Use it or Lose it!
Eyeglasses, contacts, eye exams, and even contact saline solution all count toward using up unspent dollars in Medical Flex Spending Accounts
Even if you don't have a Medical Flex Account, end-of-the-year medical spending could save you money on your federal tax return by boosting your 2021 medical deductions.
During the holiday rush, it's easy to forget that flexible spending account funds left over at the end of 2020 are lost to you. And it's easy to delay a planned December medical visit until the new year, forgetting that keeping that 2020 appointment could allow you to take it as a medical deduction on your federal taxes.
Nearly 40 million Americans use flexible spending accounts to lower their taxable income and pay medical, dental, and optometry expenses, and it's usually in the range of $2,500 - $5,000 a year. But research shows that, on average, these savers nearly always spend less than the amount in their accounts – and wind up losing an average of over $30 a year, with many accounts leaving much higher amounts.
Brian Kane, O.D, owner of the Family EyeCare Clinic, an optometry practice with offices in Willoughby and Painesville, said recently,
“Every December we see a big rush of patients buying extra eyeglasses or stocking up on contact lens cleaning solution to max out their flex spending accounts. That's smart. But even so, many people forget that they lose any money left in their accounts at year's end."
“And many people aren't aware that items from contact lenses to vitamins to eyeglasses are eligible for flex spending. If you have any amount leftover in your account – that means it's time to stock up on medical devices and products you know you'll use in the coming year. It's the prudent things to do."
“I recommend that our patients think of any money still in their flex accounts in December as an extra Christmas present for themselves and their families, and to spend that flex account money before December 31, 2020 for bonus gifts that can range from stocking stuffers to a fashion eyeglass buy.”
Action to take
- Check your flex spending account ASAP. If you have a balance, make a plan to spend it.
- Go to http://www.irs.gov/ for more information on medical flexible spending accounts and allowable limits for medical deductions.
- Go to www.familyeyecareclinic.biz for details on spending your remaining flex cash.
The Family EyeCare Clinic maintains practices at: