Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

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dependent day care flexible spending account
For the first time ever, a company that my wife or I worked for offered flexible spending accounts (FSA).  We were given two accounts to enroll in: Dependent Day Care FSA nad Health Care FSA.  I will be looking into each of these in more detail.  Today, let’s focus on:

Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account

In our society where dual income families are the norm, day care is almost a must for any young families. I’ve heard that people could spend $1000 or more a month on day care, so if we can use pre-tax dollars to pay for this, it would help the family budget significantly.

Another important point to note is that while the most common use of this type of FSA is for child care, elderly care is also considered under this plan.  Adult day care and even nursing homes for parents that don’t live with you are all eligible expenses.

Check list for Determining If Your Dependent Care Expenses Qualify
The government has set some rules for eligibility in order to prevent abuse. Check below to make sure all the criteria are met before you apply.

  • Both you and your spouse must have earned income, unless the person without income is a full-time student or is incapable (physcially or mentally) of self-care
  • The day care center must enable you two to work, look for a job., or attend school full-time.
  • You and your spouse must be paying at least half household expenses that you two reside in.
  • The reimbursed amount must be lower than either you or your spouse’s earned income
  • You cannot be using the funds to pay for care by your dependent, or for that matter anyone under the age of 19
  • The day care center you choose must be licensed if they care for more than 6 children

A Couple Look Out Regarding Day Care FSAs
Even though the maximum you can contribute to this type of FSA is $5,000, your employer has the option of setting a lower maximum contribution so remember to find out.  Also be careful when filling out the forms because some forms asks you for the full annual contribution amount while others asks for the per paycheck deduction amount.

Remember that with FSAs, you have to estimate how much you will need for the whole year in advance and you lose what you don’t use.  Therefore, careful planning is crucial or else you will end up losing money instead of benefiting from this plan.

Last year’s records are a great place to start when planning for the upcoming year’s expenses.  If your expenses largely revolve around a day care facility, speak to them about the upcoming year and whether there will be fee changes.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Deanna Wilkins says:

    If your child’s daycare doesn’t receive cards I wouldn’t recommend… I am really wishing I hadn’t signed up for this… I am actually struggling more than I was when I first started using this…. since I can’t remove the money off my card to give to my daughters school nor can I swipe I have to go in and spend bill money plus wait for them to accept a claim.. It is a mess!!!! I feel like I am trapped in a horrible commitment

    • Richard Clark says:

      Really this happens only in the first January since there’s not enough dependent care money yet to cover the first bill.

      Yes…you’d have to pay by check, take your invoice (showing the business name and TaxID) and submit it for reimbursement. Once your FSA provider reimburses you for this (usually only a couple of days) you can use it for February’s bill and then all the way to December. Once you file against the December statement you can pay January of next year and continue on until your child reaches the age of 13. Don’t overload the dependent FSA that year or you’ll lose it.

      The important thing to remember about dependent FSA is they’re pre-tax so your saving 10-28% on the money, which also lowers your taxable income for computation of State (if applicable), Medicare and Social Security withholdings. This can be substantial.

    • Heather says:

      Deanna… I just got one of these for the first time. Ive been able to use it for just three weeks and I feel I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’m in the same boat as you. I have $400 in an account I can’t use, have paid $400 out to preregister for summer camps for my kids and am out of grocery money! I literally am choosing between paying for the daycare and food meanwhile I have to basic take a double hit while I wait, and beg for my own money back. They are supposed to take 5 business days to decide if I get my own hard earned money and they are on day 12 of reviewing my last claim. This is a nightmare! I want out now!

  • John Rathert says:

    I believe it’s time for the public to stand together and get our congress to make change and stop them from taking our hard earned money!!! If we get enough people we might be able to make a class action law suit. Email me and let’s start this fire. Remember to us @ and a . For dot below. FSAdenialsatgmaildotcom

    • Zubin says:

      I agree with you John. This is really crazy, how can one lose their own money if they dont apply for claim in a given time frame? The purpose of this program is to help in tax saving. If we dont file in time, just tax us and return the remaining amount. In my case, I was under the impression I could file my claim by March 31st of the coming year. Well as it happens I changed my job, and my company had supposedly given me 90 days to file the claim. I was not aware of such stipulation, and now I am trying to find a solution!

  • Veronica says:

    I have to left monies in my Dependent Care Flexible Account as well. With no notification or anything sent saying “Hey there is a cut off date to pull the money out with x amount of monies left.” My account now says I have forfeited my funds (basically screwed because my hard earned money was is being put into someone’s else’s pocket.) All the reps told me was that they have a rule “use it or loose it.” Wait what the H%ll, my hard earned money is lost due to what! WHOS IS IT GOING TO THEN not me, so they told me to appeal the case. Anyone with any luck with any of this of whom can give some guidance, cause I am lost for words? Thank in advance

    • Kurt says:

      Hi Veronica, I feel your pain. Same thing happened to me, and I tried hard but to no avail. I lost my hard-earned money…. It is really frustrating. I think the money goes to your employer (see:
      The only thing is, I was able to claim child care expenses during my tax return (which I otherwise would not be able to as they would be paid pre-tax from the DCFA) and this decreased my taxes to some extent… does not recover the whole $$$ of course, but at least some.
      I will not open a DCFA account this year, as my child care expenses are not that much, and instead just have the deduction during my tax return.

  • John says:

    My wife wants to start looking for work after being a stay at home mom and send our child to preschool. My work is doing a 6 month benefit year (July thru December) to transition to calendar year benefits.

    If I start a dependent FSA and contribute for 6 months and send child to preschool and pay for it using FSA Debit Card but my wife fails to find work and has no earned income by year end, when I do my taxes do I simply have to pay taxes on those FSA funds I used or is there some kind of penalty?

  • Alex says:

    I opted in to dcfsa before I knew my wife and I both have to work (only I do). It seems I can submit my expenses just fine, should I do that and just pay the IRS back come tax time next year?

  • Christie Weidemann says:

    I have a Dependent Care Spending Account from 2015 with my company where the deadline for submissions was March 31, 2016. I submitted my first request on March 25th. They did not notify me but they denied it. I called and then I submitted a different eligible claim which they denied. I was speaking to the rep on the 31st and submitted another eligible claim which according to his description had all of the required information but it was also denied on April 1. I am trying to determine what I can do to have one of these claim submission processed. They seem to be trying hard to deny my eligible claims. I have submitted over 20K in Daycare/PK tuition expenses in order to be reimbursed $800. The latest one was denied because the invoice dated July 1, 2015 (due on December 1, 2015) only said PK Tuition 2015 2016 and not the actual months of service. However, I did include the months of service in the description for dates of services. Do I have any recourse? I am beyond frustrated.

