Are Spouses Allowed to Have a Separate FSA?

Can both spouses have separate Flexible Spending Accounts if they file taxes jointly?
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  • For a Medical Flexible Spending Account each spouse may have their own account through their own employer no matter which way they are filing taxes. With the new $2,500 limit that goes into effect in 2013, each spouse may elect $2,500 if they are eligible to participate in a Medical FSA through their employer.

    For a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account the total amount a household may elect does depend on how you are filing your taxes as outlined below.

    1) If filing your taxes jointly the annual limit, as of of 2013, is $5,000.

    2) If filing your taxes separately, the limit is $2,500 per spouse (getting to the same total of $5,000).
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  • Hi Jim,

    For the Dependent Care FSA, is that still true if you're filing your taxes as "married, filing separately"? I'm getting different answers from different sources. Both your post and a response from someone with my HR department said we can take at least some of the deduction (althogh the HR person says it's more like $2500 max per household if we file separately), while my CPA is saying we cannot take any deduction. I would be grateful if you could reconfirm this for me. We'll be having our first child in March 2015 and need to prepare before we have to make the decision.

    Thanks so much,

    Heather
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  • If you are married and filing separately you can take up to $2,500 in deductions through a Dependent Care FSA. We are not tax advisors so I'd make sure to ask your accountant more details as to why he says you cannot take any of the deduction. There may be other factors making it so you cannot take the deduction and/or your tax advisor may have a different interpretation of the rules (in either case, please let us know what you find out).
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