Hsa Benefits For Employers Go Beyond Just Taxes
Employer tax benefits from HSAs are real. But there are also some HSA benefits employers can leverage that go beyond just taxes.
Offering an HSA program in and of itself and providing your employees with the opportunity to benefit for all an HSA offers directly benefits your business from both recruiting and retention standpoints. As HSAs continue to grow and gain traction, savvy employees and top talent will come to expect a competitive HSA program from their employer of choice.
Also on the employee front, employees who choose a high-deductible health plan and use an HSA are typically more cost conscious and tend to have lower healthcare expenses than other employees. Attracting and retaining these types of employees can lead to lower healthcare premiums for your company, which saves you money both short and long-term.
What Are The Rules Affecting Employer Contributions To Hsas And Hras
For both Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements, caps are in place regarding contributions.
An HSA has a maximum contribution of $3,400 from both the employee and the employer for single employees. For employees who have dependents on their insurance plan, the contribution is $6,850. Employees age 55 or older have an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution.
Since the employer is responsible for all funding to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, there are no limits in place regarding an employer’s contribution to an employee’s HRA.
You Cant Invest Your Fsa Funds
One of the lesser-known benefits of an HSA is that you can invest those funds into good growth stock mutual funds. Because FSA funds have a 12-month lifespan, you lose the investment opportunityand the tax benefitswith an FSA. Without the investment piece, choosing an FSA means losing out on tax-free interest and earnings.
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Can I Contribute Pre
Most employers offer a payroll deduction through a Section 125 Cafeteria Plan, allowing you to make contributions to your HSA on a pre-tax basis. … You can also contribute to your HSA post-tax and recognize the same tax savings by claiming the deduction when filing your annual taxes. Money comes out tax-free.
Can I Make Pretax Contributions To My Hsa
Asked by: Austin McCullough
The HSA pre-tax plan allows you to contribute “pre-tax” money to the account, meaning the IRS will not levy income tax on that money, no matter how you earn it. You can use the HSA funds for qualified medical expenses, such as visits to the doctor, prescriptions and insurance.
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What Deadlines Should I Be Aware Of
You’ll need to stay on top of the deadline for claiming your FSA funds.
Employers can give employees a grace period of up to two and a half months after the end of a calendar year to claim the money. But you’ll have to check if your company offers extra time and mark on your calendar when you’ll need to claim the money by.
Some employees may be surprised by deadlines this year because a pandemic stimulus bill and the IRS relaxed the rules for claiming FSA funds, providing more time for people to file claims in 2020 and 2021. But those provisions have expired, which means people with FSAs in 2022 must claim their money by year-end or by an employer’s grace period in early 2023.
“That was temporary relief due to the pandemic, so employees may have larger than usual balances in their health and dependent-care FSAs, and that they may forfeit going into 2023,” Myers said. “It’s important to check your balances, check the plan rules, so they can plan their spending for the remainder of 2022.”
What Are The Most Common Approaches To Employer Contributions
Employers have the choice between up-front lump-sum contributions or flat contributions. With an up-front lump sum contribution, employees benefit by having immediate access to funds early in the year to cover high expenses.
For employers choosing the up-front lump-sum contribution, their concern is with company cash flow and the loss of employees who may quit their jobs early in the year.
Employers choosing to make flat contributions are finding this option to be more beneficial as they can manage their cash flow. This option also puts the contributions on the level of being earned each pay period. Instead of employees having access to a lump sum immediately, the contribution is per pay period.
Employees faced with high expenses early in the year may need to pay those expenses with personal funding or negotiate payment terms.
A hybrid approach to contributions allows employers to deposit a portion of the contribution around 40 to 50 percent in a lump sum at the beginning of the year. The remaining percentage of the contribution is deposited in installments throughout the rest of the year.
An employer may also choose to make contributions at set periods throughout the year. In some cases, an employer may split the contributions into quarterly or semiannual deposits. This approach serves two purposes. First, it minimizes the number of deposits an employer makes, and second, it protects an employer from employees who take the lump-sum contribution and quit their jobs.
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Employer Contributions Through A Section 125 Plan
Employers may choose to make contributions to their employees HSAs as part of a Section 125 plan . Employers gain greater savings by allowing their employees to contribute on a pre-tax basis to their own HSA via payroll deduction. Employer and employee contributions may be combined and forwarded directly to the savings institution.
