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Understanding Taxes



Taxes are compulsory levies that individuals and corporations are expected to pay to their governments. In my previous article, I explained what the government uses these taxes for. While the understanding of taxes is crucial for every citizen, some people find the topic complex.  At Dean Roupas and associates, taxes and accounting is what they do. Reach out to them, and they can provide assistance on anything tax-related. In this article, I will help you get a fundamental yet essential understanding of taxes.

How we pay taxes

  • Payroll taxes

Social Security tax is one of the two payroll taxes that both employees and employers must pay. Employees have to contribute 6.2 per cent of their wages in Social Security taxes. In addition, employers match that for a total contribution of 12.4 per cent. In 2013, the maximum taxable earnings were $117,000. Employee contributions were reduced to 4.2 per cent of salaries in 2011 and 2012 as part of a payroll tax vacation. This was meant to encourage individuals to spend more and help improve the U.S. economy.

Medicare is subject to a similar tax. Employees and employers must each contribute 1.45 per cent of their wages, totalling 2.9 per cent, to fund the scheme. There is no maximum taxable wage, unlike Social Security. Since last year, workers earning more than $200,000 have had to contribute an extra 0.9 per cent of their salaries to the scheme.  When one is self-employed, they are expected to pay an equivalent of both the employee and employer portion of payroll taxes. This is done through self-employment taxes. These taxes also go towards funding Social Security and Medicare.  If you are self-employed and unsure about how to go about your taxes, Dean Roupas is the person for you. He has been in the tax field for over 25 years, and he will help you understand everything you need to know so that you do not end up paying more than you should towards taxes.

  • Corporate taxes

A corporate tax is primarily a tax imposed on a company’s profits. This is levied on a company’s taxable income. This comprises revenue less cost of goods sold (COGS), selling and marketing, general and administrative (G&A) expenses, R&D, depreciation, and other operating costs. Dean Roupas Palos IL, has been working with companies for over 25 years, ensuring that their taxes are in order and in accordance with the federal expectations.

Corporate tax rates differ significantly by country. As a result, certain countries are being regarded as tax havens due to their low rates. Different deductions, tax loopholes, and government subsidies can reduce corporate taxes. The effective corporate tax rate, or the rate a corporation actually pays, is usually lower than the statutory rate or the rate a corporation actually pays before any deductions.

  • Estate taxes

As stated by the IRS, the estate tax is “a tax on your right to transfer property upon your death.” The estate tax is problematic, as some view it as a death penalty. Some of the items considered part of an estate include insurance, cash, real estate, securities, and business interests. Individuals’ estates exceeding $5.34 million are the only ones taxed by the federal government. Subsequently, the majority of Americans are free from paying the federal estate tax. At the federal level, the highest estate tax rate is 40 per cent. D.J. Roupas will help you understand precisely what you are expected to pay.

State governments frequently levy estate taxes. States generally utilize lower rates. However, they have lesser restrictions than the federal government’s $5.34 million thresholds. Some states impose an inheritance tax. The amount one has to pay towards inheritance tax is determined by their relationship to the deceased.

  • Sales taxes

These are taxes on purchased products and services. These are usually expressed as a percentage of the total purchase price. Sales taxes differ across states and even from municipality to municipality. There are no sales taxes in several states. This is either at the state or local level. Other states and municipal governments may levy substantial fees. Per the Tax Foundation, when state and local taxes are combined in Tennessee, shoppers can pay as much as 9.44 per cent in sales taxes. Twelve states have sales taxes that are higher than 8%. Sales taxes are frequently thought to be regressive, meaning that lower-income individuals and households pay a significantly higher percentage of their earnings towards the tax in comparison to higher-income residents.

Tennessee has the highest average state and local sales tax rate, at 9.55 per cent, as of 2021. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon are the only states without a state sales tax. Municipalities in Alaska are permitted to levy a local sales tax.

