Your dependent care flexible spending account is a reimbursement account offered by your employer as part of your benefits package. Enrolling in a dependent care FSA plan saves you money. It allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible dependent care FSA expenses, such as day care, preschool, or after-school care for a qualified individual.

Only eligible expenses can be reimbursed under the FSA. These expenses are defined by the Internal Revenue Code and your employer's plan. Dependent care expenses must be incurred during the coverage period so you (and your spouse, if married) can work or look for work. Full-time students who attend school for at least five months during the tax year may also incur dependent care expenses. "Work" may include actively looking for work, but it does not include unpaid volunteer work or volunteer work for a nominal salary. A dependent care FSA covers qualified dependent care expenses incurred for the care of one or more qualifying individuals.

Eligible Expenses include:

  • Before-school and after-school care
  • Expenses for preschool/nursery school
  • Extended day programs
  • Au pair services (amounts paid for the actual care of the dependent)
  • Baby sitter (in or out of the home)
  • Nanny services (amounts paid for the actual care of the dependent)
  • Summer day camp for your qualifying child under the age of 13
  • Elder day care for a qualifying individual