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Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

We had a HDHP with an HSA in 2015.  In 2016, we again had a HDHP but not the HSA because the company did not offer an HSA.  In Dec 2016, my daughter needed surgery.  I used the remaining money in the HSA from 2015 to pay for a portion of her surgery.  Now in 2017, we again have a HDHP with an HSA.  Can I use the 2017 HSA to pay the remainder of her medical expenses from Dec 2016?

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Level 15

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

The issue is whether you kept the old HSA, or whether you closed it and opened a new one.  You can only pay for expenses that were incurred after the HSA was opened.  If the old account from 2015 is still open, you can deposit money into it and then use it to pay the expenses.  But if you closed that account and opened a new account, you can't pay the 2016 expenses with an account opened in 2017.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**

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Level 15

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

The issue is whether you kept the old HSA, or whether you closed it and opened a new one.  You can only pay for expenses that were incurred after the HSA was opened.  If the old account from 2015 is still open, you can deposit money into it and then use it to pay the expenses.  But if you closed that account and opened a new account, you can't pay the 2016 expenses with an account opened in 2017.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**

View solution in original post

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Level 15

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

No, sorry you cannot pay past expenses with the current year contributions. 

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New Member

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

Critter#2, are you an accountant?  What are your qualifications for giving the above answer?
Level 15

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

7. I understand that I can reimburse myself from my HSA for qualified medical expenses that I pay out-of-pocket but is there a time limit? Do I need to reimburse myself in the same year?
You have your entire lifetime to reimburse yourself. As long as you had your HSA established at the time the expense was incurred, you save the receipt and it was not otherwise reimbursed, you can reimburse yourself for the expense from your HSA even years later.

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.hsaresources.com/faq/#distributions-02">https://www.hsaresources.com/faq/#distributions-...>
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Level 15

Can we use 2017 HSA to pay medical expenses from Dec 2016?

IRS Notice 2004-50 Q&A 20 and IRS Notice 2008-59 Q&A 40 provide the answer to your question.

Only qualified medical expenses incurred after the establishment of the HSA account (generally the date of the first contribution to the HSA account).  However, if the new HSA was funded with a rollover from the old HSA account, the establishment date of the old HSA account transfers to the new HSA account.

From your description it appears that the establishment date of the new HSA account would be a date in 2017, so no medical expenses incurred before that date in 2017 would be qualified medical expenses with respect the new HSA account.

https://www.irs.gov/irb/2004-33_IRB/ar08.html
https://www.irs.gov/irb/2008-29_IRB/ar11.html