  • esther says:

    how does filing for tax work when my company benefit year doesn’t start as calendar year, i.e. my benefit year starts on July to June the next year. I contribute evening per pay period, which is every 2 weeks, so by Dec 31, because of how the weeks fall, I am contributing a little more than half ($1077) of my selection ($2000), but I’m not claiming these spendings evening. Like I’ve claimed $300 per month from Sept to Dec, which is $1200 for year 2015, and then I’ll be claiming the $800 between Jan to June 2016 ($200 Jan, and $100 the other months). From the tax form, I’m having hard time understanding how it works since I’m saying I’m using all of the $1077 allocations in 2015 toward child care, but I’m actually paying more since I can’t claim more than what’s contributed at the time. I’ll be only spending $800 while claiming the $923 contributed in 2016 to offset the difference spending between Sept-Jan and Feb- June. Can you offer some advice?

  • Theodora says:

    I accidentally selected the dependent FSA this year for $5000 while my husband already did it. Can I reimburse my money back and returned the tax to government after that? If yes, how?

  • Kelly says:

    Hello. I began a new job in Jan 2015. I elected my benefits during my new hire enrollment period. I did not elect the dependent care fsa at this time, since my baby was not born then. I had my baby in April & I added her to my medical plan. I tried to enroll in a dependent care fsa at that time as well, but my employer denied my request. They said I had to elect that in Jan. Why would I elect a dependent care fsa for a child that was not even born yet??? I’ve read that having a baby is a qualifying event, so I should have been able to elect this fsa within 30 days of her birth (which I tried to do so). I appealed their determination, but my appeal was denied as well. Daycare costs me over $1000 a month & I am missing out on tax savings because of this. Is there anyway I can appeal this further? Does the IRS govern this issue? Or is there a regulatory board of some sorts that I can appeal to? I’m so frustrated!

    • Ruth says:

      The plan documents prevail.
      Yes, the IRS is the governing body over FSA. The IRS may allow you to change your FSA based on a qualifying event, but leaves it up to each employer to decide how much flexibility they wish to administer.
      If your company has elected on their plan docs to not allow Qualifying Events to change the FSA, then you will have to wait until the beginning of the next FSA plan year.
      Please note that the medical plan and the FSA plan are not the same thing. Medical plans are required to allow changes when you have a Qualifying Event. FSA plans MAY allow changes but are not required to. Ask your HR department for a copy of your FSA plan document if you really want to push your tax savings.

  • Stella says:

    I mistakenly selected dependent care flex spending for $1,500, and only realized after I try to use to charge on March 2nd for a dental procedure. My company, big healthcare provider in Northern California had denied my 1st and 2nd appeal. I don’t have a dependent and have always contributed to the Healthcare flexible spending for 7 consecutive years. My income tax return would also show I have zero dependent. Is there no other way I can convince my company to switch my dependent care flexible to healthcare flexible? I e already lost $2,600 back in 2010 after I was informed by our Plan administrator that I can use the current year funds till March 15 the following year. I realized the middle of the following year that they didn’t use my previous contribution contrary to my conversation with one of ther customer representatives. The Plan Adminsitrator denied that I had a telephone conversation. So for my company to take another 1,500 from a rank and file is just too cruel. My company is literally stealing my hard earned money.

  • Jennifer says:

    Please help.. I processed my last 618.00 to get back from the account and then couple hours later sent in form to be canceled !! Can they take that remaking money ???

  • EdG says:

    When can a benefits provider reimburse me for a deposit that I made to secure a spot in a daycare program using dependent care dollars? My benefits company is denying reimbursement of the depost/holding fee until daycare services have been delivered however IRS doc 503 says that fees and deposits are reimbursable but does not spell out when the benefits for deposits/holding fees can be reimbursed. It is clear that forfeited deposits are not reimbursable but my benefits provider is withholding my reimbursement on a deposit based on service dates.

  • Divya says:

    I’m late by 2 weeks filing my paper work for the dependent care reimbursement and my hr says that i’m past the due date so i cant get the money. Is there anything else i can do?Its a lot of money to loose

  • HMom says:

    Courtney- I agree with you on all points. I also missed submitting claims I hate this claim it or Lose it option. I made few calls and also talked to HR but nothing worked. SO essentially I lost the money. It’s a big loss – hard earned mony on top of the other expenses.

    Let me know if you find anything that can help all of us. Thank you.

  • JRM says:


    With submitted receipts, you should be able to be reimbursed for the care provided by your friend. So long as the care was for the purpose of enabling you to work, it is a qualified expense. There are exceptions in scenarios when the provider of care is your dependent or child, but it doesn’t sound like those apply here.

  • JRM says:

    Your employer cannot require you to contribute to the full amount of your election ($5k). Your contributions will cease when you no longer receive a paycheck.

    Also, your change in employment status is a permissible qualifying event under IRS regulations. However, it depends on the way your husband’s FSA plan is written. Your husband’s FSA plan administrator (generally his employer) may or may not allow a spouse’s change in employment status to be considered a qualifying event. He will have to ask.

  • kareem says:

    Response to DT,
    I believe your employer will have to take the remaining money from your pay to total your 5K contribution before they let you go.
    Ask your HR

  • DT says:


    I elected the max, $5K, to be out into the pretax dependent care account. However, I will lose my job on April 3rd. My husband elected $0 simply because I historically did it for years and we had no idea that I would lose my job. By April 3rd, about 1.7K will be deducted. Can we ask my husband’s employer to allow him to elect 3.3K to be deducted from his pretax benefit? Is my loss of job a qualifying event for him? Thank you!

    • Ruth says:

      Kareem is not correct.
      JRM is correct.
      You will need to see if your husband’s FSA plan allows YOUR job loss to be a qualifying event for him to change his FSA election. You also must have reported the qualifying event in a VERY PROMPT fashion. (Wish I had found this back when you first wrote it.)

  • Harry says:

    I contributed $1750 last year. But we didn’t send our daughter to a licensed day care. We left her at a friend’s place and she used to baby sit some time. She is legal and a permanent resident. Can I get receipts from her and submit? Please advise.

