Client Alert/Reminder: Form W-2 Reporting Due for Employer-Provided 
Health Care / Disclosure Due to CMS for Medicare Part D

Upcoming Deadlines: (1) Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Provided Health Coverage; and (2) Medicare Part D Notices to CMS

Reminder: Form W-2 Reporting on Aggregate Cost of Employer Sponsored Coverage

Unless subject to an exemption, employers must report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health coverage provided in 2023 on their employees’ Form W-2 (Code DD in Box 12) issued in January 2024. Please see IRS Notice 2012-09.

The following IRS link is helpful and includes a chart setting forth various types of coverage and whether reporting is required; see here.

Please note this is a summary only and Notice 2012-09 should also be consulted. The IRS has issued questions and answers regarding reporting the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, which can be found here.

If you have questions regarding whether you or your particular benefits are subject to reporting, please feel free to contact us.

Deadline Coming Up for Calendar Year Plans to Submit Medicare Part D Notice to CMS

As you know, group health plans offering prescription drug coverage are required to disclose to all Part D-eligible individuals who are enrolled in or were seeking to enroll in the group health plan coverage whether such coverage was “actuarially equivalent,” i.e., creditable. (Coverage is creditable if its actuarial value equals or exceeds the actuarial value of standard prescription drug coverage under Part D). This notice is required to be provided to all Part D eligible persons, including active employees, retirees, spouses, dependents and COBRA qualified beneficiaries.

The regulations also require group health plan sponsors with Part D eligible individuals to submit a similar notice to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). Specifically, employers must electronically file these notices each year through the form supplied on the CMS website.

The filing deadline is 60 days following the first day of the plan year. If you operate a calendar year plan, the deadline is the end of February. If you operate a non-calendar year plan, please be sure to keep track of your deadline.

At a minimum, the Disclosure to CMS Form must be provided to CMS annually and upon the occurrence of certain other events including:

    1. Within 60 days after the beginning date of the plan year for which disclosure is provided;
    2. Within 30 days after termination of the prescription drug plan; and
    3. Within 30 days after any change in creditable status of the prescription drug plan.

The Disclosure to CMS Form must be completed online at the CMS Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS Form web page found here.

    1. The online process is composed of the following three step process: Enter the Disclosure Information;
    2. Verify and Submit Disclosure Information; and
    3. Receive Submission Confirmation.

The Disclosure to CMS Form requires employers to provide detailed information to CMS including but not limited to, the name of the entity offering coverage, whether the entity has any subsidiaries, the number of benefit options offered, the creditable coverage status of the options offered, the period covered by the Disclosure to CMS Form, the number of Part D eligible individuals, the date of the notice of creditable coverage, and any change in creditable coverage status.

For more information about this disclosure requirement (including instructions for submitting the notice), please see the CMS website for updated guidance found here.

As with the Part D Notices to Part D Medicare-eligible individuals, while nothing in the regulations prevents a third-party from submitting the notices (such as a TPA or insurer), ultimate responsibility falls on the plan sponsor.

This email serves solely as a general summary of the Form W-2 reporting requirements and CMS disclosure for Medicare Part D.


Robert D. Burgee is an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock with over a decade of experience counseling clients with a focus on corporate structures and compliance, licensing, contracts, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and a host of other matters related to the operation of small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. You can reach him at 517.377.0848 or at bburgee@fraserlawfirm.com.


Attorney Sharon GoldzweigSharon Goldzweig is Of Counsel at Fraser Trebilcock, specializing in matters pertaining to employee health and welfare benefits. In a field where the laws are constantly changing, Sharon is constantly looking out for anything that might involve her clients including changes to ERISA and other federal laws. She can be reached at sgoldzweig@fraserlawfirm.com, or at 718.808.5140.

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – November 17, 2023

  1. Withdrawing Your Employee Retention Credit Claim: Navigating the New IRS Process

The ERC is a refundable tax credit intended for businesses that kept employees on their payroll while facing economic hardships caused by the pandemic. However, not long after its introduction, issues surfaced. Some businesses, influenced by the aggressive marketing of ERC promoters, have filed claims without fully meeting the eligibility criteria, leading to a slew of inaccurate claims.

