Can a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account Save Me Money?
If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," then you should consider participating in a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account:
- Do you spend money on day care for your children up to age 13?
- Do you have children up to age 13 enrolled in a before- or after-school program, summer day camp, or intersession day camp while you work?
- Do you spend money on adult day care for an elderly parent who lives with you and whom you claim as a dependent for income tax purposes?
Who is Considered a Dependent?
- Children up to their 13th birthday.
- Any other individuals you claim as dependents on your federal income tax return, regardless of age, who live with you and are incapable of caring for themselves.
Use the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account Worksheet below or the WageWorks calculator at wageworks.com/mydcfsa to help you decide how much to contribute.
|Estimated Expenses for 2019|
|Dependent child care for children up to their 13th birthday, such as a qualified day care center, nursery school tuition, or a baby-sitter inside or outside your home||$|
|Dependent adult care during working hours for adult dependents who live with you and who rely primarily upon you for support||$|
|Before-school and after-school day care programs for your child up to his or her 13th birthday||$|
|Intersession camp for your child up to his or her 13th birthday||$|
|Summer day camp for your child up to his or her 13th birthday||$|
|FICA and other taxes you pay for day care providers||$|
|Total Estimated Expenses for January 1 – December 31, 2019. Note: Any money left in your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account after December 31, 2019 will be forfeited unless claims are submitted by April 15, 2020 for eligible expenses incurred Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2019.||$|
How Much Can I Contribute?
- The maximum contribution to your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account is $5,000. The minimum contribution is $130.
- If both you and your spouse have Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts, your total combined contribution limit is $5,000.
- Your total contribution cannot be greater than your earned income or your spouse’s earned income, whichever is lower.
- If your spouse has no earned income, you are not eligible for a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account. However, there are special rules if your spouse is a full-time student or is disabled. Contact WageWorks at (877) 924-3967 for more information.
- If you are single with an eligible dependent, you can contribute up to the full $5,000.
- If you receive a subsidy from a Duke-contracted child care facility such as the Duke Children's Campus or The Little School at Duke, the amount that you can contribute to the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account is reduced dollar-for-dollar. Call (919) 684-5600 for more information.
- According to federal law, any money left in your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account at the close of the 2019 plan year will be forfeited, unless claims are filed by April 15, 2020. Review your dependent care bills carefully from 2018 before deciding how much to contribute to a reimbursement account. Then estimate your expenses for the remainder of the calendar year. You may submit your claims for expense reimbursement for dependent care services received during the plan year (January 1– December 31, 2019), until April 15, 2020.You will forfeit any money left unclaimed in your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account after April 15, 2020.
- The Dependent Care Reimbursement Account Plan is required to complete annual testing to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Code regulations. One test examines the participation rates in the plan by income levels. If participation rates are not in accordance with the regulations, your contribution amount may be adjusted. The Duke Benefits Office will contact you to provide notice in advance of any adjustment.
What Can I Pay for With the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account?
In the box below are some examples of out-of-pocket expenses eligible or not eligible for reimbursement from the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
This is not a complete list. To check if an expense not listed is eligible, contact:
- WageWorks Customer Service at (877) 924-3967 or wageworks.com,
- IRS website at irs.gov, or
- Refer to IRS Publication 503 available by calling (800) TAX-FORM (829-3676)
Expenses eligible for reimbursement from a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account
- Day care or preschool for your child up to his or her 13th birthday
- Day camp for your child up to his or her 13th birthday
- Intersession camp for your child up to his or her 13th birthday
- Before-school and after-school day care programs for your child up to his or her 13th birthday
- Babysitting services (during your working hours) for your child up to his or her 13th birthday
- Household services for the care of an eligible elderly or disabled dependent who lives with you
- Expenses at an adult day care facility for an eligible elderly or disabled dependent who lives with you
Expenses NOT eligible for reimbursement from a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (per IRS)
- Babysitting by someone who is your tax dependent
- Custodial elder care (not work-related)
- Day nursing care
- Educational, learning or study skills services
- Household services
- Sleep-away camp
- School tuition (kindergarten and up)