Tax Savings –
Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)
The County of San Bernardino offers a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) that allows you to take a pre-tax deduction from your income to pay for eligible dependent care expenses as an alternative to taking the Dependent Care Tax Credit (DCTC).
How the Plan Works
The DCAP allows you to receive your tax savings benefit throughout the year. Eligible employees make an election to authorize a bi-weekly deduction amount from their pay to be placed into their DCAP account. When an eligible expense is incurred, you must submit a DCAP Reimbursement Request form, proof of payment, and evidence of service date(s) that the expense was incurred. The expense must be incurred during the plan year to be eligible. Reimbursement will be paid by check within 30 days from receipt; however, typical turnaround time is 7 days.
San Bernardino County employees who are scheduled to work a minimum of forty hours and are paid for a minimum of one half plus one of the scheduled hours per pay period.
You may enroll in the DCAP:
- During the annual DCAP open enrollment period in November each year
- Within sixty (60) days of:
- Employment if you are a new employee
- Section 125 Qualifying Change-In-Status Event such as:
- Divorce or legal separation
- Death of spouse or dependent
- Birth or adoption of a child or placement for adoption/guardianship
- Termination of spouse’s employment
- Commencement of spouse’s employment
DCAP plan elections are only valid for the current plan year. Plan participants must elect to enroll each year in order to continue participation. The DCAP plan year effective date is January 1, each year.
The maximum annual contribution for the calendar year is the lowest of the following amounts:
- $5,000 for single persons or married couples filing jointly
- $2,500 for married persons filing separate federal tax returns
- The earned income of the participant or participant’s spouse
When deciding on your annual contribution amount, you will what to keep in mind that:
- Elections for the plan year are irrevocable unless you experience a qualifying change-in-status event midyear
- DCAP contribution amounts that are not claimed for reimbursement do not rollover to the next plan year, any unclaimed funds will be forfeited and applied toward the cost of administering the plan
- If your spouse also participates in a DCAP, the annual maximum includes any benefits he or she received under the DCAP
- Expenses reimbursed through your DCAP account may not be applied to your dependent care tax credit
A qualified dependent under the DCAP is a dependent that you claim for federal tax purposes and is:
- Your child who was under age 13 when care was provided and lived with you for more than half of the calendar year.
- The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of any such individual, eligible foster child, legally adopted child, or a child lawfully placed with you for adoption.
- The child must not have provided over one half of their support during the calendar year.
- Your spouse, relative or child over the age of 13, who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, lived with you for more than half of the calendar year, and regularly spends at least eight (8) hours each day in your household.
- Dependents defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 152 as a qualifying relative must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- They received more than half of his or her support from you for the calendar year.
In order for dependent care expenses to be eligible, the expense must below criteria:
Expense is incurred for the care of a dependent as defined above:
- in your home or at a dependent care facility that complies with all licensing requirements or is exempt from such requirements. This includes care provided by a babysitter, nurse, or housekeeper in your home, as long as part of their service benefits the dependent
- in a preschool, before and after school care program, and day camp during school vacation periods
- or for related household services and are incurred to enable you or your spouse to be gainfully employed
Expenses are not paid or payable to the following:
- a child of yours who is under age 19 at the end of the year in which the expenses are incurred
- an individual for whom you or your spouse are entitled to personal tax exemption as a dependent
Eligible Dependent Care Providers
Eligible dependent care providers include the following:
- A licensed daycare center (must care for more than six children who do not live at the daycare center)
- A private babysitter
- An elderly or handicapped care center
- In-home medical attendant care
Under the plan you will be reimbursed only for dependent care expenses that meet the following conditions:
- The expenses are incurred for services rendered after the date of this DCAP enrollment and during the Plan Year to which it applies
- The expenses are for qualified dependent(s) as defined above
To obtain reimbursement for eligible dependent care expenses, you must submit a DCAP Reimbursement Request Form and copies of receipts for expenses incurred to HR-EBSD (see contact information).
Note: All receipts must contain dependent’s name, the dependent care provider’s name, the amount of the expenses, and the date for which the expenses were incurred. Additionally, the name, address, and social security number or tax identification number of your dependent care provider must be provided on all claims.
Participants are charged a nominal fee of 70 cents per pay period to cover administrative costs.
Dependent Care Enrollment Form click here
DCAP Reimbursement Request Form click here
DCAP Brochure click here
DCAP Plan Document click here
DCAP Open Enrollment Flyer click here
DCAP Savings Example click here
DCAP Expense Summary click here
IRS Publication 503 - Child and Dependent Care Expenses click here
Employee Benefits and Services Division
157 West Fifth Street, First Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0440
Interoffice Mail Code: 0440
Phone: (909) 387-5787
Fax: (909) 387-5566