Hi all, first post here, but long front page reader. I read on slickdeals a while back that people were returning FSA items for cash. It was not condemned in the posts I read. I just found out that doing so qualifies as fraud. However, I spent all of the cash I received and more on FSA eligible items that I did not request for reimbursement but have all of the receipts. I returned items for $1500 cash a year ago following the advice found here from senior slickdeals members:
My FSA plan is company paid for so they let you reimburse items up to a certain annual limit. I do not have to contribute to this account nor does it count as W2 income. I also do not believe we use a 3rd party admin.
Am I in danger if my company finds out? If they do find out what do I say? It's too late to come clean now too as I am leaving in 3 months for a new job. Just worried about fraud, theft, etc when it was all a misunderstanding and I used all of the return money and more on other medical items. Just have this on my conscience
Soooooooooooo, you honestly thought that doing that was ok? More than likely you'll be fine but in the event that you do get caught just go with the "I'm an idiot and someone on the interweb said it was ok to do" defense. If you truly believed that defrauding your company out of $1,500 was legit it sounds like you could pull it off...
Thank you for your response LivninSC. The thing is I used all 1500 to buy additional FSA eligible items. It was an oversight compounded by the posts I read on slick deal. The members all had a high number of posts + green reputation so I took that for granted as being credible. I did not use the 1500 as pocket money.
You bought $1,500 worth of goods and returned them for cash. I wouldn't categorize $1,500 as pocket money. The state of CA (and many others) seems to agree as well as it would categorize that as grand theft What you then did with the funds is basically irrelevant legally, however morally I do see your point.
Personally, if it were me I wouldn't stress over it. If they were to ever contact you about it show them the additional receipts you have and if they still balk offer to pay them back and just play dumb. After all, how in the world would your company ever truly know what you bought??? Realistically if I were the employer and I found out as long as you had additional receipts showing that you did infact purchase other items with the $ that you got from returning the other FSA items I'd be ok with it.
I'm wondering where the fraud is in this...especially if you have the receipts for FSA items, unless you HAVE to go through their portal or can only get FSA purchases when you report them directly. In this case if theres some type of re-check down the line and they ask what was purchased, and noticed that you purchased items - will the returns be reported? Also, how were you able to receive cash?
Next, is there a law saying youre not allowed to return items or just not for cash?
You could've just as easily sold the items to a 3rd party after getting them via FSA and then gotten cash that way. No one would have ever know what you did once you sold them off.
That being said, you have receipts, you obviously used them on FSA eligible items, I don't see what the issue is - if you have the receipts, the money went to FSA eligible things at the end of the day.
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