Frequently Asked Questions

What services are eligible under a Dependent Care FSA?

You may use this account for dependent care expenses associated with a qualified person. A Qualified Person is someone who spends at least eight hours per day in your home and is one of the following:

  • Your dependent who was under age 13 when the care was provided and for whom you can claim an exemption. (If divorced or separated, see special regulations in IRS Publication 503.)
  • A spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care and for whom you can claim an exemption.

The dependent care must enable you to be gainfully employed or to look for work. If you are married, the dependent care must also enable your spouse to work, look for work or attend school full-time (or your spouse must be physically or mentally incapable of self-care). The funds to be used from your Dependent Care FSA must not exceed the lesser of your or your spouse’s earned income for the plan year. The services may be provided in your home or another location but not by someone who is your minor child or dependent for income tax purposes (e.g. an older dependent child). If the services are provided by a day care facility that cares for six or more individuals at the same time, the facility must comply with state day care regulations. Services must be for physical care, not for education, meals, etc. Note that overnight camps and lessons in lieu of day care are not eligible expenses from a Dependent Care FSA.

Note: For 2020 and 2021 only, the IRS raised the dependent care age limit from under 13 to under 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

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