  • Gift taxes

 Gift tax is comparable to estate tax. This is because gift tax is a tax on transferring wealth.    One significant difference is that gift taxes include two living people, unlike estate tax. In addition, the federal government has a far smaller gift tax exemption amount than it does for the estate tax. All donations over $14,000 are taxed, and the recipient is responsible for paying the tax. The highest rate of gift tax is 40% of the taxable gift amount. This tax is imposed not just on cash but also on presents such as company stock or automobiles. Following Connecticut, Minnesota became the second state to enact its own gift tax in 2013.

  • Excise taxes

Excise taxes are comparable to general sales taxes, but they only apply to specified items. Certain purchases, such as gas, cigarettes, beer, and liquor, are often taxed by states. Excise taxes on so-called “sin products” are commonly imposed. These are widely designed not simply to raise funds but also to discourage unhealthy behaviours. The federal government also collects such taxes, which include 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for each gallon for diesel fuel and a 10% fee for tanning services. On a single purchase, excise taxes and sales taxes are frequently mixed. In many circumstances, a sales tax is paid on top of an excise tax. 

  • Tariffs

A tariff is a levy imposed on products and services imported from another country by one country. The goal is to increase the cost of goods and services imported from other nations to stimulate domestic consumption. Fixed fee tariffs, which are assessed as a fixed cost based on the type of item, and ad valorem tariffs, which are assessed as a percentage of the item’s worth, are the two basic types of tariffs. Tariffs are difficult politically, with questions about whether they work as intended.  If you are involved in an importing business, consider getting hold of Dean Roupas and associates so they can handle your taxes for you.


How To Make Your Business More Environment Friendly



More and more businesses are becoming environmentally friendly. There are many reasons for this: consumers are demanding it, it’s the right thing to do, and it can save business money in the long run. If you’re thinking about making your business more eco-friendly, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the ways that you can make your business more environmentally friendly.

Why making your business environment friendly is important?

There are a number of reasons why making your business more environmentally friendly is important. First and foremost, it’s the right thing to do. We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet, and businesses are no exception. Whether we choose to combat climate change through using compostable packaging or by supporting renewable energy initiatives, businesses have a role to play. Another reason why making your business more environmentally friendly is important is that consumers are increasingly demanding it. In fact, according to a recent study, 66% of consumers said they would pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to being sustainable and environmentally friendly. Additionally, consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing products and services from companies that are eco-friendly. By making your business more environmentally friendly, you’ll be able to tap into this growing market. Finally, going green can save your business money in the long run. Energy-efficient practices can help reduce your utility bills, while recycling and other waste reduction strategies can save on disposal costs.

Consider packaging

One of the first places to start when making your business more environmentally friendly is to consider your packaging. If you’re not using sustainable or compostable packaging, now is the time to make a change. There are a number of sustainable packaging options available, so you’ll be able to find something that works for your business. You can also talk to your packaging supplier about ways to make your packaging more sustainable. The packaging choice you make will depend on a number of factors, including the type of product you sell, your budget, and your business’s sustainability goals.

Choose greener partners

Another way to make your business more eco-friendly is to choose greener partners. When you’re selecting vendors, look for those that have sustainable practices in place. For example, you may want to choose a vendor that uses recycled materials or one that offsets its carbon emissions. You can also look for green certifications when choosing a partner. Generally speaking, the more sustainable the practices of your partners are, the easier it will be for you to reach your sustainability goals.

Make energy efficiency a priority

Making your business more energy-efficient is another great way to go green. There are a number of ways to make your business more energy-efficient, including using energy-efficient lighting, investing in energy-efficient appliances, and using green power. You can also encourage your employees to be more energy-efficient by implementing an energy-efficiency policy. Making your business more energy-efficient can save you money on your utility bills and help reduce your carbon footprint.

Reduce energy consumption

One of the best ways to make your business more environmentally friendly is to reduce your energy consumption. There are a number of ways that you can do this, such as installing energy-efficient lighting or investing in solar panels. You can also talk to your utility company about ways to save energy. Business energy consumption can have a significant impact on the environment, so it’s important to do what you can to reduce it. Not only will this be a good thing for our planet, but it will also help you save more money in the long run.

