Health Care Flexible Spending Account
You have access to the entire election amount on January 1st of each plan year, even though the dollars have not been deducted from your paycheck yet. You must have a qualifying medical expense to gain access to the funds, and your deductions will continue to come out of your paycheck on a weekly or semimonthly basis throughout the remaining plan year.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
You must have already had the dependent care services occur before the day you submit for reimbursement and have the dollars available in your dependent care account to be reimbursed. Your deductions will continue to come out of your paycheck on a weekly or semimonthly basis throughout the remaining plan year.
Keep Your Receipts
A good rule of thumb is to keep itemized receipts with dates of service, type of service received, and name of the person receiving services, as well as other supporting documentation related to your expenses and reimbursement requests, on hand. The IRS may request itemized receipts to verify select expenses. Credit card receipts, canceled checks, and balance forward statements do not meet the requirements for acceptable documentation.