If you are a housekeeper, janitor or custodian, you may receive Form W-2 for income from wages. You receive your Form W-2 from your employer, who is the person or organization that controls the work you do and how you do it. This could be the person who lives in the home in which you work or an agency through which you work. If you provide housekeeping services for someone other than your employer, any payments you receive may be considered self-employment income and may be reportable on Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business. For example, a housekeeper who cleans someone's home once a week, and provides the cleaning supplies and decides on how to perform the work, may be considered self-employed.

If you are self-employed and your net earnings are $400 or more, you must pay self-employment tax on the income you report on Schedule C. In addition, you may need to make estimated payments to cover the amount of self-employment tax or income tax associated with the income you report on Schedule C.

You may be able to reduce your taxes by deducting unreimbursed, job-related expenses. These expenses may be claimed as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions , or, if attributable to self employment, they may be deductible on Schedule C. You should keep receipts to substantiate these expenses. Examples of some of the items you may be able to deduct include:

  • The cost and upkeep of uniforms if they are required for work and not suitable for everyday wear
  • Work-related supplies that you provide, such as cleaning solutions
  • Fees for licensing/bonding