§ 404.1057. Domestic service in the employer's home.

(a) Payments for domestic service —(1) The applicable dollar threshold. We do not include as wages cash payments that an employer makes to you in any calendar year for domestic service in the employer's private home if the cash pay in that calendar year is less than the applicable dollar threshold. The threshold per employer is $1000 in calendar year 1995. In calendar years after 1995, this amount will be subject to adjustment in $100 increments based on the formula in section 215(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act to reflect changes in wages in the economy. Non-cash payments for domestic service are not counted as wages.

(2) How evaluation is made. We apply the applicable dollar threshold described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section based on when the payments are made to you rather than when the pay is earned. To count toward the applicable dollar threshold, payment must be made to you in cash (including checks or other forms of money). We apply the applicable dollar threshold only to services performed as a domestic employee. If an employer pays you for performing other work, the cash pay for the nondomestic work does not count toward the applicable dollar threshold domestic service pay required for the remuneration to count as wages.

(3) More than one domestic employer. The applicable dollar threshold as explained in paragraph (a)(1) of this section applies to each employer when you perform domestic services for more than one employer in a calendar year. The wages paid by more than one employer for domestic services may not be combined to decide whether you have been paid the applicable dollar threshold or more in a calendar year. The standard applies to each employee when an employer has two or more domestic employees during a calendar year.

(4) Rounding dollar amounts for reporting. For social security purposes, an employer has an option in the way he or she reports cash wages paid for domestic service in his or her private home. The employer may report the actual wages paid or may round the wages to the nearest dollar. For purposes of rounding to the nearest dollar the cents are disregarded unless it amounts to one-half dollar or more, in which case it will be raised to $1. If an employer uses this method to report a cash payment to you for domestic services in his or her private home in a calendar year, he or she must use the same method to report payments to other employees in that year for similar services.

(b) What is domestic service. Domestic service is work of a household nature done by you in or about a private home of the employer. A private home is a fixed place of residence of a person or family. A separate dwelling unit maintained by a person in an apartment house, hotel, or other similar establishment may be a private home. If a house is used primarily for supplying board or lodging to the public as a business enterprise, it is not a private home. In general, services of a household nature in or about a private home include services performed by cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers, governessess, maids, valets, baby sitters, janitors, laundresses, furnacemen, caretakers, handymen, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs of automobiles for family use. Pay for these services does not come under this provision unless the services are performed in or about a private home of the employer. Pay for services not of a household nature, such as services performed as a private secretary, tutor, or librarian, even though performed in the employer's home, does not come under this provision.

[45 FR 20075, Mar. 27, 1980; 45 FR 25060, Apr. 14, 1980. Redesignated at 55 FR 7310, Mar. 1, 1990, as amended at 61 FR 38367, July 24, 1996]