Why it Matters: In order to provide a safe harbor to those entities that may have filed such false or inaccurate claims, the IRS has established a new withdrawal process. This measure is designed to aid businesses in re-evaluating the accuracy of their ERC claims and wish to avoid the penalties and other complications of incorrect filings. Learn more from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

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  1. CRA Suspends Licenses of Medical and Adult-Use Marijuana Processor

On November 15, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) suspended the medical and adult-use marijuana processor licenses of Michigan Investments 10, Inc, after it was determined that both businesses violated various administrative rules.

Why it Matters: After onsite inspections and reviews of the statewide monitoring system (Metrc) data, the CRA discovered that the businesses incorrectly entered data into the monitoring system and failed to properly track large quantities of product as well as other violations.

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  1. CRA Publishes October 2023 Data: Average Price Hovers

Per data released by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA), the average retail price for adult-use sales of an ounce of cannabis in October was $97.62, a decrease from $100.14 in September. This is still a decrease from October 2022, where the average price was $102.65.

Why it Matters: While the prices of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to decrease and make consumers happy, growers on the other hand are seeing profits decrease resulting in them seeking ways to halt new licenses to be granted in an effort to steady prices. Contact our cannabis law attorneys if you have any questions.

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  1. Package of Clean Energy Bills Head to Governor’s Whitmer’s Desk

A package of bills, including one that would require companies to make 100% of their energy through renewables such as solar and wind by 2040, and also seeks to reduce energy waste, among other objectives, is on its way to Governor Whitmer’s desk for signature after passing both the Senate and House.

Why it Matters: Clean energy legislation is a major priority for Michigan Democrats but is opposed by Republicans and has received pushback from many business groups, who argue the legislation would increase energy costs.

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  1. Corporate Transparency Act Takes Effect January 1, 2024

The federal Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) takes effect on January 1, 2024. It will require many companies, including small businesses, to report certain beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is a division of the Treasury Department. We previously summarized key aspects of the CTA in a post on our blog, which you can find here.

Why it Matters: Willful failure to file an initial or updated report with FinCEN is subject to a $500/day fine (up to $10,000) and imprisonment for up to two years. If you have any questions about your compliance obligations, filing deadlines, or any other questions, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Business & Tax | Robert Burgee
Business & Tax | Paul McCord
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication | Sean Gallagher

Withdrawing Your Employee Retention Credit Claim: Navigating the New IRS Process

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was seen as financial lifeline for many businesses who were faced with government-mandated shutdowns and significant revenue losses. However, clouded by the prospect of lucrative government benefits and a confusing set of requirements, many employers filed inaccurate, maybe even false claims – often as a result of aggressive marketing tactics. In order to provide a safe harbor to those entities that may have filed such false or inaccurate claims, the IRS has established a new withdrawal process. This measure is designed to aid businesses in re-evaluating the accuracy of their ERC claims and wish to avoid the penalties and other complications of incorrect filings.

Background on the ERC and Emerging Problems

The ERC is a refundable tax credit intended for businesses that kept employees on their payroll while facing economic hardships caused by the pandemic. However, not long after its introduction, issues surfaced. Some businesses, influenced by the aggressive marketing of ERC promoters, have filed claims without fully meeting the eligibility criteria, leading to a slew of inaccurate claims. Even in the months and years since the effects of the pandemic have subsided, these promoters continue with their aggressive marketing on TV, radio, spam emails and robocalls.

The IRS reports approximately 3.6 million claims have been made, and the process has been marred by concerns over compliance. Earlier this year the IRS included the ERC on it “Dirty Dozen” list – a list of the worst tax scams for businesses and individuals to be aware of. The IRS has become increasingly concerned by the growing number of illegitimate claims and messaging pushed by some promoters claiming, “anyone can qualify.” Consequently, in September 2023, the IRS imposed a moratorium on processing new ERC claims, and has initiated an intense audit process, with hundreds of criminal investigations targeting dubious filings and deceptive promoters. As a safeguard, a withdrawal process has been introduced, allowing employers to retract improperly filed claims before they lead to unwanted IRS scrutiny.