- Employer contributions can generally be excluded from federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax FUTA and state unemployment taxes.*
- Employers also derive HSA tax benefits by not paying Social Security tax, Medicare tax and FUTA on their employees contributions. These tax savings are only achievable through the Section 125 plan.
- Employers contributing through a Section 125 plan are not subject to the comparability rules described above, but are subject to a different set of rules that require the employer to ensure the contributions do not favor highly compensated employees. If an employer chooses to offer Matching Contributions, it must be done through a Section 125 plan.
Who Is Eligible For An Hsa
People with an HDHP can open an HSA. The two are usually paired together, so youll be offered an HSA when you take out a qualifying plan.
You must also meet the eligibility standards set out by the Internal Revenue Service . An eligible individual is someone who:
- Has a qualified HDHP
- Has no other health coverage
- Is not enrolled in Medicare
- Is not claimed as a dependent on someone elses tax return
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When To Contribute To An Hsa
While HSAs are a great idea for folks with HDHPs, theres a right time and place when it comes to making contributions. If youre still getting out of debt and dont have a fully funded emergency fund , it is not the time to add money to an HSA. Every penny you can spare should be going toward demolishing your debt.
There are two exceptions to that rule. The first is if you are about to have a baby, major surgery or know youre going to have some large medical expenses soon. And the second is you dont have dental or vision insurance. In those cases, you can use your HSA as a sinking fund to save for those medical costs.
But once you reach Baby Step 4which means youre ready to start investing for retirementfeel free to start putting money into your HSA !
Health Reimbursement Arrangement Flexible Spending Account And Dependent Care Fsa Tax Benefits
For HRAs, only the employer can contribute to the account. Those contributions are not added to the employee’s gross income and employees are not taxed on their HRA reimbursements.
For FSAs, contributions can be made by both the employee and the employer. Employee contributions are made with money taken from their paychecks pre-tax. The more out-of-pocket medical expenses an employee has in a year, the higher their annual election should be . The more the employee sets aside, the greater the tax savings would be. Distributions from an FSA are typically tax-free when used for qualifying medical expenses.
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Keep Records Of All Hsa Distributions
If you take qualified distributions from an HSA you must keep records sufficient to show that:
- the distributions exclusively paid or reimbursed qualified expenses,
- the qualified expenses had not been previously paid or reimbursed from another source and
- the medical expenses had not been taken as an itemized deduction in any year.
Note: Do not send these records with your tax returnâkeep them with your tax records.
How Does An Hsa Tax Deduction Work
If you get an HSA through an employer, the employer will handle the tax paperwork. Your payments into the account will be deducted from your gross income, reducing the amount of federal taxes you pay.
If you get an HSA on your own, you can take the deduction when you file your income tax return. You don’t need to itemize deductions to get it. It is recorded on Form 8889 and included with your Form 1040.
If you invest the money in your HSA and earn interest on the account, that money is not taxable.
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What Are My Contribution Limits For Hsas
The IRS is the formal governing body for HSAs, and annually establishes contribution limits for the upcoming year. These HSA limits are for total contributions made to your account, including those made by you, your employer, and any other third party.
You’re qualified to make contributions if:
- You’re enrolled in a qualified HDHP
- Have no other insurance that covers health care expenses without copayments or deductibles having to be paid first
- Have had at least one full month of HDHP coverage before December 1 of the current plan year, and have enrolled in coverage for the next 12 months in other words, you need to show that you’re committed to the plan
If you meet all these requirements, then you may contribute up to the following for 2022:
- $3,650 for individual HDHP
- Plus, if you’re age 55 or older, you may contribute an additional $1,000 catch-up.
What Are The Average Employer Contributions To Hsas
There are two HSA contribution levels for employers. For employers whose companies have fewer than 500 employees, the average contribution for a single employee is $750 and $1,200 for an employee with a family.
For employers whose companies have more than 500 employees, the average contribution for a single employee is $500, and for employees with family, the average contribution is $1,000.
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What Is The Main Downside Of An Hsa
The main downside of an HSA is that you must have a high-deductible health insurance plan to get one. A health insurance deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket each year before your insurance plan benefits begin.
You will be responsible for coming up with the cash to pay for your deductible before your insurance plan begins paying your healthcare costs. Youll need to pay for visits to the doctor, medical procedures, and prescriptions until you satisfy your deductible.