  • HD says:

    I noticed my paycheck was significantly lower this pay period. When I looked into it, I saw that my employer deducted double my FSA and DCA contributions because of previously missed deductions (error on their part that I did not notice). I then looked back to see how many paychecks had missed deductions, and there are 3 more!
    Can my employer deduct this amount in my next paychecks? They didn’t even notify me of their mistake, they just took it out.

  • GL says:

    I made the mistake of enrolling for 5K in dependent care FSA when I started my new job in May, not knowing that the max was 5K PER CHILD. My husband already had enrolled in 5K for this and has been submitting daycare receipts for reimbursements. My HR says I cannot get my money back as I knowingly enrolled in it. Is there anything I can do? Can I still submit receipts so I don’t lose all my money?

  • Garg says:

    It is enrollment time for 2015 and I need to select if I want to use my daycare FSA. I know the amount that I want to put in. My wife was a full time student in 2014 and will be looking for job in 2015.
    My question is that can I sign up for FSA and claim it for eligible expenses even if in 2015 my wife is not able to find a job. What happens for taxes in 2015? Do I just pay a tax penalty because my wife had no earned income or if her income was less than what I enrolled for? If that is the case then I guess it is worth taking the risk.

  • michele says:

    I am getting money taken out of my check for dependent care but I learned that my child is too old to qualify. how can I get my money back?

  • Pat says:

    i’m in a similar position. Left my current Job in May. My employer made errors in my termination process. They did not notify my 401K trustee of seperation; hence could not rollover.

    When I finally resolved that issue 26 days later. I subsequently found out only had 30 days for ADP.

    It’s especially troubling that employeers can’t comply with their own rules and we lose.

  • Venkat says:

    Hi Courtney,
    I can totally understand your points as i am in the same boat. Lost my hard earned $5K as I was busy with some medical issues this year. I totally do not get this use or lose rule for dependent care FSA (At least i can understand a bit for medical FSA). There is no pre funding or risk to the employer.

    Is there any thing that can be done collectively regarding this. I am in for fighting to change this.


  • Courtney says:

    Hi Karey,
    I missed the deadline to file my claims as well. I am just sick about it.

    The process of putting together all the receipts is tedious, so I usually wait until the end of the year and ask the doctors and dentists to provide me with a print out of what I’d paid. I put that together with the childcare expenses and fill out the fax form to submit. The faxes always have trouble, and the machine we have at work isn’t great, so it’s always something I put off. I’ve been doing this for at least 7 or 8 years, and never missed the deadline. This year it got away from me, and it seems I have no way to get my $3,000 back. I appealed with my HR department, who sent me a letter saying they weren’t able to do anything.

    So, reading up on the issue, it looks like my company keeps the money. I also saw somewhere that there is a lot of money left on the table that companys get each year. I am interested in seeing if there is a lawyer that would pool together a group of people in this situation to appeal the law. I think there is a decent case here to be made so that the rule could be changed.

    A few points for the case:
    – the company doesn’t send any reminders of the deadlines, nor statement of the deductions (possibly one during the year), so it’s easy to lose track of this.
    – people who are in position to take advantage of this (working parents with high child care costs, and people with medical conditions) are the most busy, and least likely to have time to follow up on all the record keeping required, and therefore, likely to be in the position of missing deadlines, struggling to get the documentation complied and sent in, etc.
    – losing all the savings is an extreme punishment. It is our own hard earned money that we attempted to save, afterall. So to go from trying to capture a tax break to losing thousands of dollars in savings, is an extreme punishment. It would be more appropriate to pay a fine for being late, and have your money reimbursed with the taxes taken out. This way the fine discourages people from enrolling at high volumes who might not do the work to gather the information and make administration expensive, but still serve the people who are being provided this benefit from not being unduly penalized.

    • David says:

      Courtney- Same boat here and agree on all your points. I’ve gone through 5 months now of appeals letters and phone calls to now find out today that my company’s hands are tied due to IRS regulations. I had proposed being taxed on the money and receiving it as income but that’s not an option either. SO essentially we lost the money. It’s a significant loss considering this is money I put aside for childcare on top of all the other expenses raising a family.

      Let me know if you pursue any legal actions. Thanks!

    • Mike says:

      Hey Everyone, the same thing is happening to my wife and I. We’re completely jammed up with 2 kids under 5 and both of us working to keep paying the bills. We thought the deadline to file a claim was before April 15th. So, we missed the March 30th deadline by less than a week (trying to be early for April 15th).

      We never received a notice or reminder. ADP just simply stole our money. It’s larceny. I’m all in for a class action law suit. I just want my 5K back.

      I’m so confused how they could do this. At least give me a penalty or some other small fee. They just take advantage of working parents trying to keep it all together and simply steal from you. It’s ridiculous and should be illegal. They should truly be ashamed of themselves. How their leadership could look themselves in the mirror and sleep at night is beyond me.

      Thanks for listening to me rant for a bit! That felt good! 🙂

      • Kurt says:

        We are in the same boat… they switched from calendar year to a June deadline, which I missed, and now have $2,500 in the account that we cannot claim. I am trying to appeal to have the grace period extended but does not look very promising…

        Have you figured out a way to appeal to IRS about this “use it or lose it” policy, or at least to have the deadlines for claims to be extended?

      • Juliz says:

        Totally agree with you Mike! Going through all posts here seems no one got lucky to get the money back so far, includes me! My case is I changed my job and missed 90 days windows to claim the dependent care FSA balance from my previous employer. Is there any way such as group appeal the law as Courtney mentioned above we can do for voice out this unfair rule? It seems the employer can ate these money by law!!! At least it should give us — busy hard working parents a notice before the account to be terminated or a statement when it approach the deadline, or reasonable amount of penalty instead of lost full amount of deduction from our paycheck!

  • karey says:

    I missed the deadline to file a claim for my dependent account. How should I appeal the get the money back?

  • Sonal says:

    I missed the March 31 deadline to submit the claim form for the dependant care FSA for last year. I had contributed 5000$ towards it. I called up the insurance company and they mentioned i need to write an appeal letter explaining why I missed the deadline and send the claim with it and it will take anywhere from 30-90 days for a decision. Is there any option I might have to somehow not lose this money :(? Any suggestions on how to write the appeal letter?

    • Rosi says:

      Me too, left $5,000 in my account!!! Please let me know if you happen to find a solution. Many thanks!

      • Jasmine says:

        Same thing with me too, left $5000 in my account. I called my HR and they said they cannot help it as it is a regulatory requirement.
        It will be really great if you can let me know if you happen to find a solution. Thank you in advance.