Support renewable energy initiatives

Another way to make your business more eco-friendly is to support renewable energy. You can do this by investing in renewable energy credits or by purchasing green power from your utility company. You can also install solar panels or wind turbines on your property. Furthermore, you can encourage your employees to carpool or take public transportation to work. To make sure they really try to do so, you can offer certain incentives or rewards for doing so. In addition, you can always find a way to support protecting our planet through your community.

Stick to the three “R’s”

Finally, one of the simplest ways to make your business more environmentally friendly is to stick to the three “R’s”: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reducing the amount of waste you produce is one of the best things you can do for the environment. You can also reuse items whenever possible and recycle anything that can’t be reused. It is important to remember that recycling should be seen as a last resort, so try to reduce and reuse before you recycle.

Finally, try to go digital as much as possible

One of the best ways to make your business more environmentally friendly is to go digital as much as possible. This means using less paper and fewer resources. You can do this by sending invoices and other documents electronically, storing files electronically, and using paperless office supplies. Additionally, you can encourage your employees to work remotely whenever possible. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can also help improve your bottom line. With the technology available today, there’s really no excuse not to go digital. One of the biggest advantages of going digital is that you can almost completely reduce using paper. Using fewer resources is not only good for the environment but also helps you save money. 

Constantly organize seminars and conventions that tackle environmental topics

Aside from the tips above, another great way to make your business more environmentally friendly is to constantly organize seminars and conventions that tackle environmental topics. This will not only raise awareness about environmental issues but can also help educate people on what they can do to help. You can also partner with other businesses or organizations that are working toward similar goals. By working together, you can make a bigger impact and really help make a difference.

Making your business more environmentally friendly is not only good for the planet but can also be good for your bottom line. There are a number of ways that you can make your business more energy-efficient and reduce your carbon footprint. Additionally, you can support renewable energy initiatives and recycle as much as possible. Finally, try to go digital as much as possible to reduce your paper usage. If you implement some or all of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making your business more eco-friendly.

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Why You Should Consider Trading Litecoin In Australia



Cryptocurrency is at an all-time high right now. There are a ton of new coins coming online every day, and the value of Bitcoin is rising like never before. In this article, we’re going to talk about why you should consider trading in Litecoin instead of just keeping it as a savings account. The value of other cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed over the last year, putting them within reach for more and more people. However, not everyone can have access to them. With that in mind, here are some reasons why you should consider trading in Litecoin Cryptocurrency in Australia:

It’s A Solid Medium of Exchange

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that is designed to be used as a circulated medium of exchange. Because of this, Litecoin is a popular choice for merchants. This is because they can use it to accept payments without having to worry about chargebacks and fraud concerns. Merchants can also use Litecoin to hedge against volatility and increase their profit margins. There’s a ton of interest in this cryptocurrency, so it’s worth exploring. This is because it’s a safe, cheap, and easy way to trade cryptocurrencies. If you want to get into trading cryptocurrencies, but don’t want to deal with the complexities of trading on an exchange, then you should consider Litecoin trading in Australia.

It Has Very Low Fees

Litecoin has very low fees for both buying and selling. This means that it’s a great choice for both merchants and investors. It’s also worth noting that Litecoin’s fees are very low. This means that you could make a profitable trade. This could be a great way to get into trading cryptocurrencies.

It Can Be Mined In Safer Locations

Litecoin has been designed to be mined in more secure locations. This means that you can trade in Litecoin in a more secure way. If you’re looking for a cryptocurrency that is more stable than Bitcoin but doesn’t have to worry about miners shutting it down, then you should consider Litecoin trading in Australia.

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It Has Anonymity Features

Litecoin has anonymity features. This means that you make a payment, and the recipient doesn’t need to know who you are. This could be a huge advantage for a lot of people. If you don’t want anyone to know what you’re doing with cryptocurrencies, then you should consider trading in Litecoin.

You Could Make A Profitable Trade-In The Future

Litecoin is a great choice for investors. This is because it has a very low price, and it’s easy to mine. This means that it’s likely to become decentralized in the future. The price of Litecoin is likely to rise when this happens. This means that you could make a profitable trade in the future with Litecoin.


