I babysit, but my mom is listed as not working on taxes

<p>I've been watching my little sister since I was around 13/14. Maybe even earlier - I can't remember. It just seems to have always been this way. My parents usually work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Especially while we were growing up. The result was, I was usually the one to take care of my little sister. Dinner, baths, homework, etc. I was planning on putting this on my applications, since I thought it was important enough to note.
However, I recently found out that my mom is listed as not working on taxes. My dad emphasized the distinction between "not working" and "unemployment" - my mom doesn't get unemployment benefits. Which leads me to believe she's listed as a homemaker on taxes. Apparently, what WOULD be her income goes back into the business (they own a small business).
So, I'm left with this question: should I or should I not list my time taking care of my little sister on my college application? I don't want there to be a big discrepancy in my application, but I also feel that I would be cheating myself if I left out such a huge part of my life. I don't know what to list my mom's occupation as on Common App (I've been thinking about putting down 'other'). But there's no avoiding that when we fill out FASFA/ CSS Profile.
I also toyed with the idea of applying with Questbridge. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't qualify, but I would like to try. However, it seems to me that the Questbridge application would only highlight the discrepancy. So now I don't know what to do.</p>

<p>They won't question you for it. If your mom really works, then she works. There's no need to feel insecure because of some lack of red tape formality. You should really put down babysitting as part of your activities. </p>

<p>If you feel like you may be accepted to the Questbridge program, do try. It really makes a difference if college admissions, especially if you are someone in real need.</p>

<p>I think the babysitting is important to list. It appears to be a huge component of you are and what you do. The reason you must babysit does not need to be mentioned in detail - the admissions folks won't analyze if your mom does paid work, volunteers, helps other relatives or shops all day & night -- the focus in your application will be what YOU DO - and babysitting and raising your sibling is what you do.</p>

<p>The tax rules about small businesses are different than the rules for people who work for someone else. Chances are that your parents have sorted out everything with their tax advisors already. Don't worry about your mother not having a "paying job". </p>

<p>When they file the FAFSA and CSS Profile, they will need to include some information about their business. In order to get an idea of how this might affect you, you should ask them to run the FAFSA and CSS Profile calculators at FinAid</a>! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans and at College</a> Calculators - savings calculators - college costs, loans You also could take your questions about how their business might affect your financial aid to the experts at the Financial Aid Forum. You will find people there with experience with this kind of thing.</p>

<p>You also should ask your mom what she wants you to say about her work. She isn't a housewife. She is a business owner, and possibly a manager of that business.</p>

<p>Wishing you all the best.</p>

<p>Not trying to accuse of you of anything but isn't it illegal to work and not get payed? especially not paying social security/medicare taxes?
I'm not a tax lawyer/accountant (duh) but....</p>

<p>anyway if thats true then you are kinda screwed since you might be lying on you fafsa which is pretty unethical. probably won't get caught though</p>

<p>If I'm completely wrong, then sorry :) and it would be a great ec to write about</p>

<p>^ Thanks for not outright accusing me then. I can't really say I blame you - when I found out, I had a full on panic attack. I actually started crying because I swore we were going to jail. But my parents assure me everything is legit. Of course that didn't really calm me down any, but I found out they have a CPA to help them do taxes. I'm under the assumption that a CPA risks too much if he helps commit fraud, so my panic attacks have faded.</p>

<p>Thank you though, I really do appreciate all of your inputs. And it makes me feel a lot better knowing I can include my sister in my application. As for Questbridge - well, that's a big 'if' right now. And I'm not worried about financial aid. Not because I'm naively ignoring it, but because my parents have already said how much they'd be able to pay per year and I've got my college list all set with financial safeties.</p>

<p>Lots of small business owners don't collect salaries from their businesses, so your mom isn't unusual. Since your parents have a CPA help them with their taxes, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.</p>

<p>One thing to think about is becoming more actively involved in the family business. Would it make a good part-time and/or summer job for you? Would it allow you to develop some skills that could lead to a professional position one day? Try thinking of this as an asset for you, and it won't be scary any more.</p>