Understanding DCAP Reimbursement Rules: Can You Pay Your Child for After-School Care?

Understanding DCAP Reimbursement Rules: Can You Pay Your Child for After-School Care?

Can Our DCAP Reimburse Expenses for the Care of a Child Who Will Turn 13 Later in the Plan Year?

A participant in our company’s Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) faces a common scenario: hiring an adult son to provide after-school care for their 10-year-old daughter. The burning question: Can the DCAP reimburse payments to the son? Let’s dive into the details.

  1. Eligibility for Reimbursement:
    • Payments to certain relatives or dependents do not qualify for reimbursement under the DCAP requirements.
    • Specifically, a DCAP cannot reimburse payments to an employee’s child who is under age 19 at the end of the year or to someone whom the employee (or the employee’s spouse) could claim as a dependent.
    • Whether the DCAP can reimburse the participant for care provided by the son hinges on the son’s age and whether the participant (or the participant’s spouse) can claim him as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
  2. Limitations on Reimbursement:
    • DCAPs cannot reimburse payments to an employee’s spouse or to the parent of an under-age-13 qualifying child (e.g., an employee’s former spouse who is also the child’s parent).
    • It’s essential to communicate this information clearly in your DCAP summary or open enrollment materials.
  3. Documentation Requirements:
    • Participants must include specific details when claiming an exclusion for reimbursement of dependent care expenses on their tax returns (using Form 2441).
    • For individual care providers, participants need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN) (usually the Social Security number).
    • Exempt organizations require only the provider’s name and address.

In summary, while the DCAP can potentially reimburse payments for care provided by the son, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility criteria, limitations, and documentation requirements. Clear communication and accurate reporting are key to ensuring compliance with DCAP rules.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS issues 2022 version of publications 502 and 503 for medical and dependent care expenses

IRS issues 2022 version of publications 502 and 503 for medical and dependent care expenses

The IRS has released updated versions of Publications 502 and 503 for the 2022 tax year. Publication 502 describes the medical expenses that are deductible by taxpayers on their 2022 federal income tax returns. Publication 503 explains the requirements that taxpayers must meet to claim the dependent care tax credit (DCTC) for child and dependent care expenses. 

The 2022 version of Publication 502 is substantially similar to its 2021 counterpart. Reflecting prior guidance, personal protective equipment (e.g., masks, hand sanitizer, and hand sanitizing wipes) for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 is now included in the list of medical expenses. Clarifications have been added regarding expenses to treat excessive use of alcohol and drugs, and relevant dollar amounts (e.g., the standard mileage rate for use of an automobile to obtain medical care) have been revised to reflect their 2022 inflation-adjusted values. Publication 502 has also been revised to reflect that the health coverage tax credit (HCTC) is not available after 2021. Publication 503 has been revised to note that most of the temporary changes to the DCTC and DCAP rules that were provided as COVID-related relief are no longer available, and to delete references to those changes. It also references prior guidance under which DCAPs could be amended to allow unused amounts from 2021 to carry over to 2022. 

Source: Thomson Reuters

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