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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 342764 times)
examinerguest
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1095 on: Jul 7th, 2007, 10:35am »
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"Work for the PTO for about 2 years, then go to a firm that pays the tuition directly to your school, and has reduced billable hour requirements for agents in law school.  That way you'd be able to get yourself on a partnership track early, you'd still be making money while in school (by avoiding the taxman), and your workload wouldn't be all that bad (until your done, that is). "
 
 
How would you avoid the taxman working for a law firm that pays the tuition as opposed to the USPTO?  
 
Does anyone know good firms around DC that do tuition reimbursement for agents that have worked the patent office for a couple of years?  I know Finnigan, but there have to be more.
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Anon Examiner
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1096 on: Jul 7th, 2007, 7:01pm »
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on Jul 7th, 2007, 10:35am, examinerguest wrote:
"Work for the PTO for about 2 years, then go to a firm that pays the tuition directly to your school, and has reduced billable hour requirements for agents in law school.  That way you'd be able to get yourself on a partnership track early, you'd still be making money while in school (by avoiding the taxman), and your workload wouldn't be all that bad (until your done, that is). "
 
 
How would you avoid the taxman working for a law firm that pays the tuition as opposed to the USPTO?  
 
Does anyone know good firms around DC that do tuition reimbursement for agents that have worked the patent office for a couple of years?  I know Finnigan, but there have to be more.  

 
Most firms (e.g., Finnegan) write checks directly to the schools, so you never get taxed for tuition.  At the USPTO, the tuition reimbursement goes directly to you, and you get taxed to death.
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1097 on: Jul 7th, 2007, 9:06pm »
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on Jul 7th, 2007, 7:01pm, Anon Examiner wrote:

 
Most firms (e.g., Finnegan) write checks directly to the schools, so you never get taxed for tuition.  At the USPTO, the tuition reimbursement goes directly to you, and you get taxed to death.

 
Paying a student's tuition (or any other debt of the student) is still income to the student for federal tax purposes.   You cannot avoid paying federal taxes in this way.   The firm could choose to "gross up" the tuition payment and thus pay the student's taxes.
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Isaac
Tiger4852
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1098 on: Jul 7th, 2007, 11:51pm »
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Thank you everyone for your input. Lots of good information!
 
If it is true that one cannot get out of paying taxes on law school tuition (without grossing up income), then it seems that working at the PTO for at least four years without leaving for a law firm would have its advantages. The pay would be decent, especially if I agreed to the service agreement to get the EE/CE recruitment incentive bonus. Also, it seems that one could not find a better job to work while going to school than at the PTO due to some of the government benefits, and especially the flex work schedule. Maybe some of you have opinions on this.  
 
I would likely start law school paying out of pocket immediately in the first Fall working at the PTO if everything works out. Then the PTO would only pay for my final two years of tuition, and it seems I would owe them only about 1 year of service after I graduate if they paid for credits just over those two years.
 
As long as you are all being so helpful, I'd also like to ask a couple more things Smiley
 
-When can I begin to apply to the USPTO? Whenever I contact them via e-mail, they just refer me to their website. I graduate in May 2008. I've heard that I may not be able to apply until October when the government's new fiscal year budget is set??
 
-If I went through with all of this, when would be the best time to take the patent bar exam?
 
Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!
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Anon Examiner
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1099 on: Jul 8th, 2007, 8:00am »
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on Jul 7th, 2007, 9:06pm, Isaac wrote:

 
Paying a student's tuition (or any other debt of the student) is still income to the student for federal tax purposes.   You cannot avoid paying federal taxes in this way.   The firm could choose to "gross up" the tuition payment and thus pay the student's taxes.

 
If this is true then I know at least two people that are violating the tax laws.  I don't know if there are any penalties for playing dumb and hoping the IRS doesn't find out.  But, people are definitely doing it.
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