Compliance Bulletin – IRS Allows Taxpayers with Family Coverage to Use $6,900 HSA Limit for 2018


On April 26, 2018, the IRS announced that, for 2018, taxpayers with family high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage may treat $6,900 as the annual contribution limit to their health savings accounts (HSAs).

Earlier this year, a tax law change for 2018 reduced the HSA contribution limit for individuals with family HDHP coverage from $6,900 to $6,850. After this change was announced, the IRS received complaints that the $50 reduction would be difficult and costly to implement.

The IRS has now decided to allow taxpayers with family HDHP coverage to use the original $6,900 limit for HSA contributions for 2018, without facing excess contribution penalties.


Employers with HDHPs may want to inform their employees about the HSA contribution limit change for family HDHP coverage. Employees who changed their HSA elections to comply with the reduced limit may wish to change their elections again for the $6,900 limit.

HSA Contribution Limits

Each year, the IRS announces inflation-adjusted limits for HSAs and HDHPs. The adjusted contribution limits for HSAs take effect as of Jan. 1 of the following year. In May 2017, the IRS announced the following inflation adjusted contribution limits for HSAs for 2018:

$3,450 for individuals with self-only HDHP coverage; and

$6,900 for individuals with family HDHP coverage.

HSA contributions that exceed an individual’s contribution limit are considered excess contributions. Excess contributions are included in the individual’s gross income for tax purposes. They are also subject to a 6 percent excise tax unless they are distributed to the HSA owner by the following April 15.

HSA Limit Was Reduced for 2018

The new federal tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), which was enacted at the end of 2017, changed the inflation adjustment calculations for certain tax limits, including the HSA limits, effective for 2018.

Using the new calculations, the IRS reduced one of the HSA limits for 2018 earlier this year—the HSA contribution limit for individuals with family HDHP coverage. This limit was lowered by $50—from $6,900 to $6,850, effective for the 2018 calendar year. All of the other HSA and HDHP limits for 2018 were unchanged, and remained the same as those announced by the IRS in May 2017.

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