Form 8853

Archer MSAs and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts

Tax filing can be a challenge, especially when dealing with specific forms like the 8853 form. This guide serves as a comprehensive resource to help taxpayers understand, complete, and file their 8853 forms accurately. Whether you're new to this form or seeking to deepen your understanding, this guide will navigate you through each step, ensuring clarity and compliance with the latest IRS guidelines.

What is a 8853 Form?

The 8853 form, officially known as the "Archer MSAs and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts" form, is a document used by taxpayers to report contributions to an Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA) and distributions from it. It also pertains to the reporting of long-term care insurance contracts. This form is critical for individuals who want to take advantage of the tax benefits associated with MSAs and long-term care insurance policies.

  • Purpose and Significance: The 8853 form allows individuals to claim tax deductions for contributions made to their Archer MSA and to report taxable distributions. For long-term care insurance contracts, it enables the reporting of taxes on benefits received that exceed the cost of the long-term care services provided.
  • Components of the Form: This form consists of sections dedicated to Archer MSAs and long-term care insurance contracts, requiring detailed information about contributions, distributions, and the insurance contract itself.

Who Needs a 8853 Form?

This form is necessary for:

  • Individuals with an Archer MSA.
  • Policyholders of a qualified long-term care insurance contract.
  • Executors or administrators of a deceased Archer MSA holder’s estate.

Obligations & Deadlines: Taxpayers who meet the above criteria must file Form 8853 with their tax returns by the annual tax filing deadline (usually April 15).

How to Read and Understand 8853 Form

Understanding the 8853 form requires familiarity with its parts:

  • Part I deals with Archer MSAs, where you report contributions and distributions.
  • Part II pertains to long-term care insurance contracts, asking for information on benefits received and premiums paid.

Common Terms and Figures:

  • Archer MSA Contributions: The total amount you or your employer have contributed to the MSA within the tax year.
  • Distributions: Amounts withdrawn from the Archer MSA.

How to Get Your 8853 Form


  1. Download Directly from the IRS: The most reliable source is the IRS website. You can access and download the form directly at IRS - Form 8853.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common errors include misunderstanding contribution limits, incorrectly reporting distributions, and mixing up information between the sections for MSAs and long-term care insurance.

  • Tips: Always double-check the IRS contribution limits for Archer MSAs, accurately report all distributions, and ensure clarity when switching between form sections.

8853 Form and Tax Filing

The 8853 form directly influences your tax return by potentially decreasing your taxable income through the deductions for contributions to your Archer MSA. Additionally, it helps in declaring the taxable part of distributions and benefits exceeding the cost of long-term care services.

FAQ Section

1. Can I file Form 8853 electronically with my tax return? Yes, you can electronically file Form 8853 alongside your federal tax return.

2. What are the contribution limits for Archer MSAs? Contribution limits change annually and are affected by coverage type and IRS regulations. Check the latest guidelines.

3. Are distributions from an Archer MSA taxable? Distributions for qualified medical expenses are generally tax-free. Others may be subject to tax and penalties.

4. How does a long-term care insurance contract affect my taxes? Benefits exceeding the cost of long-term care services may be taxable. Reporting through Form 8853 is essential.

5. Can I contribute to an Archer MSA if my employer also contributes? Yes, but combined contributions must not exceed annual IRS limits.


Navigating the complexities of the 8853 form is crucial for maximizing tax benefits associated with Archer MSAs and long-term care insurance contracts. This guide aims to equip taxpayers with the knowledge to confidently manage and file their 8853 forms. Remember, for specific tax situations or more complex issues, consulting with a tax professional is highly recommended.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, referring to official IRS resources is best:

Stay compliant, stay informed, and make the most out of your tax filings by leveraging the benefits and deductions available through your Archer MSA and long-term care insurance contracts.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.