May 12, 2022
Merline & Meacham is thrilled to announce that David A. Merline, Jr. has been selected to the 2022 South Carolina Super Lawyers list for the 15th consecutive year, and Keith G. Meacham for the 10th consecutive year. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from various practice areas who have achieved a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and evaluations. Congratulations!
May 11, 2022
The IRS recently released guidance providing the 2023 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). High inflation rates will result in next year’s amounts being increased more than they have been in recent years.
An HSA is a trust created or organized exclusively for the purpose of paying the “qualified medical expenses” of an “account beneficiary.” An HSA can only be established for the benefit of an “eligible individual” who is covered under a “high deductible health plan.” In addition, a participant can’t be enrolled in Medicare or have other health coverage (exceptions include dental, vision, long-term care, accident and specific disease insurance).
A high deductible health plan (HDHP) is generally a plan with an annual deductible that isn’t less than $1,000 for self-only coverage and $2,000 for family coverage. In addition, the sum of the annual deductible and other annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid under the plan for covered benefits (but not for premiums) can’t exceed $5,000 for self-only coverage, and $10,000 for family coverage.
Within specified dollar limits, an above-the-line tax deduction is allowed for an individual’s contribution to an HSA. This annual contribution limitation and the annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses under the tax code are adjusted annually for inflation.
Inflation adjustments for next year
In Revenue Procedure 2022-24, the IRS released the 2023 inflation-adjusted figures for contributions to HSAs, which are as follows:
Annual contribution limitation. For calendar year 2023, the annual contribution limitation for an individual with self-only coverage under an HDHP will be $3,850. For an individual with family coverage, the amount will be $7,750. This is up from $3,650 and $7,300, respectively, for 2022.
In addition, for both 2022 and 2023, there’s a $1,000 catch-up contribution amount for those who are age 55 and older at the end of the tax year.
High deductible health plan defined. For calendar year 2023, an HDHP will be a health plan with an annual deductible that isn’t less than $1,500 for self-only coverage or $3,000 for family coverage (these amounts are $1,400 and $2,800 for 2022). In addition, annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) won’t be able to exceed $7,500 for self-only coverage or $15,000 for family coverage (up from $7,050 and $14,100, respectively, for 2022).
Reap the rewards
There are a variety of benefits to HSAs. Contributions to the accounts are made on a pre-tax basis. The money can accumulate tax free year after year and can be withdrawn tax free to pay for a variety of medical expenses such as doctor visits, prescriptions, chiropractic care and premiums for long-term care insurance. In addition, an HSA is “portable.” It stays with an account holder if he or she changes employers or leaves the workforce. If you have questions about HSAs at your business, contact your employee benefits and tax advisors.
December 30, 2021
SC Best in Business 2021 Awards has awarded Merline & Meacham, P.A. 1st Place, as Best Tax Law Firm in South Carolina.
Merline & Meacham, P.A. is pleased to announce that Greenville Business Magazine’s inaugural SC Best in Business 2021 Awards has awarded the firm 1st Place as Best Tax Law Firm in South Carolina. SC Best in Business 2021 Awards recognized the best companies and individuals from around the state that bring success to South Carolina’s business community. We are honored to receive this recognition!
August 30, 2021
Merline and Meacham, P.A. congratulates the firm attorneys who were named to the “2021 Legal Elite” by Greenville Business Magazine
Merline & Meacham, P.A. Attorneys Recognized as 2021 Legal Elite Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine have honored attorneys from around the state by publishing their Legal Elite section. This section highlights the top vote-getters in the Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry in 26 categories, solely voted on by area attorneys. We are pleased to announce that David Merline, Jr. was the top vote-getter in the Upstate for Tax & Estate Law. Other attorneys recognized by their peers in Tax & Estate Law from our firm were Douglas O’Neal, Marie Monroe, Keith Meacham, Phillip Martin, and Thomas Sinclair in the Upstate area; Robert August and Verne McGough, in the Midlands area and J. Aaron Nelson in the Lowcountry.
In addition, Robert August, Jonathan Colao, Phillip Martin, Verne McCough, David Merline, Jr., and Douglas O’Neal were recognized in the Upstate in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions. In addition, Verne McGough and Robert August were recognized in the Midlands in Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions and Thomas Sinclair was recognized in the Midlands in Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions. Congratulations to all!