    • Courtney says:

      I am in the same situation as you. I also sent an appeal to my company, but they denied my request. I have all the receipts for expenses submitted, I was just 5 days late with it. I am wondering if there is a situation in which they would be able to accept the appeal, and why not mine.

      What have you found out? ……see my response to Karey below on other thoughts…..

  • Yahdinah says:

    I pay for my grandson daycare while his mother goes to school, NOTE they no longer live in my house. How can I claim this yearly daycare bill on my tax. I pay over $1500 a year.

    Need to know!!!

  • Venkat says:

    I left my company in August, and when I tried to submit my claim, I knew that the run_out time ( 90 days from termination) is reached and my claim got rejected. HR told me that they sent me a letter, which I never received.

    Is there way to get this amount from the FSA?

    • Jim says:

      I know what you are going through. I quit a job in late August and tried to get reimbursed for $3500. ADP told me the 90 day window had expired. I’m in the appeal process but have little faith.

      • Juliz says:

        I am in the same situation as you two! I also missed 90 days window after I separated with my previous employer. I was assuming the deadline for submitting this year’s daycare cost will still be next year’s March like normally what I did, but unfortunately, that’s not true. The agent company who managed my FSA account said they already restored my unclaimed balance to my previous employer due to contract, nothing they can do. I’m in process to contact my previous employer now, hopefully any lucky I still can reimburse my money.
        One more question if anyone can give me an answer… as I start with my new employer, there was 2 months time lag to restart my FSA account with my current employer. For example, I separated with my previous employer at March,2017, and my deduction from paycheck for FSA with my current employer was starting from June,2017. May I still claim April & May 2017’s day care cost with my current FSA account? I bring out this question because I have been noticed, even in the 90 days window, I only can claim the daycare fee that I paid for Jan. 2017 to Mar. 2017 daycare service from my FSA account opened by my previous employer.

  • lisa says:

    I missed the deadline for reimbursement which I didn’t realize at the first place. I submitted an appeal but got denied. It is $2500, it really means a lot to us since both my husband and I are unemployed right now. I just wonder if there is any possible to get my money back?

  • moe says:

    The IRS sent me a bill for the amount I claimed (3k x 20% = $600) on dependent care credit because I used the Company FSA of $5,000. The instructions say I can use both but not on the same $5,000 but my dare care tuition is 16k a year. Is the IRS wrong?

  • Kellie says:

    I would like to know why is daycare reimbursement done as ONLY “money in, money out”, as oppose to dental and medical reimbursement is front loaded with the chosen amount, but I have to wait EVERY MONTH for my contribution to daycare and only then it’s the amount of my contribution divided by 12.

    To make it clearer. I chose to contribute $1500, because my eligibility date was July, my contribution were divided by 11, SO, each month $136.36 comes from my check. I pay $500 a month in daycare. I pay my daycare once a month. Why is it that the rules ONLY allows me to be reimbursed $136.36 at a time, even though I am paying well above that a month. Who can I call in government to voice how unfair that is. I would rather my daycare contribution be front loaded for the entire amount that I chose rather than my medical portion. It’s ALWAYS garanteed that daycare will be a monthly expense.

  • Kareem says:

    My daughter will turn 4 in December 2014. She is enrolled in a private school that accepts preschoolers to 5th grade. We pay the tuition which is way more than $5K and after school day care ($130/month).
    I contributed $5000 this year (2013) and I am getting reimbursed. But my question is for next year (2014):
    Can I contribute the $5,000 maximum and claim them at the end of 2014?
    At what age I can no longer claim tuition and only claim after school daycare?
    Thank you.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Actually tuition for a private school isn’t an eligible expense, so unfortunately you aren’t suppose to claim that expense on your FSA.

    • Juliz says:

      For private school, since kindergarten, only before/after school care and summer/winter break camp fee can be claimed. The Preschool fee can be fully claimed from FSA account

  • Tiffany says:

    My husband quit his job recently. We had been having the max of $191 per check taken out. The day he was officially termed from the system, I requested reimbursement for as much as I could – and received it. Then, the next two paychecks he got, he was still deducted the $191. Although he is no longer employed, can I still be reimbursed for the money I spent on daycare while he was employed?

  • Kellie says:

    I was told by my employer that dependent care is “money in money out” regarding ONLY being able to be reimbursed for Dependent Care FSA, but my Healthcare FSA is fully funded with my contribution amount of $1,000 and I have $1,500 in my DCFSA. The reason being they (my employer ) is that the care must first be received. I don’t understand if I pay $500 a month for daycare that I can only get the amount of my contribution back as a reimbursement, but I can submit an “estimate” of costs for orthodontics care before the services are even rendered and receive the full amount of the estimate of cost if I have that amount left in my health care FSA account. I am trying to find the IRS rules that explain why and I can’t.

  • Lissette says:

    I put $2000 in the dependent daycare account this year and submitted a claim on May 30, 2013, which was denied by the insurance company. They mentioned that the unfortunately, under IRS regulations for a DCFSA, only expenses for a dependent under age 13 or that is disabled are eligible for reimbursement. However, my daughter is not old enough to stay my herself leaving me no choice but to have her in after-school program.

    Is there any way I can dispite this claim with my insurance?

  • Jason says:

    I signed up to contribute 5k during open enrollment, shortly after the new year my wife lost her job and was out of work for 5 months. She now makes significantly less than she once did and we’re struggling. The problem we have is we need to send our son to Summer day camps but can’t afford to pay in advance and have to wait to be reimbursed.
    Is there some sort of way around this? I have money I can’t use because I’m too broke to use it…

    • Heather says:

      Me too. The company that my job uses also has a misleading website that leads to confusion between what is and is not included as “eligible expenses.” I grossly overestimated what I would need because of this and now I stand to lose $3,000 if I can’t manufacture expenses for this. This is ludicrous! This is going to reduce my take home pay to under $30,000 a year and I’m a single Mom. The gross makes me ineligible for public assistance but my actual take home is below what I was getting because of this while I was taking benefits.

      What a horrible predatory system. Buyer beware! You are expected to know things you had no idea about or your “locked in” to a money sucking nightmare.

  • Frank says:

    I am already contributing $5,000 into my FSA but my wife’s company will give her $700 for free and I can’t decrease mine at this time (non over lapping open enrollments). If we use all of $5,000 in my account and my wife’s $700 we will be over the federal limit of $5,000. Will we just have to pay taxes on the $700 or will there also be a penalty and if so how much will that penalty be?