Understanding the Withdrawal Process

The withdrawal option provides a potential escape hatch for those who suspect their claim may not withstand IRS review. If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your ERC claim, here’s what you need to know about withdrawing it:

  1. Who Can Withdraw a Claim?

The ERC claim withdrawal instructions are available here. In general, you can use the withdrawal process if you:

  • Filed an adjusted employment return (Forms 941-X, 943-X, 944-X, CT-1X) solely to claim the ERC.
  • Have not received an ERCrefund check
  • Have not received a refund check but have been notified that you are under audit.
  • Received a refund check but have not cashed or deposited it.
  • Wish to withdraw the entire ERC claim.
  1. How to Withdraw a Claim

The IRS has established the steps necessary to withdraw a claim. Again, it’s important to carefully follow IRS instructions, which are summarized below:

  • Your Payroll Company Filed the Claim: If a payroll company filed your claim, consult them first. They might need to handle the withdrawal for you.
  • You Filed the Claim Yourself: If you filed the claim yourself and haven’t received a refund or been notified of an audit, you can fax your withdrawal request to the IRS using their special fax line. If faxing isn’t an option, mail your request. Be aware that mailing will result in slower processing.
  • Under Audit?: If you’ve been notified that your claim is under audit, you should send your withdrawal request directly to the assigned examiner, or respond to the audit notice if no examiner has been assigned.
  • Received a Refund Check?: If you have the refund check but haven’t cashed or deposited it, mail the voided check along with your withdrawal request using the instructions at gov/withdrawmyerc.

Avoiding Penalties and Interest

By withdrawing your claim, you can prevent future repayment demands, interest, and penalties. Essentially, the claim is treated as if it was never filed. It’s crucial to note, however, that this does not apply to fraudulent claims. If you willingly filed a false claim, withdrawal would not protect you from possible criminal prosecution.

Guidance for Those Who Received Payments

The IRS is also working on guidelines to assist employers who were misled into claiming the ERC and have already received the payment. The IRS anticipates that these details will be available this fall.

Conclusion

Navigating the ERC claims process can be daunting, especially amidst the backdrop of aggressive marketing and the risk of inaccurate filings. The IRS’s new withdrawal option provides a safety net for businesses that wish to avoid the pitfalls of a potentially erroneous claim. If you have any questions, or require assistance, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

This alert serves as a general summary and does not constitute legal guidance. Please contact us with any specific questions.


Robert D. Burgee is an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock with over a decade of experience counseling clients with a focus on corporate structures and compliance, licensing, contracts, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and a host of other matters related to the operation of small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. You can reach him at 517.377.0848 or at bburgee@fraserlawfirm.com.


Headshot of Fraser Trebilcock attorney Paul V. McCordFraser Trebilcock attorney Paul V. McCord has more than 20 years of tax litigation experience, including serving as a clerk on the U.S. Tax Court and as a judge of the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Paul has represented clients before the IRS, Michigan Department of Treasury, other state revenue departments and local units of government. He can be contacted at 517.377.0861 or pmccord@fraserlawfirm.com.

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – June 9, 2023

  1. Michigan House Approves Bills to Protect Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims

The Michigan House of Representatives, in bipartisan fashion, voted on June 7 to approve a series of bills that aims to increase support services and add privacy protections for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual assault. For example, House Bill 4421 would allow photos and videos of crime victims to be blurred if they are viewable in court proceedings that are made public.

Why it Matters: Lawmakers who introduced the bills argue that the legislation will increase access to support services for domestic and sexual violence victims, and also will protect their privacy and shielding them from additional harassment.

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  1. Michigan Cannabis Sales Exceed $245 Million in May

Cannabis sales surpassed $245 million in May, via the monthly report from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Michigan adult-use sales came in at $238,867,535.00, while medical sales came in at $7,051,723.96, altogether totaling $245,919,258.96.

Why it Matters: Marijuana sales remain strong in Michigan, particularly for recreational use. However, there still are significant concerns about profitability and market over-saturation that the industry is contending with.

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  1. Client Alert: IRS Announces 2024 Adjustments for HSAs & Excepted Benefit HRAs

The IRS has released its 2024 annual inflation adjustments for Health Savings Accounts (“HSAs”) as determined under Section 223 of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, IRS Revenue Procedure 2023-23 provides the adjusted limits for contributions to a HSA, as well as the high deductible health plan (“HDHP”) minimums and maximums for calendar year 2024.

Why it Matters: HSA contributions for an individual will increase in 2024 to $4,150 from $3,850 in 2023, and the minimum deductible on a HDHP for an individual will increase to $1,600 in 2024 from $1,500 in 2023. Read more from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

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  1. NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Non-Competes

On May 30, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo that non-compete provisions in employment contracts and severance agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act except in limited circumstances.

Why it Matters: The memo details that non-compete agreements hinder the ability of the employee from exercising their rights to take collective action to improve their working conditions, making these non-competes unlawful under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

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  1. Anti-Distracted Driving Laws Enforced June 30

Beginning June 30, Michigan motorists will be prohibited from using any mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, even if at a stop sign or red light. This includes sending/receiving texts, accessing social media, or recording videos.

Why it Matters: First time offenders will face a $100 fine and/or 16 hours of community service, in addition to one point being added to the individual’s driving record. Penalties will increase for repeated violations, and on the third offense, individuals may be required to take a drivers improvement course.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Employee Benefits | Robert Burgee
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | Dave Houston

Client Alert: IRS Announces 2024 Adjustments for HSAs & Excepted Benefit HRAs

The IRS has released its 2024 annual inflation adjustments for Health Savings Accounts (“HSAs”) as determined under Section 223 of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, IRS Revenue Procedure 2023-23 provides the adjusted limits for contributions to a HSA, as well as the high deductible health plan (“HDHP”) minimums and maximums for calendar year 2024.

Additionally, Revenue Procedure 2023-23 sets forth the maximum amount that may be made newly available for excepted-benefit health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”) as provided under 26 CFR 54.9831-1(c)(3)(viii).

The 2024 HSA/HDHP limits are as follows:

  • Annual Contribution Limit
    • Single Coverage: $4,150
    • Family Coverage: $8,300
  • HDHP-Minimum Deductible
    • Single Coverage: $1,600
    • Family Coverage: $3,200
  • HDHP-Maximum Annual Out-of-Pocket Expenses (including deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not including premiums)
    • Single Coverage: $8,050
    • Family Coverage: $16,100
  • The catch-up contribution for eligible individuals age 55 or older by year end remains at $1,000.

Plans and related documentation, including employee communications, should be updated to reflect these new limits which are effective for calendar year 2024.

As always, please keep in mind that participation in a health FSA (or any other non-HDHP) will result in HSA ineligibility, unless the health FSA is limited to: (1) limited-scope dental or vision excepted benefits; and/or (2) post-deductible expenses.

The 2024 EBHRA limit is as follows:

The maximum amount that may be made newly available for the plan year for an excepted benefit HRA (“EBHRA) is $2,100. This amount is effective for plan years beginning in 2024.

If you have any questions about these products or would like assistance with updating documentation or employee communications, feel free to contact us.

As you are aware, the law and guidance are rapidly evolving in this area. Please check with your Fraser Trebilcock attorney for the most recent updates.

This alert serves as a general summary and does not constitute legal guidance. Please contact us with any specific questions.


Robert D. Burgee is an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock with over a decade of experience counseling clients with a focus on corporate structures and compliance, licensing, contracts, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and a host of other matters related to the operation of small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. You can reach him at 517.377.0848 or at bburgee@fraserlawfirm.com.

Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – January 6, 2023

  1. The Federal “Speak Out Act” Takes Effect

The Speak Out Act took effect on December 7, 2022, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute agreements that contain nondisclosure clauses or non-disparagement clauses that would have the effect of silencing employees concerning claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

Why it Matters: Requiring employees to sign such agreements is now a violation of federal law. Employers should review their current employee confidentiality agreements and revise them as necessary, keeping in mind that many state laws also limit what terms can be included in an NDA or similar agreements.

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  1. IRS Announces 2023 Standard Mileage Rates

The IRS announced the 2023 standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the rate for business use is 65.5 cents per mile, an increase of 3 cents from the 2022 midyear rate.

Why it Matters: Self-employed individuals who operate an automobile for business use, as well as employers who reimburse employees who use their own vehicles to conduct business, should take note of these changes.

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  1. FTC Proposes Rules Banning Noncompete Agreements for Workers

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a proposed rule that would effectively ban the use of non-compete clauses in most employment agreements. The FTC’s guidance in proposing the rule says that 1-in-5 American workers are bound by some form of non-compete clause or agreement.

Why it Matters: These regulations (if adopted) will have wide-ranging impacts across many sectors of the economy. Employers should keep a close eye on these rules and be prepared to amend or revise their employment agreements accordingly.

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  1. Fed Issues Final LIBOR Replacement Rule

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced that the U.S. dollar LIBOR will cease after June 30, 2023. On December 16, 2022, the Federal Reserve Board issued its final rule governing the replacement of LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark.

Why it Matters: The final rule is complex. Businesses using LIBOR as a benchmark or index should make note of this upcoming change. Fraser Trebilcock attorneys will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. Contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorneys if you have any questions.

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  1. Estate and Lifetime Gift Tax Exemption Update

Per the IRS, the 2023 Estate and Lifetime Gift Tax Exemption has increased from $12.06 million to $12.92 million. Additionally, the use of electronic signatures for Estate and Gift Tax forms has been extended to October 31, 2023.

Why it Matters: Individuals should take note of the increase in 2023 and plan accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock estate planning attorney.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | Aaron Davis
Business & Tax | Mark Kellogg
Business & Tax | Robert Burgee
Business & Tax | Norb Madison
Trusts & Estates | Marlaine Teahan

Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – November 18, 2022

  1. Proposed Modifications to Michigan Court Rules Seek to Make Pandemic-Inspired Changes Permanent, Making it Harder to Evict Tenants

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s court rules related to landlord-tenant eviction procedures were modified in some ways to utilize video conferencing and to make certain proceedings more efficient, and modified in other ways that made it more difficult for landlords to evict residential and commercial tenants.

Why it Matters: Pursuant to recently proposed amendments to Michigan Court Rule 4.201, Michigan’s State Court Administrative Office has taken steps to make many pandemic-era changes to minimize evictions permanent. Some of the proposed rules are allowing a judge to adjourn trial for at least seven days if a default judgment is not entered, and staying an eviction case if a tenant has applied for rent assistance. Learn more from our Fraser Trebilcock real estate attorneys on the matter.

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  1. Michigan Small Business Growth Remains Strong

According to a recent report from the small Business Association of Michigan, Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy continues to grow. Among other things, SBAM’s Entrepreneurship Score Card shows that Michigan small businesses have outperformed U.S. averages in terms of the percentages of businesses being opened and revenue.

Why it Matters: Small businesses have always been the backbone of economic growth in Michigan and across the country. This report highlights the resilience of Michigan entrepreneurial economy.

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  1. Business Planning for the Future

A lot of small-to-medium size businesses devote time and focus on their near-term future but may not think of what 5-10 years will bring. The value of a business can often be in the ability to transition it to a new owner, but some business owners are unsure how to set themselves up to be successful in this arena.

Why it Matters: Capitalizing on the ability to plan for the long-term will aid your business in any transitions that may occur. Learn more here.

