Dependent Care FSA

Employee Benefits

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

A WageWorks® Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or elder daycare. A WageWorks Dependent Care FSA is a smart, simple way to save money while taking care of your loved ones so that you can continue to work.

Save Money While Taking Care of Your Loved Ones So You Can Work

Spot Photo Dependentcare Final

Why enroll in a WageWorks Dependent Care FSA?

  • Save an average of 30% on eligible dependent care expenses like preschool, summer day camp, before/after school programs, child or elder daycare, and more
  • Reduce your overall tax burden—funds are withdrawn from your paycheck for deposit into your account before taxes are deducted
  • Take advantage of several convenient, no-hassle payment and reimbursement options

“We contributed $5,000 to our WageWorks Dependent Care FSA to help pay for hefty day care expenses for our young children so that we could work. It was easy to access funds to pay our provider. Best of all, we took home $1,500 more after taxes.”

- A happy WageWorks Dependent Care FSA participant

WageWorks Dependent Care FSA: See It In Action

Dependent Care FSA 101

Savings with Your Dependent Care FSA

A Dependent Care FSA lets you pay for qualified out-of-pocket dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. The money you contribute to a Dependent Care FSA is not subject to payroll taxes, so you end up paying less in taxes and taking home more of your paycheck.

Use this calculator to see how much you can save with a Dependent Care FSA.

Your Estimated Tax Savings with a Dependent Care FSA

Contributing to Your Dependent Care FSA

The IRS sets the annual contribution limits for Dependent Care FSAs. You can contribute to up to a maximum of:

  • $2,500 per year if you are married and file a separate tax return*
  • $5,000 per year if you are married and file a joint tax return or if you file as single or head of household**

Your maximum contribution may not exceed these earned income limitations:

  • If you are single, the earned income limitation is your salary, excluding contributions to your Dependent Care FSA
  • If you are married, the earned income limitation is the lesser of your salary, excluding contributions to your Dependent Care FSA, or your spouse's salary

A different limit may apply to you according to your employer’s plan.

*Annual contribution limit for 2015.

**If you and your spouse are both eligible to contribute to a Dependent Care FSA through your respective employers, you and your spouse may not each claim $5,000. Please note you may not "double-dip" expenses (e.g., expenses reimbursed under your Dependent Care FSA may not be reimbursed under your spouse's Dependent Care FSA and vice versa.)

Enrolling in Your Dependent Care FSA

You enroll in or renew your election in your Dependent Care FSA through your employer during your Open Enrollment period each year. Your human resources department or benefits administrator can tell you when employees in your organization can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA and help you get started. 

Estimating Contributions to Your Dependent Care FSA

A Dependent Care FSA is an annual account. As a rule, the money you contribute to your Healthcare FSA must be used within the plan year.

That’s why it’s important to estimate how much you spend on eligible dependent care expenses each year before you decide how much to contribute to your Dependent Care FSA. Any money left unspent in your Dependent Care FSA at plan year end is forfeited to your employer, unless your employer’s plan offers  a grace period of up to 2½ months at the end of your plan year to spend down money left in your account.

Use this calculator to estimate your annual eligible expenses and determine an annual Dependent Care FSA election amount that’s right for you and your family. And read about circumstances that allow you to change your election amount during the plan year. 

Key Features and Benefits of Your WageWorks Dependent Care FSA

Automatic Contributions Make Saving Simple

WageWorks makes saving simple. You decide how much to contribute to your Dependent Care FSA, and funds are withdrawn automatically from each paycheck for deposit into your account before taxes are deducted. As soon as your account is funded, you can use your balance to pay for many eligible dependent care expenses.

Convenient Payment and Reimbursement Options Reduce the Hassle

With a variety of convenient payment and reimbursement options, your WageWorks Dependent Care FSA makes it easy for you to pay for variety of eligible dependent care expenses, like preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or elder daycare.

Options include:

  • Pay Me Back. Arrange for account funds to be deposited directly into your bank account or a check to be mailed to reimburse you for eligible expenses you've already paid.
  • Pay My Provider. Arrange for convenient direct payments to your dependent care provider. Simply log into your WageWorks account and fill out a form to have eligible expenses paid directly from your account.

Web Portal and Mobile App Make Your Dependent Care FSA Easy to Manage

WageWorks makes it easy to manage your Dependent Care FSA. Log into the WageWorks secure web portal to manage all aspects of your WageWorks account:

  • Check account balances
  • Submit claims and view claims status
  • Look up eligible expenses
  • Upload receipts to verify card transactions
  • Select your reimbursement methods (by check or direct deposit)
  • Choose to receive account alerts by email or text

The WageWorks mobile app puts the power of the WageWorks web portal in the palm of your hand. Download this handy app to your mobile device, log in to your account, and check balances, submit claims, view transactions, snap photos of receipts, get account alerts by text or email—all on the go! You can even have your dependent care provider sign receipts using your mobile device.

When you use the WageWorks mobile app, you can have your dependent care provider sign receipts right from your mobile device.