I have a Dependent Care FSA at work, and have exhausted the funds for this year during the first half of the year (as I typically do). I will be eligible to use it for one more year, as my youngest is in his last year of preschool, and so want to ensure I understand the rules properly to take advantage of this benefit.
I'd like to pay for his year of preschool in one lump sum this year (in August), mostly to simplify things (as it's being paid from funds gifted to us designated for education, it's better for us if we disburse them at once rather than having to manage transfers each month). However, I would like to put away money in my FSA in 2018 and have it officially cover this expense (which would be approximately half incurred in 2018).
Can I do this? Or do I need to wait until at least 1/1/2018 to write the check covering 2018 utilization in order to be reimbursed from 2018's FSA? It's clear to me that you cannot claim on your FSA for funds that are spent but not yet used - i.e., I could not claim the full 2017-2018 tuition in 2017 - but what's not clear to me the is the reverse.
If relevant, the provider has a monthly billing schedule that is for an identical amount of money (no discount for prepayment) that I would use to show what expenses are for what month.