TPaying teen cash for yard work at your property

3 Replies

Want to hire a minor to clean up yard on a investment property Some basic yard work for cash. Can I write this off as a deduction? Also how would I set this up to legally have him working at the property?

Assuming the minor is your child, which, I don't know that you'll be able to legally hire them if they're not, they'll most likely be categorized as an employee for federal tax purposes.

You should discuss with your tax advisor regarding running payroll and issuing a W-2, as well as opportunities such as a Roth IRA for the child.

Some people might just write a check and issue a 1099, but that's not proper if the child would be appropriately classified as an employee under law.

Usually this strategy does not make sense unless you plan on paying the child at least a few thousand during the year.  For a few hundred, you're better off just increasing their allowance and giving them a list of chores to avoid the administrative headache.

If you are having a teenager from the neighborhood do clean up you are already paying 60-70 cents on the dollar.  I had a buddy that paid a guy under the table to use a chainsaw to remove a treehouse/play area.  The guy was using my buddy's chainsaw when I got there...  Afterwards I asked if he thought that was smart....   Unskilled, inexperienced guy using your equipment on your property.  What do you think will happen if the guy hurts himself on your property, with your saw, while you are paying him with cash?  If you are having the kid blow leaves, or pick up sticks i would pay him out of your pocket.  If he is doing anything where he might get hurt, pay someone that has insurance and workman's comp, and issue a 1099.

I think you will find you answer by checkbox with your insurance provider. 

i suspect you are taking on a large personal liability risk (that maybe wouldn't be covered).

also I don't know the labor laws in your state, but depending on the age of the teen, some work isn't allowed.