2016 and 2017 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
The dependent care account reimburses dependent day care expenses necessary while you (and your spouse, if you're married) are attending school on a full-time basis or working. Typically, these would be day care expenses for children, but you can also use this account to reimburse day care for other dependents, such as spouses, parents, or grandparents, who cannot care for themselves. Your dependent must live in your home at least eight hours a day.
Allowable expenses include those for care provided in your home, a sitter's home, or a day care facility. Expenses for certified all-day kindergarten programs are not eligible.
You may only submit FSA claims that you incur while you are participating in the FSA plan. For example, if you stop working at Purdue and end your FSA participation on June 30, claims for services through that date are eligible, but claims for service beginning July 1 are ineligible.
Special considerations for the dependent care FSA
By IRS rules, married individuals who file separate tax returns are limited to a $2,500 contribution annually. You may contribute up to $5,000 if you are married and file a joint tax return, provided both you and your spouse each earn more than $5,000 annually. If one of you earns less than $5,000 during the year, you are limited to a maximum spending account contribution equal to the salary of the lowest-earning spouse.
Time spent by a student spouse in educational endeavors is considered working for the purposes of opening an FSA. Volunteer work does not qualify.
If both you and your spouse work, you must coordinate your dependent day care enrollments so that the two of you together stay within the $5,000 annual maximum.
You may only claim dependent care expenses on children age 12 and younger, unless the dependent is disabled.
IRS limitations on flexible spending accounts
- Expenses reimbursed from an FSA cannot be claimed as part of the dependent care tax credit on your tax return.
- Only expenses actually incurred during the calendar year are eligible for reimbursement. Expenses incurred before or after the eligibility period are not eligible, regardless of when you paid for the expenses. FSAs may not reimburse for future or projected expenses.
- If you do not use all the pre-tax dollars in your flexible spending account, you forfeit the amount left over. That's an Internal Revenue Service requirement.
How to get reimbursed
PayFlex processes all dependent care FSA claims for Purdue University.
You may file your claim for reimbursement by faxing a copy of the completed FSA claim form and your receipt to PayFlex at 866-932-2567 or mail your documentation to the address on the claim form.
You will have until March 31 of the following calendar year to turn in claims against your FSA.
Retain your documentation in case you are audited by the IRS.
Claim filing tips from PayFlex®
For 2016: Eligible 2016 DCFSA expenses may be incurred between Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016. You have until March 31, 2017, to submit your claims for reimbursement. Any funds remaining in your account after March 31, 2017, will be forfeited, so it is important to estimate your expenses carefully.
For 2017: Eligible 2017 DCFSA expenses may be incurred between Jan. 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017. You have until March 31, 2018, to submit your claims for reimbursement. Any funds remaining in your account after March 31, 2018, will be forfeited, so it is important to estimate your expenses carefully.”
Dependent care services must have been provided or received before you file a claim:
To get reimbursed for day care expenses, the services need to have been provided or received. Claims may be submitted for the current month of service, but not in advance.
For example, if you pre-pay for a summer day camp, you cannot get reimbursed for your expenses until your dependent attends the camp.
If your FSA balance is more than the claim amount:
If the amount of your claim is less than your available balance, then the entire claim is marked for payment. Either a direct deposit or a check will then be issued to you for the full amount of the claim.
If your FSA balance is less than the claim amount:
If the amount of the claim is greater than your available balance, you will only be reimbursed for the amount that is available in your dependent day care account. Either a direct deposit or a check will then be issued to you for the available balance.
When the next deposit is made into your dependent day care account, you will then be reimbursed for the remainder of the claim, up to the amount of the deposit. This process automatically continues until the entire claim has been paid or until the election amount has been met.
File your claims online at purdue.healthhub.com:
Filing a claim online is fast and easy. Simply log on to purdue.healthhub.com by selecting Employee Account Login. Enter your username and password, and then click File a Claim under Quick Links.