IRS Releases 2023 Inflation-Adjusted Amounts for Healthcare FSAs, Commuter Benefits, and More

10/18/2022 Written by: Nathanael M. Alexander, Esq.

Health FSAs

On October 18, 2022, the IRS announced in Rev. Proc. 2022-38 the annual inflation adjustments for the 2023 tax year. 

Included in this announcement, and of consequence to the employee benefits world, the IRS noted that the dollar limit maximum for employee contributions made on a pre-tax basis via salary reductions to health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) under a cafeteria plan will be modified for 2023. For 2023, the dollar limit cap is permitted to increase (by $200) from $2,850 to $3,050. For cafeteria plans that allow for the carryover of unused amounts, the maximum carryover amount is now permitted to increase by $40, now capped at $610 (for 2023 rollovers into 2024 plans).

As a result of this news, employers should ensure that their health FSAs are administered in such a way as to prohibit employees from exceeding $3,050 in pre-tax contributions and, if applicable, no more than $610 in carryovers (from 2023 into 2024). Although, it should of course be noted that employers have the right to impose a maximum limit on employee contributions to health FSAs that is lower than what the ACA permits. For example, an employer could opt to cap employee contributions for 2023 at $2,500 instead but cannot set the limit at $3,100 in defiance of the ACA’s provisions. Whatever amount the employer decides on should be communicated to employees during open enrollment and strictly adhered to. For employers that provide health FSA contributions, employees are permitted to elect up to the IRS limit and still receive the employer contribution in addition.

It should also be mentioned that the health FSA limit applies on an individual employee basis only. Therefore, even employees with spouses and dependents are still capped at $3,050 in maximum salary reductions for the year. Family members are eligible to enroll in their own separate health FSAs if they so choose, however.


Health Plan Limits



Health FSA Contribution Limit



Health FSA Carryover Limit




Please note that while the COVID-19-related FSA relief guidance illustrated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and IRS Notice 2021-15 (from February 2021) permitted employers the opportunity to offer carryovers of any and all unused FSA balances from Plan Years ending in 2020 and 2021 into later Plan Years ending in 2021 and 2022, respectively, that guidance has not been extended for subsequent years. We will of course continue to monitor for any updates in this regard.


Dependent Care Assistance Programs

Please be aware that while the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) briefly increased the DCAP annual limits to $10,500 (up from what was previously $5,000) for single taxpayers and married couples filing jointly and to $5,250 (up from $2,500) for married individuals filing separately, these increased limits applied only to plan years beginning after Dec. 31, 2020 and prior to Jan. 1, 2022. This has now sunset.

After returning to its pre-pandemic limit of $5000 per year in 2022, the DCAP maximum contribution amount will remain at that same amount for 2023 as well. As the DCAP maximum is not adjusted for annual inflation, the limit will continue to be $5000 per year if single or $2,500 for married people filing separately. As it was prior to ARPA, married couples will continue to have a combined $5,000 limit in total, regardless of whether both parties have access to separate DCAPs through their own employer.


DCAP Limits  







Commuter Benefits

Further noted in Rev. Proc. 2022-38, for taxable plan years beginning in 2023, the monthly limitation for commuter benefits will increase by $20 from $280 to $300. This applies to qualified parking and transit benefits alike.

Parking and Transit Limits (Per Month)










Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans

Please see our previous guidance on the 2023 adjusted limits  for HSAs and HDHPs, as addressed in Rev. Proc. 2022-24

Highly Compensated Employees

Effective for plan years beginning in 2023, the threshold amount for determining who is considered a highly compensated employee (HCE) will undergo an increase to $150,000. This is up from the previous $135,000 threshold. This amount fluctuates annually due to cost-of-living adjustments.

Under the ownership test, an employee would also considered an HCE if they were at least a 5% owner at any time during the current or preceding plan year.

It should be noted that for non-discrimination testing (NDT) purposes, plans utilize the prior year’s wages and rules in making determinations, so this shift in the threshold amount will not come into play there until a 2024 NDT analysis is completed.

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