It’s that time of year, business owners need to start thinking about tax deductions and ways to maximize profit protection. One area not to be overlooked is IT expenses since IT plays a crucial role in every business. The good news is that many IT expenses can be deducted from your taxes. From hardware and software purchases to cybersecurity measures and cloud services, there are several essential IT tax deductions that can help you lower your tax bill and keep more money in your profit column.
IT Tax Deductions for Business Owners
As a business owner, it is crucial to recognize the importance of taking advantage of IT tax deductions before the end of the year. These deductions can significantly impact your bottom line. By deducting IT expenses, you are not only reducing your tax liability but also creating funds to re-invest in the growth of your business and upgrading to the latest technology, which positions your business for long-term success.
IT Tax Deductions to Maximize Your Savings
Take advantage of these IT tax deductions to maximize their profit savings:
Software and Hardware Expenses: Deducting the cost of industry specific software and hardware purchases is an excellent way to save on taxes. Whether you invested in new computer systems or upgraded your existing software, remember to include these expenses in your deductions as capital expenditures. Profit savings can be compounded by taking the amount saved through IT tax deductions and spending it on further software and hardware purchases.
Cybersecurity Measures: With the increasing threat of cyberattacks, investing in cybersecurity measures is crucial. These expenses can also be deducted from your taxes. From firewalls to antivirus software, make sure to claim any cybersecurity investments you have made throughout the year.
Cloud Services: Many businesses have moved to using cloud services for their storage and daily operations. These operational expenses are also eligible for tax deductions. Whether you use cloud computing, backup services, or cloud-based software, remember to include these costs in your deductions.
By focusing on these essential IT tax deductions, you will minimize your tax liability and position your business for success in the coming year.
Consulting with a Certified Public Accountant
While it’s important to have a basic understanding of the IT tax deductions for your business, it is equally important to consult with a certified public accountant. A knowledgeable CPA can provide you with personalized financial advice and guidance based on your company’s unique situation.
Tax laws and regulations are constantly changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the updates. By working closely with a CPA, you can stay updated on the latest deductions and strategies to maximize your savings while staying compliant with the law. They can review your financial records, identify missed deductions, and help you make informed decisions that positively impact your bottom line.
Remember, seeking advice from a tax professional will not only help you optimize your profit savings but also give you peace of mind knowing that your tax returns are accurate and in line with the regulations.
Keeping Detailed Records
One essential practice for maximizing your IT tax deductions is keeping detailed records of your IT expenses. Maintaining accurate and organized records throughout the year can help you claim all eligible deductions at tax time.
Start by creating a system to track and categorize your IT expenses. This can include items like software and hardware purchases, IT services, website development costs, and data storage fees. Keep receipts, invoices, and any supporting documents for each expense. Having detailed records allows you to easily identify and calculate eligible deductions. It also provides evidence and documentation if you ever face an audit or need to justify your deductions to the IRS.
Consider using accounting software or cloud-based platforms to streamline the record-keeping process. These tools can help you track expenses, generate reports, and ensure accuracy in your financial records. By maintaining detailed records of your IT expenses, you not only ensure that you are taking full advantage of available deductions, but you also create a solid foundation for your overall tax strategy.
Utilizing Section 179 Deductions
Section 179 of the tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and software purchased or financed during the tax year. By utilizing Section 179, you can deduct the entire cost of eligible technology investments in the year they are purchased. This deduction can help reduce your overall tax liability, allowing you to maximize your profit savings.
To qualify for Section 179 deductions, the equipment or software must be used for business purposes more than 50% of the time. This deduction is particularly beneficial for businesses investing in technology upgrades or replacements, as it encourages the adoption of new and improved IT systems. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to determine the eligibility of your IT investments for Section 179 deductions and to ensure you are maximizing this deduction for your business.
Bonus Depreciation for IT Purchases
Business owners can also benefit from bonus depreciation for their IT purchases. Bonus depreciation allows businesses to deduct a percentage of the cost of qualifying assets in the year they are placed in service. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses can take an 80% bonus depreciation deduction for qualified property acquired and placed into service in 2023, then depreciate the remaining 20% over the course of several years.
