My employer offers a $5000-cap FSA for using pre-tax dollars for dependent care reimbursement.
My spouse's employer offers an identical plan.
Different employers.

Our annual dependent care expenses for the same child exceed $7500.

Can we select $5000 from one employer and $2500 from the other employer, or are we limited to $5000 total?

Out of curiosity, if we are limited to $5000, can we select $2500 from each employer?


You can select $5000 from each employer, but you'll end up getting taxed on everything in excess of $5000 when you file your taxes, so it will only create extra paperwork for you. I think that you can do $2500 from each employer if you want, but I'm not sure about that. (It might also make a difference if you're married filing separately.)

If you want to see how it shakes out, look at form 2441. At line 21, it makes you compare to $5000, which is where the limit comes into play. Then on line 26 you can see where you may end up with "taxable benefits" that just get added back to your wages on Form 1040. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2441.pdf

  • So... it doesn't make sense to go past $5000, really. – JoshDM Nov 3 '15 at 20:18
  • 1
    Right - You can do it, but it doesn't really make sense. You won't go to jail - It's just a waste of your time. – user32479 Nov 3 '15 at 20:20
  • Thanks. Couldn't find an answer to this anywhere. This is the answer I expected, but not the answer I wanted, of course. :-) – JoshDM Nov 3 '15 at 20:24

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