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Taxing Solutions

HomeWork Solutions Makes Nanny Taxes Easy

Kathy Webb knows just how overwhelming taxes can be. Webb is the co-founder of HomeWork Solutions, a payroll and tax service for employers of nannies and other domestic employees.

"The service is primarily for nannies, but can work for any housekeeper, elderly care provider, anyone who works in your home," Webb said.

In the early 1990s, Kathy Webb met Alan Heilborn at a telephone company. Heilborn was the president, Webb was the telecommunications specialist.

"I have a financial background. I don’t know anything about telephones," Heilborn said. Everyday, Webb rushed out the door at 4 p.m., to pick up her child at daycare.

"I needed her there. I had to tell her to get a nanny," Heilborn said. "Then I had to give her a raise."

Webb hired a nanny a few weeks later. With a nanny came a number of questions from Webb for Heilborn about how to tax her new caregiver.

Because of the experience, Webb came up with the idea to start a company that provided such services. Heilborn invested $10,000 into the company.

Around the same time, Zoe Baird, President William Clinton's first nominee for Attorney General, was exposed for failure to pay household employment taxes. Baird was not appointed and paid $11,000 in back taxes and fines.

After a few news organizations picked up their story, Webb and Heilborn began receiving phone calls from employers requesting the service.

"Now we’re in 48 states," Heilborn said.

ANGEL MYERS HAS WORKED for HomeWork Solutions for 12 years. As a former nanny, Myers said she understands the appeal of being paid "under the table," or in cash. However, there is a big benefit to your employer to pay their taxes.

"A lot of nannies get paid under the table, but the problem is, there not building up any credit," she said.

Myers suggested employers explain to potential employees the benefits of paying taxes. If an employee does not file taxes, they do not technically have a salary, nor credit, and that will impact them later on in life when they apply for big ticket items, like a house or car.

"They’ve got no credit to show," she said, "and it’s against the law."

MYERS BEGAN work for HomeWork Solutions in 1995. When she had her 4-year-old daughter Makenna, she left work to be a stay-at-home mom.

When Makenna turned 2 years old, Myers decided it was time to go back to work. HomeWork Solutions was the first place she thought of.

The casual environment and family-friendly atmosphere appealed to Myers’ hectic schedule.

"If I need to pick my daughter up from daycare or take her to a doctor’s appointment, I can," Myers said. "This morning, I took a shower and through a barrette in my hair and ran out the door. I don’t have a lot of free time. But it’s OK."

The office, located off of Pigeon Hill Drive in Sterling, is family friendly, Myers said. Her daughter, Makenna, enjoys playing with toys and watching children’s videos in the office’s conference room when she stays home from preschool.

MYERS IS NOT only the accounting manager of HomeWork Solutions; she is the CPA administers www.4nannies.com. The Web site provides a place for employers to post ads and potential employees to post their resumes. It also offers parents and nannies tips through out the process.

Although Myers does not have a nanny for her daughter, she offered advice to parents.

"It is imperative parents do background checks on their nannies," she said. "You are bringing these people into your home. They are working with your children. You want the best of the best."

Myers said employers should not feel uncomfortable running background checks on potential employees because it is a common practice nowadays. The Web site also offers background checks for employers.

As far as paying an employee "under the table," Myers said just don’t do it.

"It’s just not lawful," she said.