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Flexible Spending Accounts

Young women holding a charge card.

 

Administrator: Benefit Strategies
Website: https://benstrat.com
Phone: 1-888-401-3539
Mobile App:  HERE


Both the health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts allow you to use before-tax dollars to pay for certain eligible health and dependent care expenses. With each account, you set aside a certain amount of your money from each paycheck before taxes are calculated. After you incur eligible expenses, you submit a claim with supporting evidence, such as bills or receipts, to the County’s third party administrator for reimbursement. You have until April 30th of the following year to submit claims for expenses incurred during each calendar year and until the March 15th following the end of the calendar year to incur expenses applicable to the prior year’s election. If you do not have expenses or request reimbursement by the deadline dates, you will forfeit any money remaining in your account. Leftover money cannot be returned to you, nor can it be used the following year. The health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts are separate. You must enroll separately in each account and you may not transfer contributions between accounts. Also, in order to participate in these accounts, you must enroll each year. 
 

Tax Savings Example Before Enrolling After Enrolling
Annual Earnings  $45,000 $45,000
Annual Commuter Choice Transit FSA Election $0 $1,944
Annual Child Care FSA Election $0 $5,000
Annual Health Care FSA Election $0 $1,500
Taxable Income $45,000 $36,556
Approximate Taxes Paid (27.65%)  $12,442.50 $10,107.74
Annual Tax Savings/Increase in spendable Income  $0 $2,334.76
Materials
 

The health care flexible spending account is for reimbursement of eligible expenses not covered by your medical, prescription, dental and vision benefits, as well as the deductibles and copayments associated with these benefits. The expenses may be incurred by you or any person who qualifies as your dependent under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. You may contribute from $100 to $2,550 for the year, in whole dollar amounts. 

Eligible FSA Expenses (Benefit Strategies)
HR Topic: Health Care FSA Info

The Child/Dependent Care flexible spending account is for reimbursement of eligible expenses associated with the care of qualifying individuals that enables you (and your spouse, if you are married) to work. You may contribute from $100 to $5,000 for the year, in whole dollar amounts.

Qualifying individuals include: 

  • Your dependent children under the age of 13. However, in the case of divorced parents, the noncustodial parent cannot receive reimbursements even if the parent claims the exemption and the custodial parent may be entitled to receive reimbursements. 
  • Your spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self care, who resides with you for more than half the year. 
  • Your dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self care, who resides with you for more than half the year. 
Examples of eligible expenses include:
  • Babysitters in your home or dependent care provided in the babysitter's home while you (and your spouse, if you are married) are working.
  • Day care centers, if they are fully licensed. 
 

The Commuter Choice Mass Transit Account enables employees (not their dependents) to use pre-tax dollars, up to a monthly maxium ($260/month for transit and $260 for parking for unrepresented employees; $230 total for MCGEO employees, for eligible mass transit pass expenses. A transit pass is a pass, token, fare card or voucher used for mass transit transportation. 

How it works: Your monthly elected amount is deducted from your paycheck each pay period — prior to Federal, State and FICA taxes being calculated — so you pay less in taxes. That amount is placed in your FSA. You then use your FLEXEXPRESS card to purchase a mass transit pass that best suits your needs. That amount is deducted from your account. Also, unlike the Child Care or Health Care FSAs, you can enroll, reduce, increase or stop your election during the plan year.

Important: Employees who use the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) metro rail system will need to purchase or reload fare cards, obtain receipts and then file a claim form for reimbursement. WMATA does not allow the use of the FSA debit card to purchase Metro fare cards or passes.


 

Eligible Expenses  Ineligible Expenses
  • Work-related mass transit expenses, such as bus, light or regional rail, streetcar, trolley, subway or ferry
  • UberPOOL, Vanpool, Lyft Line
  • Transit or parling expenses for spouses and dependents
  • Taxis, limos and airline flights
  • Expenses incurred in traveling from an office to business meetings
  • Mileage and tolls
  • Claims submitted more than 180 days after the expense is incurred 

Commuter Choice Transit Claim Form

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