Dependent Care FSA

McClatchy realizes that for many people, the cost of day care, nursery school, or supervision for an aging parent is a significant monthly expense. This is why we offer a dependent care flexible spending account.

A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain care expenses for qualifying dependents—children under age 13, a disabled spouse, or legally dependent parents.

Anyone regardless of their medical plan selection may take advantage of the DCFSA.

Plan Information

With a Dependent care FSA you can contribute pretax dollars from your paycheck, up to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limit of $5,000.00. Funds are for your dependent(s) age 12 or younger or a spouse or dependent incapable of self-care. This FSA pays for eligible child and adult care expenses, such as day care, preschool and nursery school, in-home aid, and more.

How can you lower your taxable income this year with your Dependent Care FSA?

Contributions to your FSAs are tax-deductible, and the funds are tax-free when used for qualified expenses. For example, if you contribute $2,000 annually to your FSA and your base salary is $60,000- you will only be taxed on $58,000 of gross income (note, this example is only considering the FSA component of taxes).

Dependent Care FSA FAQ

For 2022 you can contribute up to $5,000 to the DCFSA based upon these guidelines:

  1. Your contributions cannot be greater than your income or your spouse’s income;
  2. If your spouse is disabled or a full-time student, he/she is assumed to earn $250 per month for one eligible dependent, or $500 per month for two or
    more dependents;
  3. If your spouse also participates in a Dependent Care FSA, your combined total deposits cannot exceed $5,000;
  4. If you and your spouse file separate income tax returns, your individual Dependent Care FSA is limited to $2,500.

The annual amount you elect to contribute will be divided into equal amounts and deducted from your first two paychecks of each month on a before-tax basis for a total of 24 pay periods per year. As you incur and pay for eligible expenses, you submit claims for reimbursement with copies of your receipt(s) or Explanation(s) of Benefits to PayFlex, our FSA third-party administrator. PayFlex pays approved claims on a daily basis. Dependent care accounts are accrual accounts, meaning you can only be reimbursed for what has been deducted from your paycheck and received to PayFlex. You may, however, pre-file for eligible expenses incurred.

You can submit claims incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 against your account balance for the Plan year. You will have until March 31 of the following year, to submit these DCFSA claims to PayFlex for reimbursement.

In accordance with IRS regulations, money that is not claimed by the deadline will be forfeited.

Before enrolling during the annual Open Enrollment period, you will need to estimate the eligible dependent care expenses you expect to incur during the upcoming 12-month period beginning Jan. 1. It is important to do this carefully because any amounts left in your account(s) after March 31 of the following year will be forfeited. Current federal tax laws prohibit refunds of leftover account balances to participants as well as the transfer of funds from one FSA plan to another. The tax laws also prohibit the transfer of funds from one plan year to another.

Use the Savings Calculator to help you itemize unreimbursed health and dependent care expenses to assist in determining your health care spending account contributions and potential increase in savings.

The amount you elect to contribute cannot be changed during the Plan Year except under very limited circumstances. Contribution changes based on a qualified life event are allowed only if the election change is necessary and consistent with the change in status. For the Dependent Care FSA, the change must affect your dependent care expenses. All changes must be sent to within 30 days of the event.

For the Dependent Care FSA, eligible dependents are

  1. children younger than age 13 that live at the same residence as the taxpayer for more than half the year;
  2. a spouse is incapable of self-care; and/or
  3. relatives or members of your household who live in your home, receive over half of their support from you, are incapable of self-care and do not have an annual income in excess of $3,200.

If you are unsure of custodial or dependent status, or if you plan to claim dependent care expenses other than child- or after-school care expenses, contact to discuss eligibility.

Generally, the cost of day care, nursery school, or supervision for an aging parent are considered eligible expenses.

Check if your expense is eligible for reimbursement here.




  • Payflex Information Line: 888-678-8242
    • Account balance
    • Eligible expenses questions
    • Claim status and inquiries
  • Payflex Member Website
    • Savings Calculator
    • Eligible Expense Search
    • Claim status and inquiries
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