama’s staff to have these types of problems. Geitherner ought to pull himelf out of the nomination.Christie in IL

  3. Both private and public finances in thie country are a mess. We cannot have this guy help running the financial aspects of our country when he has committed questionable financial acts. We cannot start out the Obama cabinet this way. There is no room to tolerate a man who’s going to be in charge of the treasury and cannot find an accountant to review his own taxes properly. You don’t just forget to pay $34,000 in taxes. Hope Richardson, Newborn Specialist, Ohio

  4. George Stephanapolis (? spelling) just said on the View that considering the mess we are in it might not matter than Geithner didn’t pay his taxes. Considering the financial crisis we are in it’s no surprise that the President of NY Reserve Bank cannot manage his own taxes. I don’t know enough about Geithner to know if he can or can’t do the job as treasury secretary. But the way we prosecute domestic workers that don’t pay taxes it seems it doesn’t matter much to the government. Have any of your nanny friends gotten in trouble for not paying taxes. None of mine have and most don’t pay taxes. I wouldn’t be surprised at all that not paying taxes for domestic workers isn’t the norm. I really only know a handful (if that much) of nanines that pay taxes. And I’m talking about my nanny friends that are legal american citizens too. It’s horrible that citizens can expect to benefit from living in this country then not pay their fair share in taxes. Melinda in Chicago

  5. My husband and I stretch our budget to the limit paying our live-in caregiver. To pay her taxes on top of that seems impossible. She certainly cannot afford to pay social security and medicare and a % of her salary on taxes when she’s trying to dig her way up out of credit card debt. I admit she hardly makes a salary worth anything, though we try. The warm home and food is helpful but required to be taxed thank goodness. The federal amount requiring employment taxes on domestic help is so low that nearly any steady employee is being asked to give a large portion of their salary to the government. Parents who employ illegal aliens have even larger hurdles to pay their domestic employees legally. Do you really think parents are given any incentives to pay legally? You think the federal economy is a mess, well so are our individual financial lives!

  6. How can you tell if Geithner had no bad intentions after the fact?To the parent above: you are not above the law. Everyone thinks they are stretching their dollars the farthest. By using a budget and being frugal you can find the money to pay your caregiver legally.Pay taxes as required by law. Barb Nanny in Houston

  7. Many bloggers on other sites claim this isn’t a big enough problem for him to lose the nomination and they need his experience to help with the economic crisis. But, as a nanny I just think it’s ridiculous for anyone to argue that is all right to not pay taxes. I’ts just life. Pay taxes and deal with it.San Diego Nanny

  8. I was reading some more coverage of this and it seems many political analysts think this isn’t going to be a big deal since he’s the most qualified for the position. But, honestly this doesn’t make sense that he could not manage his own taxes then expect to run the country’s finances. Outraged Nanny in NJ

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