Spending Out Your Dependent Care FSA


Spending out your Dependent Care FSA:

It is not east to spend out a Dependent care FSA if you are getting close to the end of the plan year and you have not had enough eligible expenses.  There are only so many hours that you need care for your dependents in order to work.   Thus the key to a dependent care FSA is spending it out as the year goes along, and not missing any opportunities to do so, such as:

School Vacation Camps

If you have to work while your dependent child has vacation from school, any professional coverage you get during that time is and eligible expense.  So if your child goes to a specialty sports camp or just attends his or her regular aftercare program during those weeks, don’t forget to put it down as a Flexible Spending Account eligible expense.  This may mean going back and contacting the provider who your child went to camp with school vacation weeks, including sports camps, recreation programs, and even babysitters.

Summer Camp

Summer camp is an eligible expense if your child or other dependent attends a camp and you work at the same time.  Check, however, with your flexible spending account administrator to be sure that all of the cost is deductible – there may be quirks to what you can deduct especially when you choose overnight camp or camp includes days that you do not work.  Again, this may mean calling your summer camp provider for a receipt after the fact, and you should contact your FSA plan administrator to find out how to do any math that may be necessary.

Extended Care

You probably already use your primary means of caring for your dependent while you work as an eligible expense for your flexible spending account, but don’t forget any extended care you have to pay for when you have to work late or on the weekends.  This can be a little tricky if you use a babysitter or other paraprofessional but you should still look into how you might be able to count those expenses.  There is no prescription as far as the work day that can be covered – if you have to work late some times any dependent care spending you do them still counts.