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Reindeer Year-end Tax Tip Games 2012: Dancer says do a mock tax return

Reindeer Year-end Tax Tip Games 2012: Dasher says use up your FSA funds

Christmas is less than two weeks away, so Santa and his elves are working furiously to make every boy's and girl's dreams come true.

But his trusty reindeer get to cool their heels in their North Pole barn until Dec. 24.

Santa reindeer barn via Santa Claus-dot-netReindeer barn image courtesy

That means they still have some time on their hands hooves.

So they've graciously agreed to help deliver year-end tax tips that could save you some money.

That is exactly the kind of present every taxpayer wants!

Each of Santa's sleigh-pulling crew will offer a tip, beginning today and wrapping up on Friday, Dec. 21.

Since time is running out, both to complete your holiday errands and make tax moves, it's fitting that our 2012 reindeer tax tip games begin with a tip from Dasher.

And Dasher says take a look at what you've got left in your workplace medical flexible spending (or sometimes called savings) account.

Spend down your FSA: If you have any money left in that account, popularly known as an FSA, you must use it up by the end of the benefits year. For most folks, that's Dec. 31.

If you don't spend all your FSA funds, you'll lose them.

Technically, your employer gets the pretax cash that you've been stashing all year. And even if you like your boss, that's not what you want to happen.

Some companies do allow workers a grace period of two and a half months, until March 15 of the following year, to incur FSA eligible expenses and submit reimbursements against your prior year's account balance.

But the grace period option is just that, optional.

So check with your company about the deadline for your FSA submissions and payouts. If it is by the end of the year, then get to it and find ways to spend your FSA now.

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