August 27, 2021
Two of our attorneys have received a 2022 Best Lawyers®: One’s to Watch recognition including:
Phillip Martin for Nonprofit/Charities Law, Tax Law and Trusts and Estates; and
Andrew D. Merline for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Corporate Law and Trusts and Estates.Congratulations.
Phillip and Andy – We are so proud of you!
August 25, 2021
Merline and Meacham is proud very to announce the following four attorneys were named Best Lawyers® 2022 “Lawyer of the Year”:
David A. Merline Jr. for Litigation – ERISA; Douglas B. O’Neal for Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law; Robert E. August for Litigation and Controversy – Tax; and Thomas G. Sinclair for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.
Congratulations, David, Douglas, Bob and Thomas!
August 5, 2021
Merline & Meacham is pleased to welcome our new Paralegal, Sarah Duggan! Originally from Augusta, Georgia, Sarah has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Augusta University and a Master of Arts in Professional Communication from Clemson University. While completing Greenville Technical College’s Paralegal Program this past year, she was named the National Association of Legal Assistant’s 2021 Student of the Year. With experience in higher education and communications, Sarah is excited for the opportunity to apply her skills within the legal field. She is currently pursuing NALA’s Certified Paralegal (CP) credential. Outside of the office, Sarah enjoys ballroom dancing, cooking, and watching Clemson football. Sarah and her husband Chandler reside in Simpsonville with their French Bulldog, Schöne.
March 29, 2021
March 16, 2021
President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11. While the new law is best known for the provisions providing relief to individuals, there are also several tax breaks and financial benefits for businesses.
Here are some of the tax highlights of the ARPA.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This valuable tax credit is extended from June 30 until December 31, 2021. The ARPA continues the ERC rate of credit at 70% for this extended period of time. It also continues to allow for up to $10,000 in qualified wages for any calendar quarter. Taking into account the Consolidated Appropriations Act extension and the ARPA extension, this means an employer can potentially have up to $40,000 in qualified wages per employee through 2021.
Employer-Provided Dependent Care Assistance. In general, an eligible employee’s gross income doesn’t include amounts paid or incurred by an employer for dependent care assistance provided to the employee under a qualified dependent care assistance program (DCAP).
Previously, the amount that could be excluded from an employee’s gross income under a DCAP during a tax year wasn’t more than $5,000 ($2,500 for married individuals filing separately), subject to certain limitations. However, any contribution made by an employer to a DCAP can’t exceed the employee’s earned income or, if married, the lesser of employee’s or spouse’s earned income.
Under the ARPA, for 2021 only, the exclusion for employer-provided dependent care assistance is increased from $5,000 to $10,500 (from $2,500 to $5,250 for married individuals filing separately).
This provision is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2020.
Paid Sick and Family Leave Credits. Changes under the ARPA apply to amounts paid with respect to calendar quarters beginning after March 31, 2021. Among other changes, the law extends the paid sick time and paid family leave credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act from March 31, 2021, through September 30, 2021. It also provides that paid sick and paid family leave credits may each be increased by the employer’s share of Social Security tax (6.2%) and employer’s share of Medicare tax (1.45%) on qualified leave wages.
Grants to restaurants. Under the ARPA, eligible restaurants, food trucks, and similar businesses that provide food and drinks may receive restaurant revitalization grants from the Small Business Administration. For tax purposes, amounts received as restaurant revitalization grants aren’t included in the gross income of the person who receives the money.
These are only some of the provisions in the ARPA. There are many others that may be beneficial to your business. Contact us for more information about your situation.
December 23, 2020
Merline & Meacham, P.A. is pleased to announce that attorney Thomas G. Sinclair has joined our firm . Thomas practices in the areas of taxation, estate planning, trusts and estates, probate, employee benefits, pension and profit-sharing plans, partnership, limited liability company and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and non-profit and tax-exempt organization law. He is a certified specialist in the fields of both Taxation Law and Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Thomas is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law (Lawyer of the Year 2021 in Greenville, South Carolina), Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Nonprofit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Trust and Estates. He is also listed in Legal Elite of the Upstate in Greenville Business Magazine. Thomas earned his Master in Taxation Law Degree (LL.M.) from the New York University School of Law and his Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Thomas is a member of the Greenville County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar, the Greenville Estate Planning Council (President, 2014-2015) and the Greenville Estate Planning Study Group. Thomas and his wife, Jenna, have three children. In his spare time he enjoys coaching basketball and watching his sons play soccer.