Filing Taxes with a Health Savings Account (HSA): Part One

You may have a question or two about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and taxes – it’s that time of the year – so, we thought it might be nice to pass along advice we pass to our own employees and clients.

One of the keys to receive the maximum benefit is to file taxes correctly. Everyone’s tax situation is different. Our first suggestion for people seeking advice is to go through HSA tax requirements with a tax advisor. Hopefully this series helps people ask the right questions when doing this.

Employees: Make sure you have all the right documents

Your W-2

You should have this before you file your taxes.  If you don’t know what a W-2 is, or if you are filing taxes before you receive yours, I think you are beyond our help.  (See more about W-2s here.)

In regards to an HSA, the important part of the W-2 is in box 12.  The section coded W in box 12 indicates how much money your employer contributed to your HSA through payroll.  You will enter this amount on Form 8889.

Form 8889

This form is required of all HSA account holders regardless of income.  The IRS publishes this form, which you will fill out with all information the IRS needs to know about your HSA.  This form will require you to indicate:

  • your contributions to your HSA and how they were made (basically the amount on your W-2 plus any non-payroll contributions you made on your own)
  • your distributions from your HSA
  • any penalties you might need to pay

Form 1099-sa

This form is not required to file your taxes.  It is simply a summary of all the money that was spent from your HSA in the previous tax year.  Your financial custodian that holds the money for your HSA will usually send the form in February.

Form 5498-sa

This form is also not required to file taxes.  It is a summary of contributions to your HSA.  Again, it is sent from your HSA custodian by May 31st, although some custodians will send a preliminary copy the same time they send your Form 1099-sa. If you only contributed through payroll deductions, just use the amount on your W-2. If you contributed in multiple ways, your HSA provider can give you this amount.

Next week we’ll post part two of this blog series that will help answer some common questions about filing taxes with HSAs.

3 thoughts on “Filing Taxes with a Health Savings Account (HSA): Part One

  1. Can you contribute on a post-tax basis after December 31 (prior to April 15) and then claim the tax benefit in the tax return filed on April 15?

    • Hello,

      Yes, this is definitely an option and we see this a lot since you can get one last deduction when filing your taxes. As long as you didn’t exceed or meet your annual contribution limit in 2013, you can still contribute post-tax until you file. You will receive a deduction back for the Federal portion of taxes, but not the payroll taxes.


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