Believe it or not, August is here! For many Flexible Spending Account (FSA) holders, there are only five months left before the end of their plan year and the FSA “use or lose it” policy has people thinking about how to make the most of their tax-free contributions. The great news is that back-to-school shopping is a prime time to put FSA dollars to good use.
Some schools ask families to provide basic first aid supplies, or it may be a good time to buy a new thermometer, or you have an active child who is involved in sports. Never fear, identifying eligible products is getting easier.
One place consumers can shop is at FSAStore.com*, the only online retailer that exclusively stocks FSA-eligible products and services. Additionally, you may find Flexible Spending Account products through the websites of traditional retailers like Walmart or Target. Conduct a search for “FSA” and the results include eligible items such as:
- First aid supplies (bandages, first aid kits, etc)
- Acne treatments
- Lice removal supplies
- Contact lenses, solution and cases
- Shoe inserts
- Orthopedic braces
(Some items may require a doctor’s prescription.)
When shopping in store, some retailers mark their products with an “FSA-approved” label to help clarify any confusion.
Approved medical supplies aside, many families also schedule eye exams and dental treatments (which FSA dollars can be applied toward) as part of their back to school preparation. There are also Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts and Dependent Care Assistant Programs (DCAP) that parents and guardians can use to pay for day care or after school care expenses for their dependents.
Clearly, there are a variety of ways to make the most of FSA funds. Now is a good time to put those pre-taxable dollars to work, so don’t lose out!
*DataPath may be compensated for items bought through our partners.