Dependent Care Reimbursement Account
By setting aside pre-tax money from your pay into the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, you may later repay yourself for eligible expenses incurred in the plan year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31). Because your contributions are deducted from your pay before federal income, state income, and Social Security taxes have been withheld, you save on taxes.
If you have questions about your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account that are not addressed on this website, please contact:
Mailing Address: Claims Administrator, PO Box 14053, Lexington, KY 40512
There are some special federal tax guidelines you need to keep in mind if you decide to contribute to a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
- Your total contribution cannot be greater than your earned income or your spouse's earned income, whichever is lower. This means if your spouse's salary is $4,000 and your salary is $30,000, the most you can contribute is $4,000. In addition, your deposit to the Duke reimbursement accounts may not exceed half of your gross pay each pay period.
- If your spouse has no earned income, you are not eligible for a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account. However, there are special rules if your spouse is a full-time student or is disabled. Contact Wage Works at 1-877-924-3967 for more information.
- If both you and your spouse have Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts, your total combined contribution limit is $5,000. Likewise, if you and your spouse file separate federal income tax returns, your individual Dependent Care Reimbursement Account limit is $2,500. If you are single with an eligible dependent, however, you can contribute up to the full $5,000.
- WageWorks requires a receipt or the provider signature and service dates when you submit a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account claim.
- If you participate in the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, you must complete IRS Form 2241, "Child and Dependent Care Expenses," along with your IRS Form 1040, "U.S. Income Tax Return."
- If your salary is above $115,000, federal law may require your dependent care election to be readjusted based on the results of discrimination testing. If you are affected, you will be notified during the plan year of any necessary adjustment to your contribution amount.
Dependents are defined differently between the Health Care Reimbursement Account and Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
- Children under the age of 13, or other individuals whom you claim as a dependent on your federal income tax return — your spouse, parent, or child — regardless of age, who live with you and are incapable of caring for themselves, are dependents under the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
- Any dependent you claim on your federal income tax return — your spouse, your unmarried children, and even a dependent parent — is a dependent under the Health Care Reimbursement Account. This means you may submit eligible expenses for reimbursement for these individuals. Expenses for same-sex spousal equivalents are not eligible for reimbursement, according to federal tax law.
Estimate your expenses carefully when deciding how much you want to contribute. You have until April 15 of the following year to may submit your eligible claims for services received during the plan year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31). Any money left in your account after April 15 will be forfeited, according to federal tax law. For help in estimating your expenses, refer to WageWorks' helpful online tools for the Health Care Reimbursement Account or for the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
Please see Making Changes for information on mid-year status changes and how they may affect your eligibility to participate in the plans and receive reimbursement for expenses.
Divorced or separated parents: Check with your legal or tax advisor to see if special rules apply to you that would enable your child to be claimed by the non-custodial parent or by both parents.
Tie-breaker: If two or more people want to claim the same child as their qualifying child, the person who has the right to is: (1) the child's parent - if one person is the child's parent and the other is not, (2) the parent with whom the child lives with longest in the year - if both people are the child's parents, (3) the parent with the higher adjusted gross income - if both people are the child's parents and the child lives equally with both during the year, or (4) the person with the higher adjusted gross income - if both people are not the child's parents.