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  1. CRA Issues Michigan Consumer Advisory

Earlier this week, CRA issued a bulletin giving notice to consumers that a marijuana business that operates as both a state-licensed medical and adult-use recreational, Green Culture, sold unregulated products that may have contained several contaminants, such as mold and/or bacteria.

Why it Matters: Following the investigation, the CRA suspended both of Green Culture’s licenses. Marijuana businesses should heed this as a warning, the CRA are cracking down on businesses that do not follow the strict guidelines and rules laid out by the state agency.

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  1. IRS Announces 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Retirement and Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced 2023 cost-of-living adjustments for retirement and health and welfare benefit plans. The significant adjustments reflect the increase in inflation over the last year. The adjustments are detailed in IRS Notice 2022-55. For example, the contribution limit for a Simple 401(k) will increase to $15,500 in 2023 from $14,000 in 2022, and for a Health FSA, limits will increase to $3,050 in 2023 from $2,850 in 2022.

Why it Matters: Business owners and employers should be aware of these adjustments and share this information with employees as we approach the new year. If you have any questions regarding these adjustments, please contact our Employee Benefits team.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Real Estate | Jared Roberts
Business & Tax | Mark Kellogg
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Employee Benefits | Robert Burgee

Now is the Time to Optimize Your Tax-Planning Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

With year-end quickly approaching, reducing taxes is on many people’s minds. It’s been a tumultuous few years, with many changes to people’s individual circumstances and tax laws at state and federal levels. Now is the time to focus on your year-end taxes and engage in estate and income tax planning opportunities.

At Fraser Trebilcock, our tax attorneys have made sure you don’t have to start your preparations from scratch with year-end tax considerations.

Estate and Gift Tax Planning

The IRS recently announced that, due to inflation, the estate tax exemption will be increased to $12.92 million for individuals in 2023 ($25.84 million for married couples), up from $12.06 million in 2022. Currently, the lifetime gift tax exemption amount tracks the federal estate tax exemption for decedents of $12.06 million (and $12.92 for 2023). Keep in mind, however, that the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption amount is set to be cut in half at the start of 2026.

If you’re thinking about beginning an annual gifting program, or want to continue a program you’ve already started, there are some things you should know. From an estate and gift tax planning perspective, the most commonly used method for tax-free giving is the annual gift tax exclusion. This method allows you to give up to $16,000 for 2022 (increasing to $17,000 in 2023) to each donee, without reducing your estate and lifetime gift tax exclusion amount. It’s also important to note that there is no limit to the number of people to whom you may make such gifts, and that the annual gift tax exclusion is applied on a per-donee basis.

Additionally, you and your spouse could choose to combine your exemptions into a single gift from either of you. By sharing in the gift of one spouse, married donors may double the amount of the exclusion to $32,000 in 2022, or $34,000 next year. This method of transfer could help you save family income taxes, where income-earning property is given to family members in lower income tax brackets, who are not subject to the “kiddie tax.”

Have children in college? Qualifying tuition payments may also be made or continued, in addition to medical payments. These amounts do not count against the annual exclusion limit.

Another thing to remember is that if you’re required to submit a written valuation in connection with your annual gifting program, you might be able to utilize a single valuation, for gifts made in December of 2022 and January of 2023.

Income Tax Planning

Since we know that everyone would love to potentially reduce their overall tax liability for 2022, it’s important to consider various income tax planning techniques before years’ end. When evaluating appropriate planning techniques, you should review the overall impact of any such planning for the two-year period of 2022 and 2023.

Traditional income tax planning options include the postponement of income until 2023, as well as accelerating deductions into 2022. This strategy might allow you to claim larger deductions, credits, and other tax breaks for 2022 that are phased out over varying levels of adjusted gross income (AGI). If there’s a chance you might be in a lower tax bracket next year, it may be advantageous to try to arrange with your employer to defer a bonus that you may be entitled to until 2023.

With regard to accelerating deductions, consider using a credit card to pay deductible expenses before the end of the year, including charitable contributions. This can increase your 2022 deductions, even if you don’t pay your credit card until after the end of the year. If you expect to owe state and local income taxes when filing your return next year, consider asking your employer to increase withholding of state and local taxes (or pay estimated tax payments of state and local taxes) before the end of the year, so that you might deduct those taxes for 2022.

