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Financial Questions and Answers

Q: I’ve come up with a great name for my new business. How do I register a trademark for my company’s name?

A: You can file an application online at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website ( to register a trademark for your company’s name. Just in case the name you’ve chosen is not as original as you’d thought, check to confirm that another company has not registered an identical or similar mark for the same goods or services you offer. The website has a Trademark Electronic Search System database that allows you to carry out this search. As always, consult an attorney for assistance with legal matters.

Q: Is it true that I can exclude from my income any distributions I make to charity from my IRA?

A: It depends. Congress has permanently extended the law allowing taxpayers 70½ or older to exclude from their gross income distributions of as much as $100,000 annually from their individual retirement accounts, provided those distributions are made directly to qualifying charities. If all requirements are met, these contributions will also count toward the taxpayer’s required minimum distributions. For some taxpayers, this can be a win-win action — they can help a favorite charity while avoiding various negative tax implications that come with an increase in their adjusted gross income.

October 2016 Newsletter Previous Article