In 2022, youll need to pay a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual and $2,800 for a family. The figures for 2023 are $1,500 and $3,000.
Some plans have higher deductibles, and youll also need to factor in additional costs such as co-pays.
If you anticipate needing to use your health insurance for expensive proceduressuch as treatment for a chronic illness or surgeryyoull need to pay the costs until you satisfy your deductible.
If you would find this financially difficult, you might want to look at different types of healthcare plans that offer a lower deductible. That means forgoing access to an HSA.
What Can Hsa Funds Be Used For
Money that you withdraw from your HSA isnt taxed as long as it is used for a qualified medical expense. The list of permitted expenses is quite long and includes deductibles, dental services, vision care, prescription drugs, co-pays, psychiatric treatments, and other qualified medical expenses not covered by a health insurance plan.
Insurance premiums dont count as a qualified medical expense with some exceptions: the premiums are for Medicare or other healthcare coverage for people 65 or older for healthcare continuation coverage while receiving unemployment compensation, or for long-term care insurance, subject to annually adjusted limits.
Premiums for Medicare supplemental or Medigap policies are not treated as qualified medical expenses.
If you use your HSA to pay for anything other than a qualified medical expense, that amount is subject to both income tax and an additional 20% tax penalty unless you are age 65 or older. In that case, you just have to pay income tax on the amount withdrawn.
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Can I Contribute Too Much
It’s crazy to think you can “save too much,” but if you’ve exceeded the max HSA contribution, these funds must be removed from your HSA before the tax filing deadline usually everyone’s favorite day, April 15. If you don’t, these excess funds become part of your taxable income. That doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize they are subject to a 6% tax, which compounds each year you don’t pay. So, if you’ve gone over for the year, and still want that money set aside for your HSA, simply move that money to another account, then reinvest it the following plan year.
Taking The Tax Deduction
The entire amount deposited is tax-deductible on returns for that year, even for filers who do not itemize deductions.
Contributions by an employee directly from paychecks are made with pretax dollars, reducing their gross income. Employer contributions are deducted from taxable income by the employer, so they do not need to be itemized by the employee.
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How To Calculate Hsa Tax Deduction
While it’s not complicated to calculate your HSA deduction, we want to walk you through the process. This way, you can be sure to file your income tax return properly and get your tax refund, if you are due to receive one, as quickly as possible. Here are the steps to follow, and you can see Form 8889 and instructionsfor additional information.
Some circumstances may be more complex, in which case you can get the help of a tax professional to calculate your deduction.
Hsas Are For Individual Medical Use Only
If you withdraw HSA money for non-medical purposes, the IRS will levy a 20 percent penalty on the withdrawal. Further, HSAs are for individuals. The IRS does not permit joint HRA accounts, and requires anyone holding an HSA to be enrolled in a high-deductible medical insurance policy.
You may keep the money in an HSA account until you use it for medical expenses. There is no requirement to use the money within a limited period of time. In addition, there is no tax on any income the money earns.
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Contributing To A Health Savings Account Can Help You Lower Your Taxable Income
Part of your preparation for tax season should include an inventory of all deductions for which you might be eligible. A review of the costs associated with each key area of your life, including work, education, children, and health, can help clarify areas that may help reduce your taxable income. A significant deduction source is a health savings account or HSA.
Hsas And Their Tax Benefits For Employers
Its no secret that health savings accounts provide many tax advantages. Those tax advantages are one of the main reasons why HSAs continue to gain steam in the marketplaceso much so that HSA accounts are expected to exceed 30 million by 2022.
But while HSA enrollment continues to grow at a rapid pace, most of the focus when it comes to HSA tax benefits revolves around individuals and employees. And while those HSA tax benefits are very real and very important, there are less publicized HSA tax advantages for employers that play an equally important role on the employer side. These employer HSA tax benefits should be anything but secret.
So, whether youre an employer already offering an HSA program to your employees, or if youre simply exploring the viability of an employer-sponsored HSA program for your business, you need to have a solid understanding of HSA tax benefits for employers.
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How An Hsa Works
Think of an HSA like a savings account you can use to save for qualified medical expenses now and in the future. Were talking about everything from Band-Aids and body scans to midwives and motion sickness medication.
But not everyone is eligible for an HSA. There are some basic criteria you have to meet first, but once you do, making contributions is super easy and the tax benefits are immediate.
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