To qualify for bonus depreciation, the property must have a recovery period of 20 years or less and be purchased for business use. This deduction is particularly valuable for businesses that are investing in new IT equipment or upgrading their existing technology infrastructure.
By timing your IT purchases strategically, you can take full advantage of bonus depreciation and significantly reduce your tax liability. However, it’s important to note that bonus depreciation is subject to change based on tax laws and regulations, so consulting with a CPA is crucial to ensure compliance and maximize your savings.
Research and Development Tax Credit
While bonus depreciation and Section 179 deductions are great for maximizing your tax deductions when it comes to IT purchases, there is another valuable tax credit that often goes unnoticed – the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit.
The R&D tax credit is designed to incentivize businesses to invest in innovation and development activities. Many business owners mistakenly believe that this credit is only applicable to scientific or technological research. However, the R&D tax credit is much broader than that and can apply to a wide range of industries and activities.
To make the most of the R&D tax credit, it’s important to keep detailed records of your qualifying activities and expenses. Consult with a tax professional who specializes in this area to ensure that you are maximizing your tax savings while staying compliant with the IRS requirements.
To make best use of your IT tax deduction spending, contact us to discuss new purchases and upgrades.
Managing IT can be a daunting task, especially for businesses that lack dedicated IT personnel or the expertise to handle today’s complex technology. In recent years, more and more organizations have recognized the benefits of outsourcing their IT management to Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
What is an MSP?
A Managed Service Provider, or MSP, is a company that offers a range of IT services to businesses. These services can include network monitoring, infrastructure management, data backup, cybersecurity, and more. By partnering with an MSP, businesses can offload their IT responsibilities to professionals with deep expertise and industry-best practices.
The Challenges of Self-Managed IT
Self-managing your IT can be a significant challenge. Here are some of the common pain points that organizations face:
Lack of Expertise: IT is a complex and ever-evolving field. Keeping up with the latest technologies, security threats, and best practices can be overwhelming, especially for businesses without dedicated IT staff.
Resource Constraints: Managing IT requires time, manpower, and financial resources. Small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to allocate these resources effectively, leading to inefficiencies, downtime, and security vulnerabilities.
Limited Scalability: Growing businesses often find it difficult to scale their IT infrastructure to meet increased demand. Self-managing your IT environment may require significant investments in hardware, software, and additional staff, which can strain budgets and hinder growth.
Cybersecurity Risks: Data breaches and cyber-attacks are on the rise. Without proper security measures in place, businesses face significant financial and reputational risks. Implementing and maintaining robust cybersecurity protocols can be challenging for organizations without the necessary expertise.
The Benefits of MSP-Managed IT
Switching to an MSP-managed IT environment offers several benefits:
Expertise and Support: MSPs have a team of experienced professionals who specialize in different aspects of IT management. They stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices, providing businesses with access to a breadth of knowledge and expertise.
Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance: MSPs utilize advanced tools and technologies to monitor your IT infrastructure 24/7. They identify potential issues before they become critical, minimizing downtime and ensuring smooth operations.
Scalability and Flexibility: MSPs provide scalable solutions tailored to your business needs. Whether you’re experiencing rapid growth or need to downsize, an MSP can quickly adapt your IT infrastructure to meet changing requirements without additional investments or resources.
Enhanced Security: MSPs employ robust security measures to protect your systems, networks, and data from cyber threats. They implement industry-standard security practices, conduct regular security audits, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
Cost Savings: By outsourcing IT management to an MSP, businesses can reduce the overhead costs associated with maintaining an in-house IT department. MSPs work on a subscription-based model, allowing organizations to pay for the services they need, when they need them.
Strategic Planning: MSPs can act as your virtual chief information officer providing project planning services that keep IT spend spread across the years to make the IT budget easier to manage.
Consider making the switch to an MSP today and unlock the benefits of professional IT management, contact us to get started.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, effectively managing IT equipment throughout its lifecycle has become essential. Equipment Lifecycle Management (ELM) refers to the systematic approach of acquiring, operating, maintaining, and disposing of equipment. By implementing an ELM strategy, businesses can maximize the lifespan and productivity of their equipment, while also minimizing costs and downtime. Let’s explore some of the secret benefits of equipment lifecycle management.