  • bill says:

    I had put in $5000 in the dependent daycare account last year and I submitted my claim on 04/17. But, the claim was denied based on the last date of submission is 03/31. I kind of assumed that the last date for submission is 04/30 as it was with my previous employer and submitted it late. I know I made a mistake, but is there way I would be able to get this money back? It makes me hate myself to loose that kind of money. I have already called the administrator and requested, but no success.

    Will my employer be able to do anything?

    • Jasmine says:

      Hi Bill, I know that you have posted this last year but did you happen to find a solution? I found I am in the same situation this year. Forgot to claim $5000 by 3/31. Is there a way I will be able to get this money back?

      • Will says:

        I am in the same situation, Jasmine. They say I can appeal, but I really wonder if it’ll really work…

        • Amit says:

          I am in the exact situation. Please let me know how you guys handled it, and what was the response. My first claim was denied, and I am looking for suggestions to send in a strong second claim.

          • Erica says:

            I am in the same boat. Did anyone get an answer?

          • SJ says:

            I’m in the same situation…Can someone help?

          • Carolyn says:

            yep- I’m in the same situation too. Confusing information on my company’s website that healthcare HFSA reimbursement due 5/15, but dependent care due 3/15…completely didn’t see the difference. Filed on 4/15, denied….any help? Anyone?

    • Ruth says:

      I am answering as the employer who gets this question all of the time from my people. I send oout company wide emails to 100% of my employees warning them of upcoming deadlines. It doesn’t help. Folks say “I never got the email.” etc etc etc.
      To answer your question, no , if you file after the deadline, you have lost the money. This is enforced by the IRS and there is nothing that your company can do to help you.
      My best advice is for the following year: please DO NOT wait until year end to file one massive claim. File often throughout the year, and keep that FSA account balance drained down. If you blow through all $5,000 by August (easy to do) then make sure you get all of your receipts turned in. They will reimburse you all of the money that is in your balance, that you have contributed through August, and they will automatically send you the rest from Sept through Dec as it is withheld from your paycheck.
      Again, your employer can’t help you. Please file more often next year. It’s a GREAT way to save taxes, but you MUST follow the rules for the filing deadlines.

  • Dave says:

    I’m looking into signing up for a DCFSA for my sons day care expenses; however. my wife is not allowed to work in the US due to the immigration visa that she is one. Would the fact that she is not permitted to work exempt our family from the rule that both parents have to have income?

  • Kevin says:

    I contributed to DCA starting in June 2012. Can I ask for reimbursements using receipts for daycare expenses in January through May 2012?

    • MoneyNing says:

      You should ask the company handling your DCA, since their rules may ultimately decide whether this is allowed or not.

  • Miss Lead says:

    Thanks for writing this article and allowing all the comments! I am in a situation right now where we might be switching day care providers for my son. It depends on whether or not we will lose the money in the dependent care FSA. I did not know we would be considering this when I requested nearly $5000 for this year. If we switch, we will no longer need the money withdrawn from my paychecks.
    The insurance company told me that I can request to have only dependent care fsa funds (NOT health fsa) stopped at any point due to change of status. I asked someone in HR and they said, no, this isn’t possible–some employers allow it, but my work doesn’t allow it. I called insurance company again and explained the information I had been told by both parties. This different person told me again, that yes, it is a federal law that exists that allows employees to request to have their dependent care funds stopped, regardless of where they are employed. HR has been known to not follow rules in hopes that we employees do not know the wiser.
    I am trying to find where this law or clause exists, but have not been able to do so yet. Does anyone know what the code is if this does indeed exist? I would like to go back to HR with some concrete evidence. Thanks!

    • Ruth says:

      If your employers’ FSA Plan Documents do not allow a reduction in Dependent Care FSA, then you are stuck with it.
      If your new daycare does not accept credit or debit cards, then simply pay them with a check or cash, get a receipt, and file for a reimbursement claim with your FSA administrator. Ask your HR department for the reimbursement claim form and where to send it, as the HR department itself almost never administers the FSA claims.

  • Adrienne says:

    Sorry to find this thread so late, but I also have a question: if I hire an in-home nanny (or take my daughter to a nanny at someone else’s home, i.e. a “nanny share”), can I use my dependent FSA contributions to reimburse myself for the care the nanny provides? I’m just curious how it works for informal caregivers versus a licensed daycare which presumably is used to processing these kinds of things. If I fill out a claim form with the nanny’s information and submit to my FSA administrator, will it be accepted?

    • MoneyNing says:

      I’d think they need to be licensed and can/will provide a receipt for their services performed but why don’t you check with the FSA administrator? I’m sure they’ve dealt with this question before and can give more details about how THEY would like to handle it.

  • Vidya says:

    I have started working since September, 2012 and my employer offers a Dependent Care FSA. I have my twin sons in after-school care at a Montessori school and the expenses will amount to roughly $3500 through Dec. 31, 2012. I can either choose a per paycheck contribution or the annual limit while signing up for election. Can I choose to contribute the entire $3500/7 paychecks = $500 per paycheck so I can withdraw that amount at the end of the year or should the contribution only be
    $5000/26 paychecks = $192 * 7 paychecks(I will get only 7 paychecks this year) = $1344, even though my eligible expenses will amount to $3500?
    So, my question is, is there a limit of only $192 per paycheck or can I adjust it to $500, so I can pay for the $3500 in eligible expenses?

    • MoneyNing says:

      Most companies won’t let you adjust your per paycheck contribution whenever you want so you’d have to check with HR about the exact details, but you should really try to get to $3500 per year without going over as you won’t be able to get your money back if you “over contribute” for the year.

      You should talk to HR as to the best way to go about it, but if you try to contribute up to $3500 with 7 paychecks, just make sure you don’t contribute too much for 2013.

    • Ruth says:

      Additionally, the administrator for your company’s FSA plan might impose a maximum “per paycheck” limit to help enforce the $5,000 annual limit. I am an HR professional who has used two different FSA administrator companies in the past 6 years. One admin would allow you to claim the full $5,000 even if you were hired late in the plan year, which means your “per paycheck” deduction would be sky high. The other administrator places a $192.31 per paycheck limit so people hired during the plan year are lmited to a pro rated amount.
      The IRS DOES allow the third party administrators to choose to pro rate your withholdings if you are hired part way through the plan year.
      Therefore, a definitive answer to your question needs to come from your HR department, not a message board such as this one because we do not know which option your admin has chosen. Hope this helps!

