Things to know before filling an Au Pair tax return.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19.  The filing deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020 and many Au Pairs are working on their tax return.

There are a few things to know before filling an Au Pair tax return.

The Au Pairs

  • are required to file U.S. individual income return.
  • don’t need W-2 form to file their tax return.
  • can calculate the stipend for the 2019 calendar year or use a wages log
  • are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, The Hope Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credits.
  • should provide their Social Security Number to file a tax return.
  • will be taxed at a 10% tax rate.
  • can use a form 1040-NR-EZ to file a tax return.
  • who got other types of income than stipend, like tips, bank interests, etc, need to file a 1040NR form (not a 1040NR-EZ).
  • should file and pay taxes by July 15, 2020
  • should consult a tax professional for any questions .

How to file the Au Pairs tax return?

Use any free file software or print the form 1040-NR-EZ and file by pen.Calculate the stipend for the 2019 calendar year. (Multiply the number of weeks they worked as an Au Pair in the USA in 2019 with the amount of their weekly stipend or use their Wages log)

Calculate the tax amount Au Pairs owe using the instructions of the form 1040-NR-EZ,   2019 Tax Table, page 24 -35.

File a tax return and send your payment to IRS for any taxes owed.

You can pay by using a check from a U.S. bank account or by money order, have a direct withdrawal or make a payment online using a credit or debit card.

Au Pair Andrea arrived in the US on October 14, 2019. By 01.01.2020, she had been an Au Pair in the US for 11 weeks and she is a standard Au Pair. Andrea’s weekly stipend is $195.75, so she earned $2153 in 2019 ($195.75 * 11 = $2,153). Andréa should pay the taxes for the amount of $216 according to the Tax Table.

Au Pair taxes can be confusing. Please read the post Au Pair Taxes for 2019 for more info and visit H&R Block’s Au Pair Tax page .

Happy Mothers Day!

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in 82 countries and territories around the world, including Australia, the United States, China, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Vietnam and South Africa. Mother’s Day is celebrated in different ways around the world.

Host mothers become role models, mentors and loving mother figures and “american moms” to their au pairs. Mothers Day Heart Cake can be a “sweet” way to say thank you to the host mom.

Here are some tips how to bake and decorate a Heart Cake.

Step 1: Bake a square cake and a round cake

Step 2: Cut round cake in half

Step 3: Add each half to the square using frosting to attach to make a heart shape

Step 4: Frost with pink frosting and decorated the cake using your love and fantasy 

Bake the cake and make your host mom feel special!

Happy Mothers Day to Host Mothers and to the all mothers in the world!

Free all over the world resources for the period of quarantine.

Many of us will try some new things, maybe learn a new valuable skill and explore self-entertaining. We can read, watch, learn using interesting resources that provide quality knowledge or bright emotions and became free all over the world. It doesn’t hurt to try new things for the period of quarantine.

Studying

1. Coursera opened access to her courses. Free access is open until 31.07.

2. Free online courses from the world’s leading universities

Virtual field trips and activities

British Museum, London

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Guggenheim Museum, New York

MASP, São Paulo

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

The Louvre

The San Diego Zoo

Music / Opera

1. Vienna Opera started online broadcast of its performance

2. The Metropolitan Opera launches an online broadcast of the Night With Opera from the archives. The broadcast starts at 19.30 am New York time, but they will be available for another 20 hours.

3. Recording on The Berlin Philharmonic website

4. The March Opera also gives free access to their plays. For example, now you can listen to and watch Trubadura

Family Thanks Au Pair Gina for Opening Her Arms and Heart

Congratulation to our outstanding Au Pair from Colombia Gina on completion the first Au Pair year and best wishes on Gina’s extension with her amazing host family!

Gina came into our lives on April 21st, 2019. The initial process of finding an au pair was nerve-wracking and tiring. The thought of having a stranger in our and our children’s lives was not an easy adjustment for our family. My husband I, two daughters and my Mother-in-law live in a small three-bedroom house. We are vegetarians and are of Indian descent living in the US for the last 15 years. Although we have learned and adopted different cultures we are still a very “Indian Family.” Adjusting to and finding an au pair from a different country was going to add a whole new dimension to our family dynamics.

