Do Au Pairs really need to file income taxes?

March 2, 2018 6:00 am

One of the questions we see frequently this time of year from both Au Pairs and Host Families is whether or not an Au Pair needs to file income taxes. The answer is yes. This isn’t the decision of APF as the visa sponsor nor is it merely a recommendation. This is a program requirement mandated by the US Department of State and is one of the reasons Au Pairs are required to apply for their Social Security number shortly after arrival to the United States.

A communication has been sent to our Au Pairs notifying them of this requirement.  However, Host Families and Local Community Representatives may also find the information helpful.


Dear Au Pair,

We hope you are enjoying your time in the United States.  In addition to thoughts of spring, it is around this time of the year, that we must also start thinking about the taxes that we may owe on income earned last year.  Au pairs who earned more than $4,050 in 2017 are responsible to file a tax return and potentially pay an income tax (this represents approximately 20 or more weekly stipends for standard au pairs).

Au Pair Foundation realizes that the issue of taxes can be confusing for au pairs, so we wanted to give you some general information about paying taxes to the U.S. government.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the rules and regulations regarding Au Pair wages and taxes posted online here:

An excerpt from those rules and regulations reads as follows:

Since au pair wages are paid for domestic service in a private home, they are not subject to mandatory U.S. income tax withholding and reporting…however, au pair wages are includible in the gross income of the recipients, and au pairs are required to file U.S. individual income tax returns. 

Here is a link to the 1040NR-EZ Tax Form that you must complete:

Here is a link to the instructions for completing the 1040NR-EZ Tax Form:



Please review the information fully as it should answer your questions and give you what you need in order to file your taxes. If you have more specific questions consult a tax advisor. The IRS has provided helpful information regarding the selection of a tax preparer ( and a list of credentialed tax preparers for your convenience:

Taxes for income earned in 2017 are due to be filed on or before April 17th of this year.

In general, if you arrived prior to August 12th you will owe taxes.  In general, if you arrived after August 12th you will not owe taxes or will owe a minimal amount.

You will need your Social Security number in order to file your taxes. If you have not yet done so, please apply for your Social Security number immediately.  Information can be found here:   Your closest local Social Security Administration office can be found here:


Note: Au Pair Foundation is not responsible for the interpretation of the information within this informational notification, or any changes to IRS rules or forms that may occur. Neither Au Pair Foundation, nor its community representatives, can provide any official tax information, and we recommend that you contact a tax professional if you have any specific questions regarding these matters.