After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend SurePayroll as our 2018 pick for the best online payroll service for paying household employees. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of online payroll services on our best picks page.
Services and Features
All household employees: Unlike some of the other payroll providers we considered, which only offer services for child care providers, you can use SurePayroll for all types of household employees: nannies, elder caregivers, home care providers, private nurses, drivers, yard workers and cooks.
Unlimited payroll runs: With SurePayroll, you can run payroll as often as you want each month for no additional cost.
Pay options: You can pay employees by direct deposit or written check.
Payroll taxes: The service handles all your payroll tax obligations. This includes calculating and deducting Social Security, Medicare, and federal and state unemployment taxes, along with filling out and filing federal, state, and local tax forms. In addition, it makes all tax payments for you. SurePayroll also files a quarterly 1040-ES on your behalf and provides you with a signature-ready Schedule H (Form 1040) that attaches to your annual 1040 filing.
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Monthly fees: There is a flat monthly fee of $33.99. This includes services for one employee. For each additional household worker, there is a $4 monthly charge. No contracts are needed, and you can cancel at any time.
Year-end fees: The only added cost is $45, plus $4 per employee, for year-end tax forms.
Ease of Use
Cloud-based: SurePayroll is a cloud-based service that has no software to install or maintain and can be accessed online from anywhere.
Running payroll: To pay your household employees, all you need to do is enter the hours they worked and a pay rate. You then see a preview of the payroll, which includes the employee's gross pay and how much is being deducted from each check for taxes. If everything is accurate, the final step is to click the Submit for Approval link to run the payroll. At that point, you get details on when the money will be transferred for direct deposit or when you can write out checks.
Mobile app: You can use the mobile app to run payroll. SurePayroll's app, available on both Android and iOS devices, allows you to enter earnings, deductions, hours worked, and benefits such as vacation and personal time.
Employee access: Household employees also have access to the system. They can log in online or use the mobile app to review their paystubs and pay history.
Tax guarantee: SurePayroll provides a 100 percent guarantee that your taxes will be filed and paid correctly and on time. Should an error be made, the company pays any of the fines or interest fees you incur.
Customer service: We were pleased with the support we received from SurePayroll. To gauge the type of service you can expect, we called and emailed the company numerous times posing as a household employer interested in the company's services. Each time we called, we were immediately greeted by a representative who provided clear and detailed answers to our questions. SurePayroll was also the only payroll provider that offered to let us test the online system on our own. Customer support is available between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. (CST), Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CST) on Saturdays.
BBB accreditation: SurePayroll is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. According to the BBB website, as of February 2018, 58 complaints had been filed against the company. Note that nearly all of the payroll providers we reviewed had some criticism levied against them with the BBB.
One service plan: One potential downside of SurePayroll is that it doesn't offer different packages like some of the nanny-specific payroll providers we considered. Some of SurePayroll's competitors offer cheaper plans for lower levels of service. For example, they give the option to pay less if you only want them to calculate tax withholdings and prepare your tax documents.
California users: In California, SurePayroll only supports household employers who are designated as quarterly filers. Annual filers in California need to change their filing status to quarterly to use this service.
Ready to choose a payroll service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage: