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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I am taking a leave without pay. So I will have a shortfall

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I am taking a leave without pay. So I will have a shortfall in this year's contribution to several account: HSA (health savings account), 457 (b) (deferred compensation). There contributions are usually deducted pre-tax from my paycheck. Can I make up the shortfall by contributing to these account using my after tax money and later deduct it from my tax return? I also paid health insurance premium out of my pocket. The premium was usually deducted pre-tax from my paycheck. Can I deduct the premium payment from my income?
Thanks.

LEV :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
You may contribute into HSA and deduct such contributions if otherwise you are eligible.
You may contribute into IRA account and deduct such contributions.
However you will not be able to deduct your contribution into 457b plan. If your plan allows direct contributions by employees - these contributions may not be deducted, but will be your cost basis in the plan - means - when eventually you will distribute funds - your after-tax contributions will be distributed tax free.

LEV :

In order to be eligible for a health saving account (HSA) you should be covered by the high deductible health plan (HDHP).
See IRS publication 969 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf
To be an eligible individual and qualify for an HSA, you must meet the following requirements.
-You must be covered under a high deductible health plan (HDHP), described later, on the first day of the month.
-You have no other health coverage except what is permitted under Other health coverage.
-You are not enrolled in Medicare.
-You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2011 tax return
.

Customer:

I also paid health insurance premium out of my pocket. The premium was usually deducted pre-tax from my paycheck. Can I deduct my premium payment from my income? Thanks.

LEV :

If you are covered by a regular health insurance at your job - unfortunately - the only option to deduct medical expenses - as itemized deduction on schedule A.

Customer:

That will require medical expenses greater than 7.5% of my income, right?


 

LEV :

Yes - that is correct. The other option - to pay out of your HSA account using pre-tax funds - but only if you are eligible.

Customer:

So I can pay my insurance premium from my HSA account?


 

LEV :

Yes - health insurance payments are classified as medical expenses and may be paid out of HSA.

Customer:

If I end contract with my current employer (state), can I distribute 457b without penalty?


 

LEV :

There is no penalty if you are above 59 1/2 or disabled.
There are some other exceptions - otherwise the distribution is subject of 10% early distribution penalty.

LEV :

- withdrawals permitted after severance from employment
- must start receiving distributions by April 1 following the later of year of retirement or attainment of age 70 1/2
However - there is no IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax on withdrawals from 457b nlan. The penalty would only apply (if you roll over non-457 money into the 457b Plan - that money is subject to the penalty. Sorry for confusion.

LEV :

Under a 457(b) plan, you also might be eligible for a hardship distribution (that can only occur when the participant is faced with an unforeseeable emergency). You do not need to end your contract to be eligible.

LEV :

An unforeseeable emergency is a severe financial hardship resulting from an illness or accident, loss of property due to casualty, or other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances arising as a result of events beyond the control of the participant or beneficiary. Examples of events that may be considered unforeseeable emergencies include imminent foreclosure on, or eviction from, the employee's home, medical expenses, and funeral expenses. Generally, the purchase of a home and the payment of college tuition are not unforeseeable emergencies.

Customer:

One last question, can I use Flexible Spending Account or HSA account to pay for post-tax dental plan premium?


 

Yes, you can use Flexible Spending Account or HSA account to pay for dental plan premium. It is a legitimate expense. Use Flexible Spending Account first, if you don't use the money you will loose them at the end of the year. HSA funds can be carried over to the next year. Everything paid with pre-tax money cannot be deducted, including employer sponsored health insurance premiums. Usually if you don't pay it with cash, check or credit card, you cannot deduct it.
Health FSAs (flexible spending arrangements) are employer-established benefit plans - these may be offered in conjunction with other employer-provided benefits as part of a cafeteria plan. Employees may not establish such plans with external organizations.
Thus - if your employer doesn't offer FSA or if you do not work - that option is not for you.

While you may NOT open FSA account through an external organization, still you MAY open HSA through an external organization.
To be eligible for HSA - either via your employer or at the external organization - you should be covered by the high deductible health plan (HDHP) - as outlined above.
If you are covered by a regular health insurance at your job - the only option to deduct ADDITIONAL medical and dental expenses - as itemized deduction on schedule A - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sa.pdf - line 1.

All qualified medical expenses may be reimbursed from FSA or HSA.
For a list of qualified medical expenses - see IRS publication 502 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
As you see dental expenses are included.
Let me know if you need any help.
Be sure to ask if any clarification needed.
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28895
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
Lev and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you