Upgrading Now Could Save Money and Pain

Every once in a great while, circumstances combine with government to actually help small business.  Right now many of you are faced with upgrading your computer hardware because Microsoft will be eliminating support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in April.  Not only will you need to upgrade your hardware but, possibly the software you use to run your business.  However, there is good news if you act before the end of the year.  It is called the Section 179 deduction.

Earlier this year, as a part of the economic stimulus package, the government adjusted the Section 179 deduction for both the tax years 2012 and 2013.  What this means to you is that you may deduct the entire purchase price of any qualifying equipment placed into service during 2013 up to $500,000.  This includes technology hardware and most software.  This means you don’t have to depreciate the cost of these items over the years.

Of course, you will need to consult your accountant for details on your own, personal tax situation.  But this deduction could take the sting out of having to spend money on the upgrades you need.  The catch is that the items must be put into service during the 2013 fiscal year.  For most of us this coincides with the calendar year, so you have less than two months to act.

The other reason to act quickly is the fact that we can still order systems configured with Windows 7.  We have found that much of the software packages written for specific industries do not support Window 8 as yet.  Even if they do, upgrading straight to Windows 8 may cause some frustration on the part of your staff.  The shifts from Windows 95 through Windows 7 were relatively easy.  Things may have a slightly different name but they were in the same place (e.g. the control panel, or windows explorer).  Windows 8 shifts to a whole new design called the Metro look.  Programs are now called apps, and are in tiles, not lists.  You can place things on a desktop, but the familiar Start button no longer functions the way it did in previous versions.

If you have a staff that may be resistant to change, or is not “tech adaptable”, act quickly and stick with Windows 7.  By making your purchases now, you can save yourself some money in taxes, and save yourself some headaches in the transition.

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