This was the reason we were wary about the decision. We had one strict requirement of having an au pair who is ok to be vegetarian in the house.

After a series of interviews over several months with different candidates, we met Gina for the first time over skype. Right after our first interview both me and my husband felt we had hit the jackpot after several nights of gambling.  Her positive attitude was striking when she answered our question if she had a problem in being vegetarian at home. She immediately answered that she is ok with it as it would be a healthier lifestyle for her. Our first impression of her was that shes a bold, independent, and smart girl. She was working in human resources in Columbia and had a stable job but she had made this conscious decision to try the au pair program and get out of her comfort zone. This set a good impression to me as I do believe that life is precious and every person should take chances and open new doors.

As I stated earlier the jackpot prize changed our lives. Gina was the same person I had imagined her to be during our interview. Bold, independent, ready to take up challenges but at the same time being flexible. She merged into our family like she had always been here. Not only did she turn into a vegetarian she was flexible enough to eat spicy Indian food for each and every meal. Well, today she goes to a restaurant and asks for the spicy dishes, whereas a few months ago she had never put her tongue on fire.Childcare for her has been a breeze too.

My children loved her from day one. She took my infant in her arms when she was one month old and she put her to sleep right away. For all the caregivers out there you will know that’s a tough job as infants can feel the energy right off you and are not easy too sooth. Even though she had minimum experience with childcare which mainly involved her nephew we did not feel a pinch as she was open to learning and adapting. Her calm and patient nature was all that was needed to keep my children happy. Now my infant is 9-month-old and she has become a Gina addict.

Sometimes I fail in putting her to sleep where Gina succeeds. My 6-year-old daughter and Gina are an awesome duo, they treat each other like best friends and it took them maybe a few hours to build that relationship. The constant jumping around, giggling and wrestling with Gina or going for long runs with her during Ginas personal time or constantly being in her room, there are no barriers set for my 6 year old daughter.

I thank and appreciate Gina for opening her arms and heart to my children.

Both I and my husband are working and sometimes are days are long. I am also part of a dance troupe and have been performing several times over the last few months. I would have not been able to follow my passion if it was not for Gina and her help. Being a mother of an infant It was so easy to go back to work knowing that I can fully trust the person who is taking care of my child.

Gina has also been following her goal to learn English while she lives with an Indian family who is mainly talking in “Hindi (Indian language)” around the house.  She has been very patient with us as we keep switching between languages. She has been going to free classes in the library and trying very hard to improve over the last months. This is one thing I love about her. She is focused on her goals and is hard working. Her intention to explore new cultures and learn the language has not changed. I appreciate this attitude of hers and feel good about having such a person in our family. I feel happy that after years we will be able to give her an example to our kids.

She is curious about every aspect of Indian culture and is open to our craziness. She has probably heard our stories from India and our experiences from across the globe repeated several times in several versions from me, my daughter and my mother in law. To date, she shows the same interest in our stories with the same enthusiasm.

To us, having Gina in our house and part of our family has helped us to grow to be better human beings.

Over the last year, we have realized how our initial apprehensive feeling of having a stranger living in our house was pointless. Gina made life simple for us. I have also found a friend in Gina. We have spent hours talking about life, food, travel, plants, boys, kids and so on. As a working mother with two kids I feel I do find some sanity in those long conversations and I am glad that I have a friend (to boss around ) living with us.

Many of my friends tell me. “You make parenting look so easy.” Well, I always tell them I have a magic wand. I ask for help and Gina the Genie appears. Wooooooooshhhh!!!!!!

How to cope with stress related COVID 19

People and media are talking about pandemic all the time, and it’s easy to get caught up in your own fears and concerns. However, doctors say that it’s normal to fear. For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is hard to handle. Having this awareness can actually help to manage the panic because you know it’s not uncommon.

There are some advise that I think can be helpful. Talk to your host family about your feelings, ask how can you work together as a team to follow the best precautions and recommendations from our local governments, local public health departments, federal government, and CDC.  

Be mindful of your interactions outside of the family home and do your best to minimize your gatherings that could increase your risk of being exposed to the virus.

Stick to what you can control: Keep to your routine as best you can, while following the guidelines provided by the CDC, state and local health departments. Remember to exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong and help manage stress.