  • Benny says:

    I contributed $5,000 for the dependent care expense. I have not got any letter to remind the claim period from my employer.
    In April, 2012 while I am preparing a tax return, I realized that I need to claim it by Dec. 31st, 2011.
    Although I appealed to HR, it was denied. I have the second chance (and the last ) to appeal in writing. Any of you have advice how to write a reasonable appeal letter? Otherwise, I am going to lose all my money, which is essential for my kids.

    • MoneyNing says:

      I’m not sure there is a way, because it’s written pretty clearly in the IRS code that you forfeit unused contributions. You should definitely try to get the money back, but as I understand the rules, your employer or the company that handles the FSA account doesn’t have the authority to give you back the money.

      The only way to get it back is if you are a qualified reservist, which only might apply if you were in military service during last year. If this is remotely applicable, I would search for The HEART Act (Public Law No. 110-245).

  • Sad Tom says:

    I signed up for Dependent Care FSA without knowing my wife had to work too. She is a stay-at home mom, but we enrolled our son in pre-school for the socialization, the kindergarden prep and to give her a little time off.

    Is there any way to cancel the FSA, transfer it to my medical one or to get my money back?

  • Candy says:

    On 2010, I enrolled the FSA account for $1500. However I was on owcp, so my employer couldn’t deduct any from my paycheck. I have $0 balance on all my paychecks. I called the FSA during the end of 2010. They said I could get any service because that is $0 amount on my account. Then, recently my employer are asking me to pay back $1500.00 out of my own pocket. The question is “Why do I have to pay $1500 to them, and instead I could claim this money back.

  • James says:

    I lost my job on Feb 10, 2012 and have $540 in flex spending/daycare expense. The year was to run from June 1, 2011 thru May 31, 2012. I have claims denied from Feb 6-12 and Feb 13-19 yet money was contributed on Feb 17. What can I do?

  • Arv says:

    I had enrolled in Daycare FSA last year (2011) for plan year from July 2011 to Jun 2012. But my wife could not get any income last year hence not going to file tax. However she started her work from Jan 1, 2012.

    What would be my case:
    1. IRS says that we need to file return jointly, but not possible in my case. How to file tax with informing IRS about my true concern?
    2. What is tax liability on me? My W2 show $2500 as a FSA contribution for this calendar year.
    3. Should I claim amount from FSA deposit for my kid’s day care expenses?
    4. If yes, Can I claim for this year (2011)?
    5. My wife is working this year and plan year is valid till Jun 2012. Can I claim all ($5000) amount this year if I am not eligible to claim last year (2011).

  • Christine says:

    My situation is as follow. I have started a new consulting business, so no income yet. Of course, I do want to make money and generate income in 2012 but no way to predict how this will all pen out. Does DCFSA penalize startup owners? I red it’s available for people looking full-time for a job, but what about people actually trying to create a living for themselves/starting a new business? And then, it said that you have to earn at least $5000/yr in order to claim DCFSA… so how would you be able to do this while looking 100% for a job (or developing a new venture)? Please help, I am confused!

  • Janie Wigley says:

    My infant grandson is in daycare. His parents aren’t happy with the daycare and would prefer that I be his nanny in their home. Can my grandson’s mother’s FSA be used to pay me to care for my grandson if they remove him from the daycare center?

    • MoneyNing says:

      I’m not a tax professional so you should discuss this with one but as I understand the current rules, money in the FSA can be paid to you as long as you aren’t claimed as a dependent on your children’s tax returns and your care is going to allow them to work (or look for work). You should also make sure that you report all income as it’s technically income so depending on your situation, it might not really be much of a benefit financially.

  • Leah says:

    The cost of day care for my child far exceeds the $5,000 limit on the DCFSA. Can I claim the $3,000 tax credit for the costs that go above and beyond the $5,000 from the FSA?

    • beth says:

      You have to pick a credit either you take the 3000 child tax credit or you do Flex spending not both. When I signed up for FSA they had a chart with a breakdown based on your income about when you should use the FSA versus the dependent care credit.

      • Loren says:

        Check with your tax preparer, I do not believe this is true. My CPA files for the Dependent Care Credit for any dollars we spend above the FSA amount up to the Dependent Care Credit maximum. I believe the Dependent Care Credit limit is $6,000 and we take $5,000 in Flex Spend, so our CPA files the excess $1,000 for the Dependent Care Credit.

        • Ruth says:

          Loren’s answer is correct. You may claim the maximum of $5,000 with your FSA, and you may claim any amount ABOVE that $5,000 on your Form 2441 when you file your taxes.
          (Keep in mind that the IRS has established $5,000 as the max for FSA daycare, but YOUR EMPLOYER has full discretion to choose a lower limit.)

  • Leo says:

    My wife and I separated this April. I have agreed to pay all daycare and medical expenses for our 3 year-old daughter. We have joint legal custody but my wife is the custodial parent and my daighter lives with her over 60% of the time. I read that the dependant has to live with you in order for you to be eligible to use the FSA. Is this true in all cases or are there special circumstances? I will be paying my daughters daycare expenses next year and it sucks if I cannot use an FSA anymore. I really liked getting the reimbursements back since they almost seemed like bonuses “(Out of sight-Out of mind)”.

    • Leo says:

      Nevermind. Called the IRS for the answer. Can’t use the FSA next year and this year, I still have to file a Joint Married tax return with the Ex-Wife since I did the entire $5000.00. Sometimes I wish I could know just a little bit of what the future holds.

  • Joe says:

    That $5000 cap hasn’t been adjusted for cost of living in decades. The wife and I have two kids and daycare exceeds $20K/year. We really can’t afford that and neither can we afford a single income. Since the cap is per household, would it be best to get divorced, (ex)-wife live at ‘apt B’ and I live at ‘apt A’ so we could both make a $5K claim for each child? Or would it be best to have the wife open up a daycare center at home. I pay her the $5K I can withhold and then at tax time claim a major loss with the failing ‘daycare’ business? Just need to hold our breath for two years or so until the oldest is in school.

  • steve says:

    2009 I contributed $5,000 to the FSA and spent more than $10,000 on my daughter’s daycare (paid check to daycare). But unfortunately fogot to file the reimbursement form with the copies of daycare cost receipts by Dec. 31, 2009. That means I lost all $5,000?

    • David says:

      You had time till March 31, 2010.

      • J says:

        Did you ever get this resolved? As a new employee, I did not know about the extension and was 2 days past the deadline in filing my claim (all expenses were valid in the claim itself). I’m trying to understand my chances of getting this money reimbursed.

