The Dependent Care and Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) both let you save on your taxes by taking money from your paycheck each month to cover certain eligible expenses. There are important differences between the plans, though, in what happens to money remaining in your account at the end of the plan year. 

Your Dependent Care FSA grace period ends March 15

If you had money left in your Dependent Care FSA at the end of 2016, you have a grace period to use the balance. You have until March 15, 2017 to spend the money in your account on eligible expenses, and until April 15, 2017 to submit your claims. You cannot carry over remaining funds past your grace period, even if you re-enroll in the Dependent Care FSA.

Health FSA carryover rules

If you were enrolled in the Health FSA through Dec. 31, 2016, you are allowed to carry over up to $500 of unused funds to the next plan year. With the carryover, if your balance is $500 or less, you do not have to worry about losing money when the plan year ends.

You had until Dec. 31, 2016 to incur eligible expenses for the 2016 plan year, and you have until April 15, 2017 to file claims for your 2016 expenses. After the April 15 deadline, unused funds up to $500 will carry over to the 2017 plan year and be available for reimbursement in early May. Unused funds greater than $500 will be forfeited.

If you did not re-enroll in the Health FSA for 2017, you must have at least $25 remaining in your account after the April 15 deadline to be able to carry over funds to the next plan year. Funds under $25 are forfeited, and you may only carry over funds (up to $500) for one year.

Log in to your CONEXIS account to get immediate access to your FSA activity, account balance, and reimbursement information.

For more details, see the Flexible Spending Accounts page on UCnet.