Do I need to hire a U.S. citizen to be my housekeeper?
SUMMARY: You may legally hire a U.S. citizen, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or an alien with a valid work permit. You are required to verify your candidate's employment eligibility using » Form I-9. Aliens with a valid work permit are eligible for and should have a valid Social Security Number. It is unlawful for you to knowingly hire or continue the employment of an alien who does not have appropriate US work authorization.
ARIZONA & SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYERS NOTICE: State law requires that ALL employers use the DHS e-Verify program within 3 days of hire.
A lawfully admitted alien with documents from ICE indicating work authorization (i.e., DS-2019, I-20, I-551, etc.) may apply for and be issued a Social Security Number.
The Social Security Administration will issue cards to aliens not authorized to work if they are lawfully admitted to the US and need the number for a valid non-work reason (as determined by Social Security Administration). The card will be marked to show that the individual can not work. If the alien does work, the Social Security Administration is required to inform ICE.
SAMPLE SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS
|UNRESTRICTED||VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH
|NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT|
Illegal Immigration: A Path to Citizenship?
The issue of illegal immigration and a citizenship path or amnesty for undocumented foreign workers in the United States is a major political issue at this time. The Obama administration has promised to make immigration reform a priority. There are competing proposals before Congress to reform our immigration policy, and perhaps our border security, that will have dramatic consequences to the many employers, including families, who currently employ undocumented workers.
Many households employ illegal immigrants as nannies, companions, housekeepers, groundskeepers, etc. Some of these households already comply with employment tax reporting; the majority do not. All of the various proposals being discussed in Washington include either a Guest Worker program, an amnesty program with a citizenship path for illegal immigrants already working in the U.S., or both. What does this mean to the household employer?
It is expected that all applications for immigrant legalization will include a detailed examination of the immigrant's background, including their employment history while in the U.S. Immigrants applying for a "Z" visa, Green Card or other legalized status will be required to document employment and tax compliance. All plans include an examination of tax return records going back a minimum of 3 years. The illegal immigrants will be highly motivated by the promise of legal status, and it is expected there will be significant pressures on current employers who have been paying these immigrants 'under the table' to come clean and catch up on tax payments so the immigrant can take advantage of the legalization program. Remember, only the employer is able to pay the Social Security and Medicare taxes for their employees, and issue the W-2. Additionally, the employer is legally liable for BOTH the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes, whether they deducted (collected) the employee portion or not.
There is no statue of limitations on failure to report or pay federal employment taxes.
Families who decide to hire or retain their illegal immigrant employees are able to comply with all of the current payroll tax reporting requirements, even if the worker does not have a valid Social Security number or US Work Authorization. The Internal Revenue Code prohibits the sharing of taxpayer information with other government agents - see THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 5 U.S.C. § 552a. HomeWork Solutions' staff can assist employers in this tax compliance, including preparation of back tax returns. Remember, tax compliance by illegal immigrants does not confer work authorization, but non-compliance will make them ineligible for future legal status.