Dependent Care Spending Account

You may use this account to pay for care of your eligible dependents so you (and your spouse) can work (or actively look for work) or attend school full-time.

Generally, an eligible dependent is: 

  • Your child under age 13 (as long as you or your spouse is entitled to the income tax exemption for the child) 
  • Your disabled spouse
  • A disabled dependent of any age who lives with you at least eight hours a day

Expenses eligible for reimbursement generally include: 

  • Childcare at a day camp, nursery school or private sitter 
  • Expenses for preschool and after-school childcare 
  • Cost of a housekeeper whose duties include care of a qualified dependent
  • Elder care for an incapacitated adult who lives with you at least eight house per day
When you file your federal income tax return, you will be required to supply the name, address and Social Security or tax identification number of the individual or organization providing dependent care. If you are unable to supply this information, you should not use the DCSA to pay for these dependent care services. Also, if you participate in the DCSA, you cannot claim the child care credit for these expenses on your federal tax return.

You can contribute up to $5,000 per year ($2,500 if married and filing separately).

Health Care Spending Account details.