Month: June 2016

Article of the Week: Charitable Donor-Advised Funds

In the world of charitable giving, there is a vehicle for making tax-deductible donations that the average charitable giver may not be aware of. It’s called a donor-advised fund, and it’s used primarily by the very wealthy, who want to give away large sums of money. A donor-advised fund is managed by a middleman – generally, a financial institution – that holds the donated money until it’s distributed to charities, in accordance with the donor’s wishes. The donor can take an immediate tax deduction for its contribution to the fund, but the money itself may sit in the fund...

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Trademark Bullies

A company’s intellectual property – whether it’s a patent for an invention or a trademark for a logo – is often the company’s most valuable asset. Not surprisingly then, many companies go to great lengths to protect their intellectual property and prevent others from using or abusing it. Some companies, however, have gone so far to protect their IP rights that they’ve earned themselves a nickname: “trademark bullies.” Two large US companies illustrate the behavior of trademark bullies. Under Armour, the multi-billion dollar sportswear company, has dozens of trademarks, and it’s willing to spend a lot of money to...

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Soda Taxes and Public Health

This week, Philadelphia became only the second city in the United States (after Berkeley, CA) to approve a soda tax. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages was a significant win for the tax’s advocates, considering that the soda industry spent millions of dollars lobbying and advertising against it. Prior (failed) attempts to pass a soda tax in Philadelphia focused on the public health benefits; this time, Mayor Jim Kenney pitched the idea as a way to generate an estimated $90 million in new tax revenue to pay for prekindergarten, community schools, and recreation centers. Opponents of the...

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News Brief: Expanded Authority for VA Nurses

  In the midst of the recurring scandal over the VA’s inability to provide timely medical care to veterans, the US Department of Veterans Affairs recently issued a new proposal designed to help reduce veterans’ wait times. The proposal would expand the authority of advanced practice registered nurses, allowing them to provide a greater range of primary care health care services to veterans without a doctor’s supervision. The VA says that this proposal will improve veterans’ access to health care by “expanding the pool of qualified health care professionals” who can provide care for veterans. The proposal recognizes four...

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