Continue to enjoy life: The sun is still shining, warm weather is here and beautiful flowers just start blooming. Even when you’re self-isolating or maintaining social distance, there’s still plenty you can do to to enjoy.

Be a positive influence. Helping others stay come not only makes a difference to your family and friends circle —it can also support your well-being. Comforting someone – you comforting yourself, and being a positive, uplifting influence in these anxious times can help you feel better about your own situation too.

Stay connected even when physically isolated. Take some alone relaxation time – go for a walk, meditate. Talk or face time with your family and friends daily. Support other Au Pairs, join weekly Au Pair meetings on ZOOM.

Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We’re all on this together!

Au Pair advice for the coronavirus

Novel Corona Virus affects the Au Pair program worldwide. It is already clear that it will have a major impact on international travel, cultural exchange programmes in general and of course our au pair programmes.

The Novel Coronavirus dominates all conversations these day. The Au Pairs, who are far away from home, have a lot of worries, concerns and fear. These feelings are normal emotions to experience during the event like pandemic. Please accept that, stay informed with accurate facts, and remember that we’re all in this together. Strong bonds are formed during times like these that probably wouldn’t have formed under normal circumstances. Check in on your au pair friends and spend some times together online.

 Stay flexible with your changing schedule and duties and talk to your host family if you need anything. You should work up to 10 hours per day and up to 45 hours per week, but your schedule will likely change more often. However, some Au Pairs like that they do not need wake up early because the schools are closed.

Go outside with the children in this beautiful weather, but keep space from others (experts recommend at least 10 feet. Keeping distant from other people is how we can slow/avoid virus infection. It’s one of the greatest acts of kindness we each can do for others. If one person in the home is not respecting social distancing, it lessens the safety for the others.

Take some alone relaxation time – go for a walk, skype with family back home and friends daily. Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods when possible.

Stay safe and try do not worry much. In case you will need a medical help, we have been informed by Caremed insurance that treatment and testing for COVID-19 are covered as any other illness under your health insurance policy. 

Good news- you can now complete your education requirement by taking classes online from the best college for free using many online courses, for example https://www.coursera.org/ If you decided to complete online education for your educational requirement please contact Go Au Pair at educoord@goaupair.com for written approval of this exception.

Au Pairs favorite meeting -volunteering in the USA!

This year we are going to volunteer again for the International Spring Festival for the fifth time! However, for many Au Pairs volunteering will be a first-time experience.

Many Au Pairs from the Bucks County and Philadelphia area cluster chose to volunteer and help the community while being Au pairs with Go Au Pair. Au Pairs are very enthusiastic and motivated to make a difference in another’s life.  Instead of taking the easy roads, spending time for their pleasure, many Au Pairs had chosen to volunteer their time and skills while they are in the USA.

This year Au Pairs are volunteering face painting, twisting balloons,  making crafts with kids, and etc.  They are looking forward to entertaining the kids. However, the festival is interesting for the entire family. The address is North Penn High School, 1340 Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, 19446, and the hours are from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.  The event is free.

The Go Au Pair agency will support our team by providing the supplies. Au Pairs not only volunteer, but also a few Au Pairs will perform on the stage! You can see their dances, listen the songs and musical performances.

The Festival features multi-cultural exhibits and vendors, food tasting, and fabulous performances of dance and music. Many Au Pairs said that exploring the festival and volunteering for the community was their favorite meeting. <3.

Please join the International Spring Festival and a Host Family Day Conference on Saturday, April 18th , 2020. If you want to meet other families and learn about the Au Pair program from their experience, please come to the Go Au Pair table at 1:00 pm.

Au Pair Taxes for 2019.

The Au Pairs are required to file U.S. individual income return. They should file form 1040NR-EZ by April 15, 2020 and report their stipend for the previous calendar year. The amount Au Pairs owe depends largely on when they arrived in the US. The Au Pairs don’t need W-2 form to file their tax return.

Au Pairs should provide their Social Security Number to fill their tax return. They should use the instructions for 1040NR-EZ to fill out a 1040NR-EZ (U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents). To calculate how much an Au Pairs have earned during 2019, they should multiply the number of weeks they worked as an Au Pair in the USA in 2019 with the amount of their weekly stipend or use their Wages log.  Than, Au Pairs will be able to file a 1040NR-EZ and send payment to IRS for any taxes owed.