      • Sanjay says:

        Did you receive the claim reimbusment? What did you do?

    • Ruth says:

      No, you didn’t necessarily “lose” it.
      The government allows a maximum of either a 2 1/2 or a 3 month grace period to file your claims.
      HOWEVER your company IS ALLOWED to have a shorter period. Ask your HR department how long you have to file claims after the year ends.
      If you missed the “grace period” then you are out of luck and there is no chance to recover. Period.

  • hamza says:

    I enrolled in dependent care fsa for 2010 ($2500), not realizing that my wife needs to earn income for us to be reimbursed. She works as a teacher, but is currently on a leave of absence to take care of our one year old child. Is there anything I can do to recoup the $2500, or do i have to forfeit the money?

  • raj says:

    What kind of question I should ask my child’s school whether or not they accepts fsa kids. He been going to this school almost 6 months now.

    • David says:

      Is this school a “school” that has a curriculum/charges tuition or is it a “child care” center? If the former, the tuition expenses are not eligible. You can however claim for “after school” day care.

    • Ruth says:

      You cannot use FSA for “school” only for “daycare”
      In my son’s case, I paid tuition for his school and then at 3:00 they switched from “school” to “daycare” until I could pick him up each day at 5:30
      For legitimate “daycare” you do not even have to have a discussion with the provider about whether or not they accept “FSA kids” You simply pay the daycare out of your pocket, and then turn in a reimbursement claim to your FSA administrator.
      FSA is a pre-tax bene fit provided by your employer, it is not some sort of government subsidized program where you have to seek out special providers. Ask your HR department for the FSA reimbursement claim form. Hope this helps.

  • Lucys says:

    I was terminated in May, 2010. Enrolled in the flexible spending for dependent care and they have deducted out of my check approximately $1,999.98. I went to file a claim to get reimbursed for the funds deducted and was informed I only had 60 days to submit these claims. I did not receive any notice from the employer about this. Do I have any rights to dispute? If so can you point me in the right direction.

    • Mike B says:

      Did you ever get a resolution on this? I just found myself in the same situation.

      • Sharan says:

        Somewhat similar situation but in my case I continued the FSA with a new employer for the balance of the money. Now the new employer says expense was incurred prior to joining and hence cannot be reimbursed. Any advise?

  • Roscoe says:

    I have a similar case. My current employer removed 5,000 in the second half of 2009 although I claimed 5k already for the first half of 2009.
    What/where are the rules/legal infringement/liability for nominating the amount to be removed between the employee and employer?


  • Vipul says:

    I reached out to them and they have denied my appeal. What other options do I have at the end of the year when time comes to file taxes?

  • Vipul says:

    I am switching employers in October and I accidentally elected the entire $5000 for the rest of the year thinking it would be pro-rated. So I have already used and claimed $2500 with my existing employer and now my new employer will deduct $5000 of which I can only avail $2500 (last 3 month daycare expense). Will I lose the remaining $2500 or does that now show as income since its more than the IRS allowed $5000 cap?


  • Victoria says:

    I am planning to enroll in an FSA during open enrollment in October. I am going to put $5,000 in, as I pay about $20,000 per year for child care. Am I still able to claim child care on my federal tax return? And if so, the whole amount, or just the amount over the $5,000?

    • Julie says:

      I want to know the answer to this as well. This year i have a full year of daycare and will go over my $5000. I was told by a non tax person i could claim anything over the $5000 but want to confirm with an expert just not sure who to contact.

      • Ruth says:

        You may claim child care credit for only the amount above your $5,000 daycare FSA contribution. (You cannot “double dip” on the tax savings)

  • Stephanie says:

    OK, My husband lost his job at the beginning of the year and I will not be able to retrieve my entire $5000 from FSA (Dependant Care). I will never contribute to a FSA again because this is absolutely unfair. I think of course I should pay the taxes on the money but the GOV’t should not keep the entire amount. So many people are out of work and are probably in the same situation. I sure they will give it to the banks for another round of bonuses

    • Julie says:

      Just an idea why not have the out of work spouse sign up for a class in school and then put the child in daycare to use up the monies. Just an idea.

    • Ruth says:

      Your husband’s job loss was a “qualifying event” You should have told your company’s HR department (immediately) that he lost his job so you could stop contributing.

  • Pawan says:

    This is my situation. I’ve been contributing to my FSA Child Care throughout 2010. But my son hasn’t attended daycare since my wife has been unemployed since Nov 2009, and we decided to keep him home until she lands a job. That hasn’t happened yet, and frankly, I’m not betting on it. So, what happens to my contributions? Should I put him in daycare and use up the money? But then technically we don’t even qualify if she doesn’t work, right? Is there a way to get it back?

    • Sandra says:

      If you don’t use the money you loose it. IRS rule on this issue. Just happenned to me. Lost it. All of it. Look for advise from your HR people.

      • Stephanie says:

        Since your wife lost her job, its consider a qualifying event, and you are able to cancel your contribuations. Just rememeber, once you cancel you will not be able to get that money, (unless you have daycare cost your trying to be reimbursted, prior to or up to the date you cancel your plan.)

      • Pawan says:

        That’s what I was told by my HR too. I had given up. But luckily, my wife started working again. And it looks like my kids will be in daycare just long enough to use up our 2010 FSA fund.

  • Jim says:

    How can I get my FSA money (for daycare) back?
    My company had a plan which ended 31st of March, 2010. The new plan starts April 1st, 2010. Should the FSA managing company be responsible for warning their clients for the expiration of 90 days period? Both FSA managing company and my company HR now said the money I put in my previous plan(Jan – March of 2010) can not be claimed. I am sitting here helplessly with my few thousands of dollars.
    Can anyone have any idea what should I do next?

  • Sandra says:

    JESSICA, dont’ fall in the trap. You can’t use the money to pay for the services you have receive before you enroll in the program. The timing is exact. For example: If you contributed September 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2010, you have to spend that money between September 2010 and December 2010. The program won’t cover any expenses before or after that period. PERIOD.

  • Jessica says:

    I am starting a new job in September and they offer an FSA for child care. My son was in a licensed daycare for 3 months in the begining of 2010 but he has been at home with my husband (husband now works from home) since then. Can I contribute to my FSA from September til December 31, 2010 and use that money for our previous daycare expenses in the begining of 2010??

  • Kevin says:

    My question is about the $5,000/yr maximum expense limit. My wife and I both work, file our taxes married jointly, and our current day care expenses is well over $5000 a year. Can my wife and I each contribute $5,000 pre-tax into our own separate DCA accounts and use the $10,000 total amount for our day care expenses? Or is the $5,000 cap per family?

