By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., Journal of Accountancy
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs under Sec. 125 cafeteria plans. The new rules were put in place as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CCA), P.L. 116-260, enacted in December 2020. The IRS has now provided these plans with more discretion in 2021 and 2022 to make adjustments to help employees meet the unanticipated consequences of the public health emergency (Notice 2021-15). The IRS anticipates that, because of the pandemic, employees are more likely to have unused health FSA amounts or dependent care assistance program amounts at the end of 2020 and 2021.