Other common elements of income tax planning may also include selling capital assets (such as stock investments) for the purpose of generating a capital loss to offset any capital gains that you have already realized for the year. When considering year-end tax planning moves, it is also important to take into account the potential impact of such planning on the alternative minimum tax for 2022, so be sure to consult with your tax attorney.

If you’re on the higher end of income earners, be wary of the additional 0.9% Medicare tax that applies to individuals receiving wages with respect to employment in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly and $125,000 for married couples filing separately).

Retirement Planning for 2022

It’s never the wrong time to put a little extra focus on your retirement planning, especially towards the end of the year as tax-saving opportunities continue. As a taxpayer, you still have the ability to convert funds in a traditional IRA (including SEPs and SIMPLE IRAs), §401(a) qualified retirement plans, §403(b) tax-sheltered annuities or §457 government plans into a Roth IRA. You also might want to consider converting money which is currently invested in depressed stocks (or mutual funds) into a Roth IRA if you are eligible to do so.

These are just a few of the year-end tax planning considerations that you can make before the calendar turns to 2023, so make sure to consider your options while you still have time. And don’t forget that your taxpayer circumstances are unique, so not all of these suggestions will benefit everyone. To ensure that your specific needs are considered, discuss any techniques with a qualified tax advisor before making any changes.

This alert serves as a general summary, and does not constitute legal guidance. Please contact us with any specific questions.


Attorney Elizabeth M. Siefker

Elizabeth M. Siefker is an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock in the trusts and estates practice group focusing on estate planning, elder law, and business planning. You can reach her at esiefker@fraserlawfirm.com, or at 517.377.0801.

Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – November 4, 2022

  1. IRS Announces 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Retirement and Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced 2023 cost-of-living adjustments for retirement and health and welfare benefit plans. The significant adjustments reflect the increase in inflation over the last year. The adjustments are detailed in IRS Notice 2022-55. For example, the contribution limit for a Simple 401(k) will increase to $15,500 in 2023 from $14,000 in 2022, and for a Health FSA, limits will increase to $3,050 in 2023 from $2,850 in 2022.

Why it Matters: Business owners and employers should be aware of these adjustments and share this information with employees as we approach the new year. If you have any questions regarding these adjustments, please contact our Employee Benefits team.

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  1. Viridis North, LLC Can Proceed with Lawsuit Against CRA

In November 2021, the CRA (formerly known as the MRA), issued its largest ever marijuana recall because of concerns over safety tests conducted by two companies, Viridis Laboratories, LLC, and Viridis North, LLC. These two companies filed a lawsuit against four individuals who were employed by the CRA in their individual capacities. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney granted an order in part motion to dismiss all claims alleged by Viridis Laboratories, LLC, and Viridis North, LLC, except for, “Plaintiff Viridis North’s claim for violation of its substantive due process rights.” Viridis Labs. v. Kluytman, 1:22-cv-283, 12(W.D. Mich. Oct. 27, 2022).

Why it Matters: The decision by the Court allows Viridis North LLC to proceed with its lawsuit in determining whether or not there was a violation of their substantive due process rights stemming from the November 2021 marijuana recall. Fraser Trebilcock attorneys will monitor the situation as developments continue.

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  1. Year End Gift Tax Planning Perspective

If you’re thinking about beginning an annual gifting program, or want to continue a program you’ve already started, there are some things you should know. From an estate and gift tax planning perspective, the most commonly used method for tax-free giving is the annual gift tax exclusion. This method allows you to give up to $16,000 for 2022 (increasing to $17,000 in 2023) to each donee.

Why it Matters: The method allows you to give up $16,000 without reducing your estate and lifetime gift tax exclusion amount. It’s also important to note that there is no limit to the number of people to whom you may make such gifts, and that the annual gift tax exclusion is applied on a per-donee basis.

