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Posts from February 2013.

Several recent employment cases from across the country have quite a few people recovering from shock. These cases provide some important lessons, and the amounts of money involved in each one serve as good reminders to stay on top of employment issues in your own business.

1. Vedachalam v. Tata America International Corporation, et al.

Defendant Tata American International Corp ...

Posted in General

If you have been following the development of the launch of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program, you will be interested to know that ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse is set to open on March 26, 2013. The Trademark Clearinghouse is the central location where brand owners can submit valid trademarks for ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

Despite the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 clarifying many uncertainties for the American public, it still failed to address a number of important issues, including spending cuts, the debt ceiling and tax code reform. One such issue that remains on hold is the sequester:

The sequester is a series of budget cuts that was scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, in accordance with the ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

Many tax credits are now available to the energy industry through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, and “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” has the details:

The new law extended and expanded the tax credits available for the production or investment in energy-related projects, such as those utilizing wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has made an impact on the manufacturing industry both in the form of new taxes and tax credits. Read the below excerpt from “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” to learn about the energy-efficient appliance tax credit extension:

The new law has extended the energy-efficient appliance credit that is available to manufacturers of “qualified energy ...

On July 7, 2008, Evil Enterprises, Inc. filed an intent-to-use application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark BASEBALLS EVIL EMPIRE covering a variety of clothing items. The New York Yankees Partnership successfully opposed the registration of this mark with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) claiming that, before the filing date of the application, the term “Evil Empire” came to identify the Yankees and, accordingly, the team’s merchandise. This was true despite the fact that the Yankees never actually adopted the term to describe the team, the organization or its products. Nevertheless, the club was able to prevent Evil Enterprises, Inc. from using the term “Evil Empire” through trademark law’s “public use doctrine.”

Understandably, employers are often reluctant to make adverse job decisions concerning employees after the employee has made a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination. A recent case in the Kentucky Court of Appeals demonstrates the importance of documentation and timing in these circumstances, and how they made the difference for the University of Louisville Athletic Association, Inc.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has made a big impact on the health care industry. Read the excerpt from “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” to see how the Act has affected Medicare and Medicaid:

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 averted application of the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and a 26.5 percent payment reduction for doctors. This would be the second year in a row with ...

Posted in Real Estate

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled in an opinion issued Nov. 21, 2012 that the 365/360 method of computing interest provided in a promissory note is not ambiguous and is enforceable. Under the 365/360 method, the amount of interest payable to a bank is computed by using a shorter 360-day year and not simply by using the “annual interest rate” provided in the note.

Borrowers have recently ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 2, 2013, has made several changes to federal income tax rates on individuals. Read the excerpt below from “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” to see how the legislation could affect you and your taxes:

Individuals earning income over $400,000 ($450,000 for married couples filing jointly) will see ...

Posted in Estate Planning

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has opened the door to many planning opportunities in 2013 and beyond that otherwise would have been unavailable. “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” provides an example of how the act of balancing estates could shelter a couple’s assets from excess estate taxes:

Assume that a husband and wife have $5.25 million of assets apiece in their names (a ...

After two and a half years of regulatory uncertainty, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule amending the HIPAA privacy, security, enforcement and breach notification requirements, signaling the most expansive change to HIPAA in more than a decade. The publication of the final rule now establishes the OCR’s positions on ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 created many changes to taxes for businesses. Below, read the excerpt from “The Fiscal Cliff In Depth” explaining the higher Medicare payroll tax:

In general, wages are subject to a 2.9 percent Medicare payroll tax. Workers and employers pay 1.45 percent each. Self-employed people pay both halves of the tax (but are allowed to deduct half of ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has a huge impact on businesses and business owners, many of which could realize significant tax savings. One example is the retroactive increase and extension for expensing amounts for Section 179 depreciable property:

Prior to the 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act being passed, the maximum allowable Section 179 expense for a business for the 2012 tax ...

On Jan. 25, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule amending the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy, security, enforcement and breach notification requirements, signaling the most expansive change to HIPAA in more than a decade. Compliance with these requirements, including updated Notice ...

