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On April 15 2015 a family member contributed $3000 to HSA #1, intending it to be coded as a 2014 contribution. It however missed the custodian's 1pm Eastern cutoff time by a few seconds and was coded as 2015. I was later told this would have been no problem to recode if it was a paper check, but it was an electronic check.

This is awkward as there's a HSA #2 with 2015 contributions. More funds are needed there, but can't be deposited without exceeding the aggregate $6500 limit and facing penalties and paperwork.

The 2014 HSA's are under-contributed to by $3000. And HSA #1 is not a spending account (there are no checks or cards to draw funds through).

The relevant state of residence is California.

How can this best be unwound and fixed? How grey is the contribution year, and can that be explained to the IRS productively?

  • I understand your situation, but I'm not sure what your question is. Could you make it more clear? – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Sep 24 '15 at 11:47
  • The title is the question "Recovering from HSA deposit coded to the wrong year?". I tried to make everything more clear. – Bryce Sep 24 '15 at 16:12
  • How much did you claim in HSA contributions on the 2014 tax return? Did that include this $3000? – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Dec 26 '15 at 13:18
  • I ended up reporting it as it was sent to the IRS, meaning I lost out on $3000 in 2014 deductions, and maxed out 2015 deduction. – Bryce Dec 27 '15 at 18:38
  • If you didn't claim the $3000 as a 2014 contribution on your taxes, then there is nothing to unwind and fix. It is unfortunate that you didn't get the deduction you were looking for and cannot now contribute as much as you would like, but now you know that waiting until the last day is a bad idea. I've made similar mistakes myself. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Dec 30 '15 at 4:49
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As others said, there is no recovery from that being late. However, to fix your situation:

You can do a Rollover of Funds from HSA 1 to HSA 2.

Both my HSAs have that option right on their website; I log on to HSA 2 (the target), and request a rollover from HSA 1 (the source), for the desired amount (3000 for you); I guess most HSAs offer that; if not you can call them to start it.

This has no tax or limit implications; it just moves money between equally qualified HSAs.

You could also consider - while you do that - to roll over the complete content of HSA 1 and get rid of it (as it is 'hard to access'). There is no limit (so you can move a million if you have it there), and as said above, no tax implication, no limit violations, as long as the money goes from one HSA into another HSA with the same ownership.

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This will likely cause either (a) running out of funds in HSA #2, as the aggregate $6500 limit is nearing (b) an over-contribution situation between HSA #1 and HSA #2. .... 2014 HSA contributions are under the limit by $3000. 2015 expenses currently sit at about $3000.

The solution is to stop putting money into HSA #2 so that you don't go over the aggregate limit for this tax year; But then using the money in HSA #1 to pay the medical costs. If the person making the contribution had the ability to put money into either HSA then they should have the ability to spend that money from either account.

I realize the goal of the April transaction was to be able to effectively put $9500 into the HSA system in CY 2015. With the transaction that missed the deadline by seconds that opportunity is lost. But any medical costs that can be paid with money in HSA #1 should be paid for with money from that account. You don't have to keep funds in HSA #1, while worrying about HSA# 2 running out of funds.

The beauty of an HSA is that you can continue to pay medical expenses out of an account for years after you no longer have a High deductible insurance plan. It can even be used in retirement.

  • HSA #1 is awkward to spend from (a trustee-to-trustee transfer would be easier). The goal of the April transaction was to contribute $6500 for 2014, and $6500 for 2015. The IRS deadline was met, but not the custodian deadline. – Bryce Sep 24 '15 at 16:14
  • It missed the custodian deadline, but not the IRS deadline. – Bryce Sep 25 '15 at 1:54

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