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  1. Department of Labor Issues New Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would change the standard for analyzing a worker’s classification as either an employee or independent contractor.

Why it Matters: Employers who misclassify employees can face severe financial consequences. That’s why it is important that organizations remain diligent in analyzing their workers’ classifications. Learn more on the subject.

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  1. EV Company Relocating to MI Recipient of Funds from MSF

A Utah-based electric vehicle company that is set to relocate their headquarters to southeastern Michigan, received a $2.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to aid in the move.

Why it Matters: Officials in Michigan have been working hard to grow Michigan’s economy, and these programs are an incentive for businesses that are looking to relocate or expand their footprint in the state.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Employee Benefits | Robert Burgee
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Trusts & Estates | Elizabeth Siefker
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications | Michael Ashton

Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – June 17, 2022

Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – June 17, 2022; Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Insights


  1.  Court of Appeals Considers Arguments in Significant No-Fault Case

An important case involving Michigan’s auto no-fault law is before the Michigan Court of Appeals. The dispute in the case of Andary, et al v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, et al is focused on whether the no-fault reforms passed in 2019 apply retroactively for people injured before the law was passed. The plaintiffs in the case argue that retroactive application is unconstitutional.

Why it Matters: The circuit court in this case sided with insurers. To the extent that the appellate court reverses in favor of plaintiffs, it could create considerable uncertainty in the no-fault insurance marketplace in Michigan.

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Blocks Republican Candidates for Governor from Ballot

The Michigan Supreme Court recently denied requests by three Republican candidates for governor to be placed on the primary ballot, after state election officials ruled that their campaigns had submitted forged signatures. Fraser Trebilcock election law attorney Garett Koger was quoted by The New York Times in an article discussing the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision.

Why it Matters: The Republican primary for governor has been chaotic, to say the least. Five of ten candidates have now been removed from the primary ballot. Candidate Ryan Kelley was arrested by federal agents this week and charged with four misdemeanors related to his alleged attendance at last year’s U.S. Capitol riot. And former Detroit police chief James Craig announced that he is mounting a write in campaign for the August 2 primary. These different scenarios all highlight the need for experienced election law counsel.

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  1. IRS Does Rare Mid-Year Adjustment to Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it has increased the 2022 mileage rates for the last six months of the year in response to high gasoline prices, including rates for business travel, deductible medical or moving expenses, and deduction for charitable contributions. Learn more about the new mileage rates here.

Why it Matters: Midyear increases in mileage rates are rare. Accordingly, self-employed individuals who operate an automobile for business use, as well as employers who reimburse employees who use their own vehicles to conduct business, should take note of the changes.

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  1. New Education and Information Requirements for Michigan Schools

New legislation was recently enacted requiring schools to provide informational materials on post-secondary education options. The Michigan Department of Education must create informational packets, including information about Advanced Placement programs, all public universities and community colleges in the state, and student loans and tuition assistance, that will be distributed to all students in 8th to 12th grades each year. In addition, by overwhelming margins, the Michigan House and Senate recently passed legislation that would mandate personal finance education at the high school level.

Why it Matters: To remain economically competitive, it is important that Michigan continues to focus on having a well-educated workforce in order to attract and retain employers.

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  1. City of Detroit Faces Lawsuits Over Adult-Use Recreational Licenses

JARS Cannabis and House of Dank, two companies that own medical marijuana dispensaries licensed in Detroit, are suing the City of Detroit over the revised ordinance claiming that the new law would signal the end for existing medical marijuana facilities already in the area. The two companies pointed to a provision in the revised ordinance that prevents existing medical facilities in the area from getting a recreational license until 2027.

Why it Matters: State law mandates that municipalities cannot adopt “unreasonably impracticable” adult-use cannabis ordinances. As the City of Detroit faces multiple lawsuits over their revised ordinance, other municipalities may face the same issue.


Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Insurance Defense | Emily Vanderlaan

Election Law | Garett Koger

Business & Tax | Liz Siefker

Cannabis | Klint Kesto