What’s a Dependent Care FSA?

This is an account you can use to pay for eligible expenses for your covered dependents age 12 and under, or disabled dependents of any age who are unable to care for themselves.

How it works:*

  • Figure out how much you may need for eligible dependent care expenses for the plan year. Examples include daycare, summer camp or adult daycare.
  • Decide how much you want to contribute from each paycheck up to the yearly limit set by the IRS guidelines.
  • You save money because you contribute to the account from your paycheck before federal taxes.**
  • You can withdraw money throughout the year to reimburse yourself for the eligible dependent care expenses you’ve paid.
  • To be eligible for reimbursement you must be working, looking for work or going to school. If you have a spouse or partner, they must also be working, looking for work or going to school.
  • It’s important to plan carefully. At the end of the plan year, you lose any dollars left in your Dependent Care FSA.

*Plans vary, but this is how a Dependent Care FSA generally works. Please refer to your plan documents, including specific information on your Dependent Care FSA, or contact your employer for more information on what’s covered and not covered by your plan.

**Some municipalities and states may impose income taxes on Dependent Care FSAs. For detailed information please contact your local and state department of taxation.