Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spend it While You Can - Deals, Discounts and Tax Credits to Take this Year

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)
As 2012 comes to a close everyone is scrambling to take advantage of last minute deals, discounts, tax credits, etc.  Maybe you have a budget that needs to be depleted before the end of the year so you can justify the same (or an increased) budget next year?  Maybe you've made more revenue this year than planned and tax credits could be used to offset the increased taxes.

You may be able to take a deduction on your 2012 taxes by spending up to $139,000 on a single piece of equipment or a total of no more than $560,000 for the year.  That expenditure comes right off the top of your gross income.  There are also deductions for hiring Veterans... so if you need to expand this might be a good time.  See more on the SBA blog.

Information Technology continues to be a good place to spend your end-of-year capital and here are some of my ideas on how you could put those funds to work:
  1. Evaluate cloud services - now is a great time to sign up for Office 365.
    • Smaller businesses may be able to take advantage of free Migration Wizard licenses through a Cloud Accelerate Microsoft Partner.There may also be incentives (up to 15% refund on purchases) available to offset deployment costs.  Also, the Cloud Easy program ends at the close of December.
    • Larger businesses (250+ seats) could benefit from signing up for an Enterprise License Agreement (or EA) with Microsoft.  There are discounts on Office 365 for customers with EAs right now.  You may qualify for $40/seat for up to 3,000 seats in deployment assistance funds, but you must be working with a Microsoft Partner.
    • Larger businesses can also receive discounts on adding Office 365 to their EA - in come cases you can add Office 365 E3 to your EA for as little as $1 per seat.
    • You can engage in a planning and design project to take advantage of these funds without actually performing a migration in many cases.  You don't have to finish migrating in the next two weeks... you just have to get started!
  2. Engage an IT audit - pay for an audit today, have it invoiced in the next week and a half but have the work performed after January 1.  An audit may help you justify your budget as well... kill two birds with one stone.
  3. Purchase new computers (buy Microsoft Surface tablets for your executive staff - or for your whole staff!)
  4. Perform workspace upgrades - buy new keyboards, mice and monitors.  Its a sure way to make your staff happy - everyone likes bigger monitors and two are definitely better than one.
  5. Upgrade your office network - get a new copier or printer, purchase a new firewall or those switches you've been eying.

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