Letter: Getting First Aid Supplies Tax Free

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Hello,

I just found a neat, and new to me, way of purchasing first aid supplies with pre-tax dollars that I thought I would share. For some years now I have taken advantage of my company’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program. For the unfamiliar, an FSA is money withheld from your paycheck that allows you to purchase eligible items with pre-tax dollars and is offered by many employers. If you have regular vision, dental, or copay expenses, it’s a great way to pay for these things. As I had more money withheld than I had spent this year, I wanted to make sure that it didn’t go to waste as plans are use-it or lose-it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could purchase Adventure Medical Kits and a number of other supplies that I would consider to be good preps online at fsastore.com with my FSA card. Now I’ve got two fairly comprehensive first aid kits coming my way with money that otherwise would have gone to waste. While some plans may allow carrying over these funds into the next year, you should check your actual deadlines as YMMV. – Jason in Colorado

JWR’s Comment: This is a useful tip, but under many corporate FSA programs this is earmarked as “use to or lose it” money. Under such circumstances, it is crucial that employees mark their calendars and spend those pre-tax dollars in the time allotted or risk forfeiting them.

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