What Is a DCFSA?

A tax-free account for dependent care expenses

A dependent care FSA, also known as a DCFSA or DCA, is a flexible spending account that allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for dependent care expenses such as daycare, summer day camps, custodial care for dependent adults, and more. Contributions are deducted from your paycheck pre-tax, and participants enjoy a 30% average tax savings on their annual contribution.

  • Pay for dependent care with tax-free dollars
  • Reduce your taxable income 
  • Helps you budget for dependent care expenses
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Contribution Limits

Dependent care account

 

Tax Status DCFSA Contribution Limit
Single $5,000
Married, filing jointly $5,000
Married, filing separately $2,500

DCFSA tax benefits

Tax Status DCFSA Contributions Annual Savings*
Married 
(filing separately)
$2,500 $691
Married 
(filing jointly)
$5,000 $1,382
Single $5,000 $1,382

*For illustrative purposes only. Savings calculations are based on federal tax rate of 15%, State tax rate of 5% and 7.65% FICA. Actual results may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What happens to my DCA if my employment is terminated?

Participation in your DCA is also terminated. This means that only expenses that were incurred prior to your termination date are eligible for reimbursement.

I’m pregnant. Can I start my DCA with the intent to use the funds for my baby’s child care?

It’s best to wait until you have the child to start funding a DCA.

How do I use the funds in my DCA?

If you have a benefits debit card and your care provider accepts credit cards, you may pay directly from your account. Otherwise, simply pay out-of-pocket and then file a reimbursement claim online with your expense documentation. 

The IRS requires appropriate documentation for all Dependent Care FSA reimbursements. When submitting a claim for reimbursement from your Dependent Care FSA, you will need to send one of the following:

  • A completed Dependent Care Claim form that your provider signs. The form must include:
    • Date(s) of service- The paid date may or may not be the same as the date of care; the date of care is required.
    • Dependent’s name
    • Description of service(s)
    • Dollar amount
    • Provider’s name, address, and tax ID or Social Security number

                 *You don’t need to include additional documentation if your dependent care provider signs the DCA Claim form.

  • An itemized statement or invoice from your daycare provider that includes:
    • Date(s) of service- The paid date may or may not be the same as the date of care; the date of care is required.
    • Dependent’s name
    • Description of service(s)
    • Dollar amount
    • Provider’s name, address, and tax ID or Social Security number

                 *Handwritten information, copies of canceled checks or credit card receipts will not suffice. If your daycare invoice or statement does not include all of the required                    information, you must complete the Dependent Care Claim form and have your provider sign.

How do I contribute money to my DCA?

Your annual election will be divided by the number of pay periods in your plan year. This amount will be deducted from your paycheck before taxes are assessed.

What is a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account?

A dependent care flexible spending account, or DCFSA, is a flexible spending account that lets you set aside pre-tax dollars for dependent care expenses. DCFSA contributions deducted from your paycheck are tax-free and remain tax-free when spent on eligible dependent care expenses.

Who qualifies as a dependent for a DCFSA?

You can use your DCFSA to pay for care for children under age 13 who you claim as dependents, as well as adults or other relatives who are incapable of caring for themselves (if you provide more than 50% of their support).