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Employment history concerns with fostering

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am worried right now that my husband's recent employment history coupled with the fact that most of my income is in cash will end up making them feel like our home isn't stable enough. He has been doing home health care over the past few years which can be tricky since people improve and don't need care so it looks like he's switched jobs a bunch. And then for the last 3ish weeks, he has been unemployed since the company he was working for didn't have any other clients at the time that needed care. He just got hired on at a local youth group home working with their drug rehab program so I'm hoping that will look good enough to counter the unpredictable job history.

 

As for  me, I nanny and get paid cash and then with my doula business, I usually get paid with a personal check. I'm curious if there is anyone else out there with a similar situation. We are supposed to provide check stubs but that's just not something either of us have. I know I'll probably have to call our specialist to find out for sure, but do you think that a copy of our bank statement and/or the images of checks/deposits that came from our salaries would be sufficient?

 

We always make ends meet with money to spare and I am hoping that is all they are really looking at. Any help or advice would be super super appreciated!!!

post #2 of 8
Are you being paid illegally? I would highly recommend that you ensure that you're complying with employment reporting laws or fix that before you enter the system. Otherwise you're risking you license if it's found that you were engaged in tax fraud. If you've been filing your returns on your cash income and/or it's low enough not to count (the threshold is surprisingly low, so you may very well be out of compliance) then that's great but you should research first.

Not reporting income for taxes that you should=really big potential problem. If you don't have pay stubs or a w2 or other document...be careful.

I had to straighten out a mess before I fostered because a family I nannied for lied and took advantage of me about reporting the income.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I work for a tax attorney so I should be in the clear for the nanny part but my doula income is so sporadic that it's hard to keep track of so it never gets claimed. It doesn't amount to much anyway. I graduated nursing school in May so once I take my NCLEX next month I will have a soul sucking nursing job with pay check stubs. We just want them to let us start the training. I have worked as a CASA for the last 3 years so I know a lot of the folks we are working with and they are awesome about coming out for the first visit and making sure all your ducks are in a row (and pointing you in the right direction on things you have to change.) Because of mine and my husbands backgrounds in health care and working with kids with special needs, they seem pretty gungho about getting us licensed asap.
post #4 of 8

A tax attorney pays in cash? Interesting. That makes me wonder if he's claiming it. If he doesn't have canceled checks he would be risking problems in the event of an audit.

 

Really though it's up to you to claim the income not him. So the question is does your cash income from you nanny job end up on your tax return? In lieu of W-2's you may be asked for your returns and it's not going to look good if on paper you are making too little to survive.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well it's complicated since our returns last year are from the very intensive part of my nursing program where I wasn't working more than maybe 8 hours a week. My boss and I both claim the money that comes in and out on our tax returns but it doesn't amount to much last year (like maybe 4k). Our returns do account for the couple thousand in student loans that we used to supplement our income since I didn't really have much of one though. Like I said, lots of things are changing right now as far as our income goes so last year's returns don't necessary have much relevance to our current situation. I'm hoping that being able to explain that in person to someone won't be too difficult. 

post #6 of 8

In *my* experience income wasnt a big deal...i had to fill out a worksheet with my expenses vs money coming in to make sure we were on the "plus" side (they really want to make sure you arent fostering "for the money")...when i went through the first couple of adoption homestudies, they were pretty much fine with a letter from my employer stating my income. I think for my last fostering cert. they wanted a copy of my w2s. I know i was told once that they had someone who worked kind of under the table/in cash...and it wasnt such a big deal for fostering but then their child came up for adoption and they couldnt adopt because they could not prove they had an actual income, so they want to avoid those types of situations. I do not have checkstubs as i am usually paid either in cash or check, i take care of my mom and she pays me for doing so...but i did specifically start doing it the "official" way (with taxes, w2s etc) several years ago so i could get approved to adopt and have on paper income.

 

Really all you need to do is ask your agency...explain your situation...they WANT to help you figure these things out, so if what you have is not acceptable, they should be able to tell you exactly what you need to do to make it acceptable, and if not, another agency might be more flexible. So i would just ask them!
 

post #7 of 8

In my experience, they just asked, "What is your income?" and accepted my answer. At the time, I was selling home made crafts, online and on the craft fair circuit. I just told them that, and no one ever asked for documentation. It was clear I was supporting my family - we had a decent home, food in the kitchen, and the utilities were paid. They said that is all they were looking for.  My experience may have been unusual in that it was with a tiny agency that may have had more freedom than the state DHS.
 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies. I don't feel like they've been anything but helpful so far and I hope that continues. Once my husband gets his first paycheck from this new job we will finish filling out the budget form and make the call to set up the first home visit before training.
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