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When can one start making contributions to a Health Savings Account for year 2018 (or more generally, any year)? Is it for example January 1, 2018?

I read on https://newdirectionira.com/ira-info/contributions/hsa (mirror) that when one may contribute until April 15, 2019 (no extension possible), but I haven't found yet from when one can contribute.

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You cannot make future year contributions to an HSA.

As you mentioned, between January 1 and April 15 you can make contributions for the previous year. But you need to wait until January 1 to make a contribution for next year.

  • Assuming that you are enrolled in an HSA-eligible health care plan as of January 1. You can't start making contributions until you are enrolled in a qualified plan. Though, basically, the same annual limit applies for the entire year as long as you enroll by December 1. – Jay Nov 6 '17 at 22:44
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If you already maxed out your contributions for the current year, and if you really want to (for some contrived reason I can't think of), you can make HSA contributions before January 1st and count them as contributions for the next year. However, if you do so, you will be subject to a 6% excise tax.

If you accidentally make excess contributions, you should pull the funds out and file the appropriate forms with your HSA bank, then put the funds back in after Jan 1st so you can avoid the 6% fee. Note that even if you choose to leave the excess contribution and pay the tax, next year you still have to reduce the total amount you can contribute by the excess from the previous year so there is really no advantage to ever leaving excess contributions in the account.

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