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Publication 926

Do You Need To Withhold Federal Income Tax?

You are not required to withhold federal income tax from wages you pay a household employee. You should withhold federal income tax only if your household employee asks you to withhold it and you agree. The employee must give you a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.
If you and your employee have agreed to withholding, either of you may end the agreement by letting the other know in writing.
If you agree to withhold federal income tax, you are responsible for paying it to the IRS. Pay the tax as discussed under How Do You Make Tax Payments, later. Also, see What Forms Must You File, later.
Use the income tax withholding tables in Publication 15 (Circular E) to find out how much to withhold. Figure federal income tax withholding on wages before you deduct any amounts for other withheld taxes. Withhold federal income tax from each payment of wages based on the filing status and exemptions shown on your employee's Form W-4. Publication 15 (Circular E) contains detailed instructions.


Figure federal income tax withholding on both cash and noncash wages you pay. Measure wages you pay in any form other than cash by the fair market value of the noncash item.
Do not count as wages any of the following items.
See Publication 15 (Circular E) for more information on cash and noncash wages.

Paying tax without withholding.

Any income tax you pay for your employee without withholding it from the employee's wages must be included in the employee's wages for federal income tax purposes. It also must be included in social security and Medicare wages and in federal unemployment (FUTA) wages.