Leftover FSA funds; what to do?

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Thanks to planning for a dental implant I didn't have, I have a hunk of cash on my Flex Spending Account that I won't be spending by the year's end. My company doesn't participate in the grace period, either. I've looked over what's eligible, and I'm already planning on buying a bunch of sunscreen, Chillows, whatever isn't totally tacky and giving them as stocking stuffers. Also going to get Rx Sunglasses and a backup pair of regular specs. But I'll still have some leftover. I'm wondering if anyone has any clever ideas to recover as much as possible.

Do you think it would be advisable to purchase some fancy first aid kits, blood pressure monitors, or some other eligible (non-Rx) items and eBay them? Or to call up my local Red Cross or volunteer EMS, ask what kinds of supplies they need, and donate them for a tax writeoff?

Any other thoughts?

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danielle5985 said:   Or to call up my local Red Cross or volunteer EMS, ask what kinds of supplies they need, and donate them for a tax writeoff?

Any other thoughts?


This is a good idea for the philanthropy of it, but unfortunately, you won't be able to write-off the donation (that'd be double dipping ).

Also, if you go to drugstore.com they have an fsa section where you can just browse to see if there's anything you may need in the future, or anything you want to give as gifts.

And if you have so much that you can't really spend it on misc items, consider getting a checkup or perhaps have some procedure done early. As an example, I know colonoscopies are supposed to be done when you turn 50; if you're close to that now, it would be good to get that out of the way.

Dont get involved with Govt controlled plans whereby you lose control of your own money.

How much do you have? A couple hundred may seem like a lot but it goes pretty quick when you start "stocking up."

jetsfan92588 said:    You won't be able to write-off the donation (that'd be double dipping ).

Of course I don't want to do anything morally questionable, but is this really against IRS rules? I figure with a use-it-or-lose-it policy and a discount only if you've spent it, they look at it like it's my own money.

jetsfan92588 said:    Also, if you go to drugstore.com they have an fsa section where you can just browse to see if there's anything you may need in the future, or anything you want to give as gifts.

Did that. Unfortunately they list things like latex gloves and thermometers, even though I can't find documentation from WageWorks on the continuing eligibility of such items. I would hate to drop a whole chunk just to get a letter asking for medical documentation after the fact.

alphasux said:   How much do you have? A couple hundred may seem like a lot but it goes pretty quick when you start "stocking up."

Implants usually cost about $1500. I had to have a bone-graft redone and didn't find out until a few months ago, and they typically need 6 months to set. So yeah, about $1200

You can also get your physician to write you a prescription for FSA purposes for OTC medication.

Aren't blood glucose strips still exempt?

danielle5985 said:   jetsfan92588 said:    You won't be able to write-off the donation (that'd be double dipping ).

Of course I don't want to do anything morally questionable, but is this really against IRS rules? I figure with a use-it-or-lose-it policy and a discount only if you've spent it, they look at it like it's my own money.


You can generally only take charitable deductions for contributions of money you've paid taxes on. Since the money in the FSA is pre-tax, you can't take a deduction for the donation.

Also, remember that selling the items would subject you to taxes on all the proceeds of the sale (because the COGS is essentially 0), but that's still better than letting it disappear (that may be considered an improper use of the FSA though, so you'd want to be careful with that).

danielle5985 said:   Did that. Unfortunately they list things like latex gloves and thermometers, even though I can't find documentation from WageWorks on the continuing eligibility of such items. I would hate to drop a whole chunk just to get a letter asking for medical documentation after the fact.

Yes, you'd have to get approval from the company that manages the plan because they can put any restrictions they want on distributions. In terms of the IRS, latex gloves and thermometers would both be questionable purchases on an FSA. You would probably be fine buying both with an FSA, but again, an employer can be more restrictive than the IRS in what they allow. All I meant was that that site may give you an idea that you hadn't previously thought of so you could check with the account manager/employer/wageworks to see if it's covered.

Lasik

From the eligible list of expenses for my FSA program.

Acupuncture
Glucosamine/Chondroitin
Band Aids
Bath tub rails
Commodes
Birth Control drugs
Body scans
Chiropractor fees
E.D. drugs
Circumcision
Compression bands
Portable defribillator
Diaper rash cream
Ear care
Pedialyte
Fertility drugs
Foot care
Hand sanitizer
Health screenings
Pulse oximeter
Incontinence products
Lactaid
Nasal strips
Reading glasses
Shower chairs
Sunscreen
Vasectomy

You can also buy condoms, but surprisingly not Plan B.

kami333 said:   Aren't blood glucose strips still exempt?

I'm not sure what those are, but if they are diagnostic tools and not medicine, then the recent changes didn't affect the reimbursement eligibility. (The changes also don't affect the eligibility of reimbursement for insulin whether it's prescribed or not)

Pre-pay a gym membership? (you would need an Rx from a physician)
ETA:
Message therapy
Personal trainer

fedguy said:   From the eligible list of expenses for my FSA program.

Acupuncture
Glucosamine/Chondroitin
Band Aids
Bath tub rails
Commodes
Birth Control drugs
Body scans
Chiropractor fees
E.D. drugs
Circumcision
Compression bands
Portable defribillator
Diaper rash cream
Ear care
Pedialyte
Fertility drugs
Foot care
Hand sanitizer
Health screenings
Pulse oximeter
Incontinence products
Lactaid
Nasal strips
Reading glasses
Shower chairs
Sunscreen
Vasectomy
This looks like a pre-2011 list. Note that in 2011 the rules changed, excluding many items unless you have a prescription. Try this view. Note the red and blue list

kami333 said:   You can also get your physician to write you a prescription for FSA purposes for OTC medication.

