FSA and mail-in-rebate - which amount is reimbursed?
May 29, 2008 10:32 AM   Subscribe

FSA and mail-in-rebate question: I am purchasing contact lenses to use up my FSA balance before I leave work. There is a mail-in-rebate. When I submit the claim to the FSA are they going to go by the mail-in-rebate price?

What if I don't ever actually submit it (they are annoying)? Since this is pretty last minute should I just spend the extra $40 elsewhere just in case? I hate use it or lose it rules.
posted by unsigned to Work & Money (5 answers total)
When you submit, you are signing something to the effect that "these expenses have not been reimbursed and I am not seeking reimbursement elsewhere." (That's what it says on mine.) The FSA administration is not going to check whether there is a possible rebate, because they're sending you your own money, not theirs. If you then mail in for the manufacturer's rebate, you're breaking an IRS rule, so in theory it could be caught on an audit. So, just don't double dip. Submit for the full amount from the FSA, and skip the mail-in-rebate.
posted by beagle at 10:39 AM on May 29, 2008

I'd spend it elsewhere and go for the rebate. Effectively, all the FSA is is pre-tax dollars, so depending on your tax bracket, the $40 would have been more like $30 if it had been in your paycheck. So you save like $10 for having it.

get your full $40, and grab a bunch of saline and such. Also, you don't have to claim all this before you leave work. I believe you have until the end of the year regardless. Check with your HR department. Most likely they pay some company to administer the account.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:51 AM on May 29, 2008

You have until the end of the year to submit your receipts but you do have to make the purchases before (or within some timeframe after...) you leave your job.
posted by pwb503 at 11:02 AM on May 29, 2008

You're also able to use the full amount of your FSA before you leave, even if you haven't paid it all in yet.

For example, if during enrollment you chose to contribute $10 / week, you're able to spend $520 any time during the year. Say it's the end of May and you've only contributed $260. Now say you're leaving the job tomorrow - you can spend up to $520.

More info here
posted by schwab at 12:07 PM on May 29, 2008

Thanks all!

Yes, I did see the previous threads about the fact that it is fully funded prior to leaving (which helped clear up why I had so much freaking money to use - was really surprised about that actually - thought they would just take it from my last pay check).

And yes, I can submit my receipts later but I do have to make the purchases before my last day (I did check with HR on this).

I do realize that it would make more sense to get the rebate, but since I'm not sure which amount they will take I don't want to spend more and then not get reimbursed for it, but I guess it all evens out in the end, so what do they care?

Thanks again!
posted by unsigned at 1:28 PM on May 29, 2008

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