Some background: The house I was renting was made unlivable due to an apparently exploding sewer pipe and resultant sinkhole. I am currently living in a hotel while looking for a suitable apartment.

I have $2500 USD on a HSA which I rarely use. Using this money towards renting my next apartment would of course be a non-medical expense, for which I would have to pay the 20% tax penalty. In the current situation that feels like a minor problem.

But if were to use the HSA money, I would not want to hide the fact either. How would I inform the IRS that I had used it for a non-medical expense?

  • 9
    I wonder if renters insurance covers such motel expenses. Then you’d have more for rent.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 2:38
  • 10
    It may also be that the landlord has to cover that
    – littleadv
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 2:47
  • 7
    Yeah, landlord should cover it (for not delivering their side of the contract - a livable dwellng). Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 5:27
  • 4
    @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE Not in most places. You are entitled to stop paying rent and a refund of the partial month from the day the apartment became uninhabitable. You should also get unearned rent (last month's rent) and your deposit back (with justified deductions). This will all go to the new place, so in theory you'd break even. The landlord isn't typically liable for other damages like hotel and restaurants and moving expenses. Renter's insurance loss of use coverage exists for this very reason.
    – user71659
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 19:51
  • 5
    Can you get a loan instead of drawing on the HSA? 20% is a whole lot, you should hopefully be able to borrow some money cheaper than that.
    – TooTea
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


You'll attach form 8889 to your tax return, the specific parts you'll need to fill are in Part II of the form (line 17).

  • 13
    Could OP replace the amount used for rent within a certain time period to avoid taxation? Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 16:42
  • 16
    Yes, within 60 days, and that can be done once in 12 months.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:04

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