Former presidential candidate, retired Texas congressman, and recognizable Libertarian Ron Paul has initiated formal action to overtake possession of the domain names www.ronpaul.com and www.ronpaul.org. These are presently home to self-dubbed Ron Paul fan sites. Also notable is the fact that Mr. Paul has ties to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as his son is the state’s junior U.S. senator.

Corporate taxpayers grapple each tax filing season with the rules governing Kentucky mandatory nexus consolidated corporation income tax returns.  Scant official administrative guidance is out there.  The Department’s Regulation, 103 KAR 16:200, has not been updated for the statutes now in effect.  What corporations should be included in such a consolidated return?  What corporations should be excluded?  The rules can be confusing and are quite unique to Kentucky.   

Posted in General

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This sage advice has never rung more true than it does in the context of the recent changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  On Jan. 25, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule amending the HIPAA privacy, security, enforcement and breach notification requirements, signaling the most expansive change to HIPAA in more than a decade. The final rule notes that compliance with these requirements should be in place by September 2013.

As the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues to roll out its new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program, the structure of the Trademark Clearinghouse is beginning to take shape. As has been well documented, the new gTLD program could fundamentally change the way brands and consumers interact online, as individuals and entities may register for an infinite number of new gTLDS. Currently, gTLDs are limited to the well-known .COM, .ORG, .NET, etc. (for more information on this, read my recent article, "Brand Protection Strategies in the New World Beyond .COM"). Brand owners are continuing to evaluate the opportunities and risks posed by the new gTLD program, and part of the evaluation is of the effectiveness of the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Posted in Estate Planning

One of the most basic and important estate tax planning tools is making the most of “exclusions.” While many individuals are already aware and take advantage of the tax planning benefits of the “annual exclusion,” less are aware of another valuable exclusion: a qualified gift of medical expenses.

Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP is proud to be the presenting sponsor for the 11th Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference held by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. This conference will have the latest information on Kentucky and federal environmental policies and regulations, as well as information on new environmental compliance mandates. Attendees will gain insight into the major environmental and regulatory issues that affect Kentucky facilities and will have the opportunity to hear several Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP professionals speak at the conference.

Posted in General

Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP partner Andy Gruber was on this week’s episode of “Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.” Andy participated in the panel segment “The INsiders” where he discussed the city-county council approving tax increases for tickets and rental cars, the House committee’s advancement of the mass transit bill where voters would decide on future ...

Posted in General
Posted in General

Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP partner Matt Troyer is currently featured as the February 2013 cover story in the atGeist.com Geist Community Newsletter for his community involvement. A current Geist and lifelong Hamilton County resident, Troyer has been involved with community organizations for a number of years and currently serves as president of the Geist Half Marathon, Inc.

Posted in Estate Planning

One of the most basic and important estate tax planning tools is making the most of “exclusions.” While many individuals are already aware and take advantage of the tax planning benefits of the “annual exclusion,” less are aware of another valuable exclusion: a qualified gift of tuition.

What are exclusions?

Exclusions are gifts that are not taxable, nor charged against the ...

As an environmental attorney, I’m certainly looking forward to speaking at the upcoming 22nd Annual Business and Industry’s Sustainability and Environmental, Health & Safety Symposium with my colleague. This two-day symposium will cover sustainability and environmental, health and safety developments and best practices, as well as provide attendees ample opportunities ...

Posted in Womens Forum

It’s no secret that the Bingham Greenebaum Doll Women’s Forum has been supporting the Junior League of Indianapolis for years. It’s also no secret that the Women’s Forum has made its participation in the JLI’s Holiday Mart Shopper’s Eve its signature event. Since 2008, the Women’s Forum has been partnering with the JLI by holding a client entertainment and networking event in conjunction with Shopper’s Eve. Every year, the event has grown in both size and popularity. I for one am already looking forward to next year’s event!

Can your family benefit from annual gifts, gifts of tuition or gifts of medical expenses? Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act that was passed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, the federal gift and estate tax exemption was set at $5.25 million for 2013, indexed to increase with inflation thereafter. In simplified terms, this means that an individual can make gifts during life, added together with bequests made at death, up to the exemption amount without triggering any federal gift or estate taxes. However, all lifetime gifts plus bequests-at-death that exceed the exemption amount will be taxed at 40 percent

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