Is it Harder to Get a Nanny Job if You Ask to be Paid On-The-Books?

Are law-abiding nannies at a disadvantage when seeking jobs?
The most common and most persistent problem we hear from nannies is that they have difficulty finding employment if they insist on being paid on-the-books while others get jobs because they agree to be paid


The frustrated nannies report that the main reasons nannies agree to be paid illegally is because:

—parents  insist on it

—the nanny wants to hide income to keep government benefits

—the nanny wants no deductions from her pay

—the nanny is undocumented

—the nanny is unskilled

—the nanny is desperate for a job

—the nanny feels powerless to refuse any job offer

Nannies deduce that hiring parents insist on these arrangements because:

—they are cheap

—they feel paperwork is burdensome
—they want control of the nanny
—they are consumed with anti-establishment rage
—they want to feel the nanny is a family friend, not an employee
—they sense no threat or reprisal as a result of their behavior
Have you found it harder to find a nanny job that is willing to pay taxes?


  1. Yes it is harder to find a job that is willing to pay taxes. But, it's even harder to find a nanny that wants to pay taxes!

  2. A few years ago I interviewed for a position in the NYC area where the parents were offering the highest pay I had ever been offered as a nanny, alas off the books. I even countered with a reduced salary and the difference could offset their share being paid into the system. And it still would have been a decent salary. The dad didn't want to deal with the hassle of paperwork, and I let Mom (who really wanted me) know of nanny payroll companies. Still he refused. I was so annoyed. The nice thing about being in DC is that there are enough federal employee parents who are told to be in compliance on paying household staff legally (cleaners, lawn services, nannies, etc.) So it is nice to interview in this area as it is easier and a primary motivator for why I stay here.

  3. Why would anyone want to pay taxes? Of course I wish I didn't have to pay taxes. Nannies and cleaning ladies that make less than me take home more than me when they are paid under the table.As an adult I should have the responsibilty to know how to manage my money and save for retirement or if I get sick or hurt. I don't need the government doing it for me!

  4. It is discussed at every interview! Parents don't want the extra paperwork and I used to not pay taxes because I didn't want to. But now I see I need it for a record of my employment to lease a car or an apartment.

  5. Not for me it hasn't been an issue. Parents get a child care credit. It has never been an issue for me.

  6. I have found both to be true for me. When I was younger I wanted to be paid under the table and was mad when the family insisted I pay taxes. I was on disability once and now see the need for paying taxes and in some interviews the parents don't want to and we both have to move on.From discussions with nanny friends most prefer cash and there are more jobs for cash only available.

  7. Parents never want to pay taxes! Even the doctors, attorneys and accountants who can lose their licenses if they don't pay their nanny taxes!At my last job I was offered taxes the day I gave my notice as a way to try to convince me to stay! LOL A little late!

  8. MOST nannies seem to want to under report and who can blame them? It's nice to have a record of employment by paying some taxes, but who doesn't want to pay less taxes?Families who hire nannies TYPICALLY don't pay medical expenses so for smart nannies it is fine and helpful to under report so they can get free medical care as indigent patients and free prescriptions from pharmecuticals and tax refunds for medical expenses at the end of the tax season. Make sure all non-reported income is paid in cash, never with a check.

  9. Are you kidding me anonymous?! You are telling us how to commit a crime? You are telling us how not to be caught if not paying taxes? OMG!

  10. This is what is frustrating about nannies who want domestic worker rights, but then turn around and not want to work legally. You can't have it both ways. If you want the system to work, you don't work the system.

  11. Most of my clients are professionals and don't want the IRS after them because they don't want to be penalized as they have a lot to lose…like their bank accounts being attached for penalty and interest on the taxes they were suppose to pay. On clients that didn't want to do that, I was paid as a 1099 as I did temp jobs for about 3 years. REAL EASY SOLUTION: Become an LLC. In Arizona it costs $35.00 or $50.00 if you want the expedited paperwork getting to you faster. There's not much paperwork to do as an LLC and the nanny is considered a "Single member" LLC with no other partners or employees. Then I pay my own taxes with an SE and Schedule C form along with the 1040. The clients love the no-hassle part of hiring a nanny and this fact alone has given me jobs when they were down to two choices, with my 'Nannie' Oakley Childcare, LLC versus the "secret" nanny choice with the IRS hovering over them. They sleep as well as their sleep-trained babies do!

  12. To all the nannies out there who are cheating the system, i.e., not paying taxes.How do you expect to teach the children you take care of, and wrong? You and the parents are cheating your future and their reputation by justifying your under-the-table income because you need healthcare, etc. I pay almost $1,000.00 a month because I help supplement you who are claiming to be indigent and get free healthcare. Well, it's not free. It's the reason why my health insurance went up over $300.00 the past 2.5 years. The health insurers have to get more because the hospitals have to make up for the shortfall because they HAVE to accept Medicaid and Medicare and have no choice.So if you can sleep well at night knowing that you're breaking the law and making it tempting to the parents to break it too, please cut the children a little slack when they lie to you and try to get away with behavior that is inappropriate and will have the parents mad at you. What a lesson you're teaching them…oh yes, you won't tell them either. Can't let them know of your low character and cheating/lying, can we? Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E? Just remind them that it's okay because we lie to the government (not thrilled with our current one myself) because we're different from the other law-abiding ones that share your burden by paying more than our share. What a bunch a sucker we are, aren't we? That's okay, my SSI check will be bigger than yours and of course, I won't have to be looking over my shoulder the rest of my life.Good luck with the cheating and lying!

  13. Of course it's easier to find a job that pays cash. No one wants to pay taxes.

  14. The job of a nanny is a very rewarding one. It requires more than just conventional qualifications to get selected and then appreciated as a nanny. A nanny is not only the caretaker of the child, but also becomes a friend, philosopher and guide, in time.Thanks.

  15. Why is it so much harder to get a nanny job now? There are so many nannies in NYC. Over the past 6 years it has become increasingly more difficult to find a nanny job. It used to be fairly easy. If you had references and a cheerful personality and a flexible schedule you were guaranteed a job. I currently know at least 20 nannies looking for work. They go on interview after interview and almost never get an offer. Why is this? Thank you for your thoughts.

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