According to IRS, Au Pairs are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, The Hope Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credits. If the Au Pairs have to report the types of income other than stipend, like bank interests, tips , etc, they need to file 1040NR form (not a 1040NR-EZ). Please, consult a tax professional.

Au Pair taxes can be confusing. H&R Block Expat Tax Services offers an easy way for Au Pairs to file their U.S. taxes with promotional pricing of $99 for the Au Pairs who will register and complete their tax organizer by February 28. Please visit H&R Block’s Au Pair Tax page, email them at aupair.support@hrblock.com or call them at 816-504-1665.

Au Pairs can use free file software options:

I will be able to provide some general information and basics of tax returns to our cluster Au Pairs during our Au Pair meeting on Sunday, March 22, 2020 in Parkway Central Library. However, it is best to consult a tax professional with the questions.
If Au Pairs don’t file Au Pair income tax return, they risk incurring costly interest and penalties, and it may complicate obtaining a U.S. visa in the future.

Here are some useful links:

Good luck with your income tax return!

Educational Credits for Au Pairs with Cultural Hi-Ways

Au pairs are required to earn 6 (or 12 for EduCare program) educational credits during their year in the United States. Many Au Pairs enjoyed the Learning Across America program with Cultural Hi-Ways and Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

99% of Cultural Hi-Ways’ guests are Au Pairs. Au Pairs can sign up to join any of the weekend tours and have a great time. You can review all the details of the Learning Across America program here.

The program offers local classes and when Au Pairs choose a Learning Local, they have the opportunity to attend class locally and participate in a Cultural Hi-Ways tour to the destination they are studying, the cost of which is included in Au Pairs tuition.  Students travel to “must see” destinations like Amish Country, Montreal (Canada), Niagara Falls and Washington, DC.

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Au pairs participating in BMCC’s Learning Local courses attend class locally (generally ranging from the New York City metropolitan area to Washington, DC) and then take part in a Cultural Hi-Ways tour to the destination they’re studying, the cost of which is included in the tuition price.  In choosing this option, they have the entire tour weekend to explore destinations like Montreal, Niagara Falls and Washington, DC.

BMCC’s Learning Express courses provide au pairs across America with the opportunity to study, explore and earn their educational credits over a long weekend in amazing cities like Chicago, Houston, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

According to the Department of State requirement, host families have to reimburse tuition costs and costs of related materials up to $500 and $1000 for EduCare. Please, plan ahead, speak with your host family and don’t wait until the last minute to register for your class.

Au Pair Tati became a genuine friend and member of her host family.

Many Au Pairs turned out to be all what that the host families were looking for: playmate, sister, daughter, teacher, helper, friend and much more. Many host families love their Au Pairs and nominate them to #LoveMyAuPair Contest with Go Au Pair to share their amazing experience.

Au Pair from Colombia Tatiana Andrea Matiz Calderon (Tati) joined her host family in the Philadelphia area only four months ago. However, her host family wrote already in their nomination that, “Tati has quickly become a genuine friend and member of our family. I think that is one of the greatest things about having an Au Pair: having that real person to person connection.”

“Tati is a very dedicated worker, and very dependable. She has a very adaptable/flexible personality and view on her role as a caretaker for our children. She has been teaching our children Spanish; our youngest (18 months) can now count the steps as she goes up and down the stairs in both English and Spanish. We try to keep to a schedule as best we can, but inevitably, things often come up that require us to change things on the fly, or some other plan arises midweek for which we must accommodate, and in all cases, Tati has always been there for us when those changes arise, and always with the same wonderful attitude about things.

The most striking thing about Tati is that she is just a wonderful, kind person. She is a joy to be around, and she truly loves our children. Her general way of being has made it so that we are very comfortable with her with our children, and we always know that she is there for our family. We consider her to be a member of our family, and we are so fortunate to have found her.”

Many families participate in Love My Au Pair contest with Go Au Pair for a reason to thank and recognize the Au Pairs for all the wonderful things the Au Pairs do for the host families. 

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