Are employer contributions to an employee’s health savings account (HSA) considered taxable income to the employee?

October 22, 2018
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Generally, contributions made by an employer to the health savings account (HSA) of an eligible employee are excludable from an employee's income and are not subject to federal income tax, Social Security or Medicare taxes. In addition, employer contributions are deductible as a business expense to the company.  

An employee's HSA may be funded by contributions from the employer, from the employee or both. Employers may choose to contribute a set amount or make "matching" contributions. The IRS sets annual limits on the amounts that may be contributed to the HSA. If an HSA is funded by contributions from both the employer and the employee, it will be important to ensure that the total contributions remain within the annual IRS limits. Contributions made in excess of these annual limits may become taxable income to the employee.

While employer contributions to an HSA may be excluded from the employee's income, all employer contributions, including those made by the employee through a cafeteria plan, must be reported in box 12 of the employee's W-2. 


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