flexible spending arrangements
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IRS Issues Reminder that Claims Under Health and Dependent Care FSAs Must Be Substantiated

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a Chief Counsel Advice memorandum to remind sponsors of health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) about their responsibility to adequately substantiate claims in order to receive favorable tax treatment under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). The IRS emphasizes that the standards for substantiation are stringent, and employers who fail to comply will face significant and undesirable consequences. The memorandum also provides a helpful overview of the relevant laws, illustrated through six examples of claims practices. Read more here.

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Modification of “Use It or Lose It” Rule for Health Flexible Spending Arrangements

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued new guidance modifying the “use it or lose it” rule applicable to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) to allow carryover of certain unused health FSA amounts into the next plan year. On October 31, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2013-71, which modifies the existing requirement that unused amounts in a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) at the end of a plan year (or applicable grace period) must be forfeited. This new guidance permits an employer to amend its cafeteria plan, effective as early as the 2013 plan year, to allow up to $500 of unused amounts as of the end of the plan year to be carried forward for use in the following plan year. The tradeoff is that a health FSA cannot have both a grace period and a carryover feature; it is one or the other. Carryover of Certain Unused Amounts Permitted The “use it or lose it” rule applicable to health FSAs requires unused amounts...

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