If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), it’s likely you’ve received an email requesting a receipt for a purchase you made – even for an expense that was perfectly eligible. You may be asking yourself, “Why was my card approved but now you want me to prove my expense was eligible?” Great question!
Think of it like game night at grandma’s house. You play at grandma’s house, you play by grandma’s rules. Only in this situation, grandma’s house is the IRS. The IRS lets you use funds in your FSA/HRA tax-free. In exchange, you have to play by their “house rules” (i.e. provide proof that you bought an eligible product).
Back to your earlier question. Your Ameriflex debit card works at stores where a majority of the products sold are eligible. As you know, most stores sell a mix of eligible and ineligible products (i.e. candy and birthday cards).
When you buy something with your Ameriflex card at one of these stores, your card gets approved assuming you purchased an eligible item. Makes sense. The only problem is, not all stores have a system in place to tell us WHAT you purchased with your card. Most doctor’s offices and eyeglass providers offer products that aren’t eligible, such as non-prescription sunglasses and concierge fees for white-glove treatment. As a result, you may be asked to provide a receipt to confirm the item or service you purchased was eligible. If you visit a doctor, dentist, or eyeglass provider, always request an itemized receipt.
How to Reduce Substantiation Documentation Requests
The key to receiving fewer requests for documentation is where you buy your product, not what you buy. If you use your card at an IIAS merchant, it’s less likely we’ll ask you for a receipt. Stores with an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) identify eligible expenses on the spot. Click here for list of certified IIAS stores.
To reduce receipt requests when shopping at an IIAS merchant, follow these steps:
- Pay for the eligible expenses first using your Ameriflex debit card
- Pay for the remaining ineligible items separately using another form of payment
- Always save your receipts just to be safe
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