Taxes and Caregivers

We get questions all the time from parents about paying caregivers and taxes.   Here are a few rules to follow:

1. One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a caregiver is assuming they don’t have to pay taxes if they pay the hire in cash. However, if a caregiver earns more than $750 a quarter or more than $1,900 a year, the IRS considers that person a household employee, and taxes must be paid accordingly.

2. Once the caregiver hits that threshold, the employer has to register and report employee wages and withhold part of his/her income.

3. Paying legally can increase the cost, but if you pay legally you are entitled to tax breaks.  The tax breaks usually offset the majority if not all of that extra expense.

4. A common tax-filing mistake is improperly classifying the caregiver as an independent contractor, which would push the tax burden on to the employee. According to Breedlove, in order for someone to qualify as an independent contractor the person has to control the entire work environment, including when and how to work.

5. Caregivers are also entitled to over time, and if families decide to forgo paying it, they could face a lawsuit and owe a big sum of money in back pay.  Experts say all household employees that work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half in overtime under federal law for the extra hours.



Introducing Twigtale: Personalized Books for Children

Change can be tough on young children. Graduating to a big-kid bed, learning to use the potty, getting a new sibling, starting school, getting used to a new schedule… it’s hard on children, thus also on parents and caretakers.  Parents want to help, but between the endless Google searches and asking friends for advice, what’s the best way to really help your child?  Twigtale gives parents expert tools and language to better communicate important information with their children through their transformational personalized book-building platform.

Founded by Los Angeles parents Carrie Southworth and Nishad Chande, Twigtale specializes in personalized books for kids that communicate important messages.  What makes the books unique is that they are scripted by the Twigtale team of child development experts – psychologists, therapists, educators, and even medical professional.  The books are then personalized with photos and family details for the individual child.  Twigtale books were just featured in People Magazine as a best gift for kids!twigtaleimg

Twigtale is happy to extend a special discount to ParentScout families – please enjoy 15% any book with this code: ParentScout15.  The code is good for books only, may not be applied to gift certificates, and expires 12/31/14.

To order a book for your child, go onto, select a story, create your account, upload the pictures you’ll need (you can reference the image list beforehand to make gathering the photos much easier), edit the book text to include your child’s name and personal details, review the book, (add the discount code!) and you’re done!  The paperback books are all $20 and are shipped within a few days.

So whatever big or small life change you are struggling with how to prepare your child for, or even just want to teach them about love or find an engaging way to teach them to count to 10, there is a title for you.

Randy Turner: A Warning to Young People: Don’t Become a Teacher

We saw this article and felt it was important to share.  It is sad that teachers feel this way about a profession that is so important to the success of our children and the future of our country.  Don’t let a system that is run by politics destroy your child’s education.  Take control, get a tutor and keep your child focused on what is important.

Randy Turner: A Warning to Young People: Dont Become a Teacher.

Dad’s Love Letter to Gay Teenage Son

We at Parent Scout are advocates of raising both physically and emotionally healthy children.  The only way to do this is to encourage your children to be 100% themselves and to offer unconditional support.  We love this Dad and want to share his letter with our community in the hopes to influence other parents to show that same unconditional love to their families.

Dad’s Love Letter to Gay Teenage Son Goes Viral | Parenting – Yahoo! Shine.

Turkey Burgers To Die For!


Now this is a healthy meal for your family that will take out the stress of trying to get them to eat because it’s so delicious!

How to make this recipe…

Mango Cole Slaw
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
½ mango, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise (depending on your taste)

1 lb. Empire Kosher White Ground Turkey
1 small apple (any variety will work), grated
¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (Japanese PANKO breadcrumbs or homemade is best)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Carribean jerk seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns, challah rolls, Kaiser buns or whole grain sandwich thins
Mayo for spreading on buns
A sprinkling of additional jerk seasoning if you like burgers with a bit more KICK!

Recipe Instructions:
Mango Cole Slaw
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl
2. Refrigerate until ready

1. Preheat grill to medium high
2. Combine all of the burger ingredients in a large bowl.  Form 4 equal sized patties, slightly larger in diameter than the buns you have selected.  Refrigerate until grill is ready.
3. Brush the grill with canola oil
4. Grill the burgers for about 4 to 5 minutes per side, until browed and cooked throughout
5. Spread mayo on the cut side of each bun
6. If you like a bit of kick to your burger, sprinkle a light coating of Jerk Seasoning on the mayo
7. Lay the buns on the grill for about 30 seconds to toast
8. Place the burgers on the bun and top with 2-3 tablespoons of Mango Cole Slaw.  Top with the other half of the bun.