Changes to Nebraska ATV & UTV Sales Tax Take Effect October 1

Under a new law taking effect October 1, 2014, Nebraska ATV and UTV dealers will no longer be responsible for collecting sales tax on sales of ATVs and UTVs. Instead, the seller must furnish the buyer with a Nebraska Sales and Use Tax Statement for ATV and UTV Sales (Form 6ATV). The seller will then mail copies of the Form 6ATV to the Nebraska Department of Revenue with its sales and use tax returns.

The new forms may be ordered from the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s website. ATV and UTV dealers should also be aware that various exceptions apply to this requirement, such as when ATVs or UTVs are delivered to a common carrier outside of the state. ATV and UTV dealers should take time to familiarize themselves with the new requirements before they take effect on October 1.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Sales and Use Tax

IRS Requires Power of Attorney for Business Employees to Communicate

By Mary E. Vandenack.

Circular 230 provides details as to dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on all matters. One of the issues addressed is who may communicate and correspond with the IRS. If a corporate employee is simply providing and receiving information, then a Form 4764 is sufficient to authorize the employee to communicate with the IRS. If a corporation wants to allow a specific employee to negotiate, advocate, or dispute issues with the IRS, a Form  2848 designating that employee must be filed.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Business Taxation, Employment Tax, International Tax

Auburn and Nemaha County in Nebraska Designated SBA HUBZone

Small businesses in Auburn and Nemaha County will receive advantages in bidding on federal contracts starting October 1. The SBA has designated Nemaha County as an Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). The benefits associated with being a HUBZone-certified business include:

  • Competitive bidding preferences;
  • A 10% price evaluation preference in open contract competitions; and
  • Additional subcontracting opportunities.

To take advantage of being located in a HUBZone, small businesses must become HUBZone-certified. Small businesses in Auburn and Nemaha County should explore the process of HUBZone certification and explore federal contracting opportunities available to them.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Business Finance

Can My Competitors Use My Business Name in Their Keyword Advertising?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

I would like to tell you that the answer to this question is no, they can never use your name but that is just not the truth. Some of the questions here come down to what have you done to protect your name? If you have obtained a federal trademark in your name, it makes it a lot easier for you to stop other people from using it. Where do you use your name? If you have a federal trademark, the law says you are using it in all 50 states. If you don’t have a federal trademark and you are only doing business in one state, you might have a competitor in an adjoining state that could legally use your name in their advertising.

It is really important to make sure that you have the right legal protections for your business name and all of your intellectual property when running your business.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Intellectual Property

What Is Trademark Infringement?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

Put simply, trademark infringement is when you use somebody else’s trademark; however, it is really a lot more complex than that. If you use any mark or symbol to identify your goods and that confuses customers as to whether or not you might be associated with someone else’s goods. There are a lot of examples of this in industry, but basically, you cannot take a word and change how it is spelled or use a phonetically similar word to trade on the value of the other mark for your benefit. If you do that, you are infringing that other person’s rights and they have the right to not only stop you, but to potentially take the profits of your business that you gained from using that mark, for their own benefit.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Trade Names

Is Federal Trademark Registration Valid Outside the United States?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

If you obtain a federal trademark within the United States with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it will apply to anybody that wants to do business within the United States. So a foreign company that wants to come to your state or to the U.S. and do business, yes, it applies to them.

What it doesn’t do is it doesn’t stop people in another country from using your trademark. If you do business outside of the United States or if you do business on the internet with people in foreign countries, you really have to consider whether you need to obtain a trademark in those countries, or whether you have to seek what is called Madrid Protocol protection, which is something akin to a treaty between several different countries that will extend your U.S. trademark protection to those countries.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Trade Names

Changes to Local Sales and Use Tax Rates in Nebraska

By Joshua A. Diveley.

The Nebraska Department of Revenue has issued a reminder that the following local sales and use rates will change effective October 1, 2014:

  • Fairfield will impose a new 1% local sales and use tax.
  • Atkinson will increase its local tax rate to 1.5%.
  • Hickman will impose a new 1.5% local sales and use tax.
  • La Vista will increase its local rate to 2%.

The release can be viewed on the department’s website by clicking here.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Sales and Use Tax

Should I Spend the Money to Get a Trademark For My Business?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

Whether you should buy a trademark for your business really depends on where you do business at. There are federal trademarks and a federal trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and that gives you rights in all 50 states. You can only get a federal trademark if you actually use your mark in more than one state. So, if you are only doing business in one state, one city, on locality, then you should look at whether you can obtain a state trademark.

The benefits of obtaining trademark protection, either federal or state, is that it makes it easier to stop other people from using your brand, your business name or whatever your mark might be. If you don’t register it, you still do have some level of protection; however, I can honestly say that obtaining a trademark is usually a fairly inexpensive process and the benefits you get from those statutory rights usually far outweigh the cost of obtaining the mark.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Trade Names

What Is a Trademark?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Joshua A. Diveley.

A trademark is any kind of name, symbol or sign that is used to identify the source of a good. A common example would be Nike or the Nike swoosh. As soon as somebody sees the Nike symbol or a Nike swoosh in the store or on a pair of shoes, they are going to identify it with the Nike Corporation and that is going to be the way to identify that that is the source of the product.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Trade Names

Pregnancy Discrimination: The EEOC Provides Employers With Updated Guidance

By Eric W. Tiritilli.

An employee announces she is pregnant, but after the congratulations and good wishes are shared, the questions becomes what, if anything, must an employer do to comply with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”)?  Unfortunately, it had been over 30 years since the EEOC last updated its guidance to employers regarding their obligations under the PDA.  Recently, the EEOC issued new enforcement guidance, an employer Q&A and a fact sheet to aid employers.

As the EEOC noted in its press release – the basic law of the PDA hasn’t changed – as an employer may not discriminate against an employee because they are pregnant and a pregnant employee “must be treated the same as other persons similar in their ability or inability to work”; however, the updated guidance for employers provides important information regarding the EEOC’s interpretation of the law including how the PDA interacts with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provides examples of “best practices” to follow to avoid discrimination.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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Posted in Employment Law, Employment Policies
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