    • MoneyNing says:

      You and your wife can both elect to have money deducted from your paycheck, but at tax time, all expenses above $5,000 will be taxed so in reality, the limit is $5,000 for the whole family.

      • Jennifer says:

        I’m in the same boat, with daycare for 2 kids well exceeding the $5,000 pre-tax limit. I will vote for the politician who ups that to $10,000.

      • Diana says:

        I don’t quite understand this comment. Expenses aren’t taxed….net income is (after deducting allowable expenses). So I don’t understand what the comment “all expenses above $5,000 will be taxed” means. Can you please explain this a little further? Thanks.

        • Allie says:

          Here’s an explanation: Let’s say you and your wife earn combined income of $100,000. You contribute $5000 to your dependent care FSA, and your wife contributes $5000 to her dependent care FSA. But come tax time, you will pay taxes on $95,000 of income, not $90,000. The IRS won’t let you sneak by over the limit.

  • Sandra says:

    I have sign up for a $5000 FSA for Dependent Care in 2010. My husband lost his job in May so we decided we wouldn’t use all the $5000 in after school care/day camp throughout the 2010 year. With no advanced clarifications form the claim processing about the consequences of the procedure or any written documents available to the employees, my company accepted my cancellation of the FSA contribution as of June 1st. I had $2667 in deposits into my FSA dependent care account until May 31st but now my company says that I can’t claim any expenses incurred after May 31st. That means my company is keeping $1850 from my FSA deposits that I was hoping to use to pay day camp thru the summer vacation from school. My husband could/can not look for work this summer because he has to take care of two school age children… otherwise we will incurre in new expenses/not covered expenses in child care. Please advise….

    • MoneyNing says:

      As far as I know, pretty much all plans through employers are deducted from your paycheck. So for example, if you elected to contribute $5,000 a year and have 26 paychecks a year, then they deduct roughly $192 per paycheck from you to make it up. If you husband’s employment was until May, you technically only paid 5/12 out of the whole $5,000 (or roughly $2083). During May, you could have used up all $5,000 and got some free money, but in a way you would have been taking advantage of the system.

      Since your husband lost work, I think COBRA lets you continue your FSA by making contributions though, so you might want to look there. If you don’t have the documents with you anymore, you may want to try calling them to see if you can still contribute.

      • Allie says:

        In case anyone sees this later, dependent care FSA does not allow you to be reimbursed for more than you contributed. i.e., no “free money”. That’s only for the health care FSA.

  • Cindy says:

    How about putting your 4 year old in preschool. Your child would benefit from the social interaction along with exposure to early academic curriculum. Check with your local schools to see if they have a free preschool program. It’s free through most public school systems.

  • Heidi says:

    I’m a stay at home mom who is about to be put on bedrest for the last few months of pregnany. Can we use this FSA account to hire a nanny for our 4 year old, since I will not longer be able to care for him and my husband works full time and travels with his job. Please advise.

  • Diana says:

    We take out $5000 dependent day care FSA. This year my husband’s employer is saying that they’re reducing it to $1800. How can they do this and more importantly why can they do this? Can someone please explain? Thanks.

    • MoneyNing says:

      In general, the federal cap is at $5,000. Also, both you and your husband are supposed to have income in order to take advantage of dependent day care FSAs. Have you asked your husband’s employer why they are reducing this? For example, if one spouse (in that case, you) earns less than $5,000 then the benefit is limited to whatever that spouse earned.

      Does this apply? If not, the easiest way to get an accurate explanation is to just ask your husband’s employer.

    • nathan says:

      My employer also reduced it to 1,800 this year. Why would they do this, what advantage is there to the employeer by doing this? Do they have out of pocket expenses to offer this? I thought it was stricly between the employee and the IRS.

  • afunbee says:

    I signed up in the beginning of the year so that my wife can look for a job and child can go to day care part-time. Wife was unable to find job and I would like to stop sending child to day care since wife is at home more. Can I change my enrollment in the mid-year due to this reason?

    • MoneyNing says:

      It all depends on your employer so talk to your HR (or plan administrator). Usually, they have a specific time that you can make changes to your FSA plans. (It’s probably once a year but it may be more frequent for your company)

      • michele says:

        HELP!! I am in a FSA for dependent care, and have not used the daycare for a month. My company is telling me that I cannot get that money back, and I even have to keep contributing out of my own paycheck to the FSA for three more months. Is there any way I can get that money back? It feels like the compay is stealing from me !!! 🙁

        • XLNTMOMMY says:

          I Agree ! I had THOUSANDS in an account and didn’t submit in time.. so I lost the WHOLE AMOUNT! So.. I made the deposits for daycare, and never got reimbursed ! My pre tax amount should be taxed at the salaried rate, so I can at least get my wages ! On top of that I paid for daycare too… this thing is RIP OFF !!!!

          • Chris says:

            Don’t get you get like 6 months *after* the year ends to submit claims for that year? How is that a ripoff? You just didn’t claim in time, and now you’re angry at the program itself?

  • zack says:

    My daycare provider does not accept cards. So I get a receipt and fill out a claim form. The account provider should provide you with the reimbursement form. I get mine from my company’s web site.

  • MoneyNing says:

    margaret: If it’s those debit visa cards, they are supposed to accept it as long as they accept debit cards. Check to see if that card has a credit option, which opens even more ways to pay.

    I would actually check with your plan provider and see if there is a way to also manually submit your expenses. That way, as long as you have proof of your expenses, you can get a refund.

  • margaret says:

    is there a list of day care centers that accept this flexible daycare account. I have twins, I was so excited that I took out the max of $5000. the way my company does it, is they give you a card, it look live a visa card, but the provider has to accept it. I have yet to find a center and I have called all in malden, ma

    • Julie says:

      While they give you a debit card, you do not need to use it. You can also submit a receipt for reimbursement. That’s what I do. They do require the receipt have certain information on it, but as long as you have a receipt with the applicable information you do not need to use the debit card.

  • Polly Poorhouse says:

    Great and timely article. I have one quibble though, as I recently looked into this. According to the IRS documents, expenses for caregivers under 19 are eligible, provided they are not related to you. This is important for people who may use teenage after-school babysitters.

  • Mary@SimplyForties says:

    I no longer have children in daycare but this is an excellent article. I was unaware that daycare FSA’s existed. I’ll be sending this along to families I know who do have children in daycare. Thanks.

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