Aren't blood glucose strips still exempt?
Anyone wonder why they took OTC out of the program please explain.

I believe otc drugs require perscription as part of health care act of 2010

Ask doctor to write you a note for Humidifier.

07pilot4me said:   I believe otc drugs require perscription as part of health care act of 2010 Right question, is why? , for the change, didnt used to be. Is it a money grab? Who gets the money that falls by the wayside.

pre-pay dentist ?

Buy condoms.

After reviewing an online list, some I hadn't considered:

Chiropractor
Transportation
Bandages & other First Aid items

One I hoped would be eligible but isn't: Dental Whitening

Don't forget vision expenses. Get an exam and glasses or contacts. Prescription sunglasses are covered too.

bkantanen said:   Don't forget vision expenses. Get an exam and glasses or contacts. Prescription sunglasses are covered too.

Mentioned in OP that this was already planned.

JaxFL said:   07pilot4me said:   I believe otc drugs require perscription as part of health care act of 2010 Right question, is why? , for the change, didnt used to be. Is it a money grab? Who gets the money that falls by the wayside.

I think it is all about money. Something like 50% of people purchase at least some otc medication from their fsa, so the thought is, it would increase tax revenue because you could no longer use pre-tax dollars for otc medications. Of course that's not the way it actually plays out, but would we expect anything less from the lawmakers?

jetsfan92588 said:   danielle5985 said:   Or to call up my local Red Cross or volunteer EMS, ask what kinds of supplies they need, and donate them for a tax writeoff?

Any other thoughts?


This is a good idea for the philanthropy of it, but unfortunately, you won't be able to write-off the donation (that'd be double dipping ).

Also, if you go to drugstore.com they have an fsa section where you can just browse to see if there's anything you may need in the future, or anything you want to give as gifts.

And if you have so much that you can't really spend it on misc items, consider getting a checkup or perhaps have some procedure done early. As an example, I know colonoscopies are supposed to be done when you turn 50; if you're close to that now, it would be good to get that out of the way.



Went to drugstore.com and picked up a few first aid kits for christmas gifts. Picked up preg test, prenatal vitamins and other items for the future children.

Check if you can buy an Otoscope and an Opthalmoscope. And if you cant figure out what to do with them, send them over my way, I will put them to good use

But yeh... Otoscopes are not hard to use to check for Kids ear infections. The opthalmoscope actually requires skill and knowledge of knowing what one is doing.

I bought a really nice blood pressure monitor, scanned the receipt and then took it back.

I have same problem with my FSA account this year too. Good ideas here. Next year I'm not going to bother with flex at all...not worth the hassle.

I'm in the same situation.

bpd67 said:   I bought a really nice blood pressure monitor, scanned the receipt and then took it back.

Will this work, when there is no scanning the receipt is required? In my company we have Visa card tied to the FSA funds.

TiredOfTaxes said:   I'm in the same situation.

bpd67 said:   I bought a really nice blood pressure monitor, scanned the receipt and then took it back.

Will this work, when there is no scanning the receipt is required? In my company we have Visa card tied to the FSA funds.


My company has a Visa card also but you can fax in the receipt and get a check mailed or deposited to you.

TiredOfTaxes said:   I'm in the same situation.

bpd67 said:   I bought a really nice blood pressure monitor, scanned the receipt and then took it back.

Will this work, when there is no scanning the receipt is required? In my company we have Visa card tied to the FSA funds.


I have a Visa card but you can mail in a reimbursement too. Not sure if you'll have that option but I would assume so.

That sounds like fraud, but it will most likely work anyway.

Just to be clear, it may work in the sense that nobody would find out; however, this would definitely be considered misuse of the FSA and if caught would subject you to income tax plus fees and interest (including the additional 20% fee). Additionally, doing something like that and getting caught may even subject you to criminal penalties.

ellory said:   
Try this view. Note the red and blue list


Thanks for the link!

Dental mouth guard for teeth grinders or for sports...uses up about $150 after dental coverage if no dental coverage can use up about $400 -$450 of FSA money.
All dental work is a good use - cleaning and polishing, etc. or xrays...dont think teeth whiting counts as this is cosmetic.

For eyeglass users - prescription sunglasses and extra pairs of eye glasses or years worth of daily use contacts and solutions.

List of things you can buy without prescription in addition to the birth control products said earlier- band aid, BP,Sugar monitors, thermometers, contact lens, contact lens solutions, high spf sunscreen

JaxFL said:   kami333 said:   You can also get your physician to write you a prescription for FSA purposes for OTC medication.

Aren't blood glucose strips still exempt?
Anyone wonder why they took OTC out of the program please explain.


It's part of an overall effort to drive up individuals' health-care costs as much as possible to make government-run healthcare more appealing.

Chris.

rgoodenb said:   I have same problem with my FSA account this year too. Good ideas here. Next year I'm not going to bother with flex at all...not worth the hassle.

Same here. We still have $1400 in ours but we have until mid-March to use it. New glasses, contacts and an upcoming dental filling should do it, and we're not participating next year. I really HATE dealing with WageWorks. They kept denying a valid, clear, all-the-required-info-included claim, three times. On the fourth IDENTICAL try they accepted it. What's really weird is they approved the mileage for it on the first try.

Skipping 24 Messages...
I didn't see anyone mention mileage to all of those doctor visits and prescription pickups. I had money left over and put it on that. I just submitted a PDF of google maps for each trip and calculated the mileage. The rate changed mid year, by the way.

It is was quickly approved an now in my BOA account.



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