Litecoin is a great cryptocurrency to get into trading. It has low fees, and it can be mined in more secure locations. This means that you’ll be more secure when trading in Litecoin. It also has faster confirmations, faster confirmations, and faster confirmations. It’s also likely to become decentralized in the future and has anonymity features. This means that you’ll be able to make a profitable trade in the future, and it has a solid medium of exchange features.

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Netflix’s Bridgerton Season 2 
Diamond Jewelry Extravaganza



Much has been made of fashion in the highly anticipated second season of Bridgerton, which aired on March 25th, 2022. Ellen Mirojnick, the costume designer, has truly outdone herself with intricate and opulent gowns for early 19th century English aristocrats. 

Such are the costumes, in fact, that they are arguably on equal footing with fellow Netflix hits, Downton Abbey and Reign. But Mirojnick’s jewelry choices were arguably the aesthetic highlight of this show, with lavish gems and diamonds adorning and making social statements about the characters.

There was a stir surrounding authenticity of a jewel in Season 2, which today might be called “Rubygate.” Lord Jack Featherton’s mines were found to be empty, and a ruby necklace he gifted turned out to be a counterfeit. This embarrassing blunder permanently altered his wedding plans. It would be difficult to recover from a scandal like that even today.

This begs the question about how people in those days knew details about their gemstones. Would they have been able to differentiate between real diamonds and artificial costume jewelry or something like Moissanite? Assuming their stones were genuine, how would any family even know if their family jewels were of the highest quality?

In those days, jewelers would have their own personal methods for surmising what they viewed as quality. This was a time before the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) 4Cs, which is now a universal standard for grading. 

But despite having a standard today, the same problem with subjectivity actually persists. Just as with 19th century England, gemologists still evaluate gemstones by eye—something that’s quite undependable. 

Opinions often differ among various laboratories that issue certificates. Even GIA itself uses the same old-fashioned inspection method by which it issues certificates.

As of 2021, however, a new technology finally solved this problem. Sarine Technologies is an Israeli high-tech responsible for systems used by diamond producers around the world. 

Its engineers designed special scanners that use machine learning software. These devices operate 3D image sensors to precisely analyze gemstone qualities on a level impossible to achieve with the human eye. The result is high precision 4Cs grading and certification, and this scientific advance is great news for modern diamond shoppers. 

It’s always a smart idea to get a second opinion on any grading advertised in a store. According to Keith Ericsson, owner of Shimmers, a Houston jewelry boutique, there are all sorts of reasons to question certificates on stones. 

“All of our pieces are certified, but the associations and authorities that issue these have in all honesty been controversial. In at least one case I know if they would actually grade stones higher as incentive to buy more certifications. That’s nuts.”

Ericsson was probably referring to a European authority accused of ethics violations. But some people might be shocked to learn that even the GIA itself has been the subject of no small amount of controversy.

According to Rapaport, a leading diamond industry resource, clients were accused of bribing the organization in exchange for better ratings on stones. “GIA does not provide full disclosure of what happened — they do not straightforwardly admit that any employees have been caught taking bribes.”

It wouldn’t be fair to suggest that this is an overall bad organization. But reports from the GIA, AGS and EGI are subject to error, where Sarine’s eGrading is not. Machines tell the truth down to every last detail. This is why this service is so revolutionary. Diamond shoppers should always request that jewelers get an eGrading report for verification.

Fans of the Netflix series would undoubtedly be interested in knowing appraisal values of real jewels used on Bridgerton. That would require a visit to Sarine’s labs for analysis. But would owners of the jewels really want to know if they paid too much? 

Either way, if the pieces go up for auction at Sotheby’s someday, chances are that any buyer would carefully vet such an investment by performing an electronic grading.

While Sarine’s technology will be invaluable to modern day jewelry shoppers, it might prove scandalous to real-life Bridgertons of the day. What if Lady Danbury’s necklace had lots of inclusions and a poor clarity rating? It would all be rather unimaginable how she might react.

On the other hand, after that whole ruby fiasco, maybe characters really would be better served by making sure something like that never happens again; at least within the same season.

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