IT equipment can represent a significant investment for businesses. Through ELM, companies can optimize costs by planning IT equipment updates and replacements in a strategic manner. With a clear understanding of the IT equipment’s lifespan and maintenance requirements, businesses can budget for these costs well in advance, avoiding unexpected expenses that could negatively impacting their finances.
Increased Equipment Efficiency
One of the primary goals of ELM is to maximize equipment efficiency and productivity. By conducting regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs, businesses can identify and address performance issues before they become major problems. Proactively managing IT equipment ensures that it operates at optimal levels, reducing downtime and improving overall operational efficiency.
Enhanced Asset Tracking and Planning
ELM provides businesses with a comprehensive understanding of their equipment inventory. Through proper record-keeping and asset tracking systems, companies can easily identify the location, condition, and maintenance history of each piece of IT equipment. This information enables businesses to plan for IT equipment updates, replacements, or adjustments based on their lifecycle and performance, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently.
Sustainable and Environmentally Responsible Practices
Efficient IT equipment management is not only beneficial for businesses but also for the environment. By properly maintaining and disposing of equipment, companies can significantly reduce waste generation and minimize their carbon footprint. Implementing ELM strategies, such as equipment reuse or recycling programs, aligns with sustainable business practices and demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Effective equipment lifecycle management is crucial for businesses looking to optimize costs, improve productivity, and minimize their environmental impact. By proactively managing IT equipment throughout its lifecycle, companies can maximize its efficiency, extend its lifespan, and ensure smooth operations. Investing in IT equipment lifecycle management ultimately leads to long-term benefits and a competitive advantage in today’s business landscape.
If you haven’t already, contact us to implement an ELM strategy for your business.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face numerous challenges when it comes to managing their IT. Limited resources (both human and money), lack of expertise, and the need to focus on core business operations often make it difficult for SMBs to understand and manage technology needs. This is where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) come in. In this blog article, we will explore the reasons why SMBs should consider partnering with MSPs to enhance their IT capabilities and drive business growth.
Cost-Effective IT Solutions:
One of the primary reasons why SMBs need MSPs is the cost-effectiveness they offer. By outsourcing their IT needs to MSPs, SMBs can avoid the high costs associated with hiring and training an in-house IT team. MSPs provide a range of services, including network monitoring, data backup and recovery, cybersecurity, and software updates, all at a predictable monthly cost. This allows SMBs to allocate their resources more efficiently and focus on their core business.
Access to Expertise and Advanced Technology:
MSPs are experts in providing IT services and have a team of highly skilled professionals with expertise in variety of technology. By partnering with MSPs, SMBs gain access to the depth of knowledge and experience from IT experts who can handle complex tasks and provide strategic guidance. Additionally, MSPs stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and can recommend and implement solutions that can help SMBs stay competitive in the market and safe from hackers.
Proactive IT Support and Maintenance:
MSPs offer proactive IT support and maintenance, which is crucial for SMBs. They monitor networks, identify potential issues, and take preventive measures to avoid downtime and disruptions. MSPs also provide regular software updates, security patches, and system maintenance, ensuring that SMBs’ IT remains secure and up-to-date. This proactive approach helps SMBs minimize the risk of costly IT failures and ensures smooth business operations.
Enhanced Data Security:
Data breaches and cyberattacks pose a significant threat to SMBs. MSPs play a vital role in safeguarding SMBs’ sensitive data and protecting them from potential security breaches. They implement robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption, to ensure data confidentiality and integrity. MSPs can also conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address any potential weaknesses in the IT infrastructure.
Scalability and Flexibility:
As SMBs grow, their IT needs evolve. MSPs offer scalable solutions that can adapt to changing business requirements. Whether it’s adding new users, expanding storage capacity, or integrating new software, MSPs can quickly and efficiently accommodate these changes. This scalability and flexibility allow SMBs to focus on their growth without worrying about the limitations of their IT infrastructure.
If your company could use the cost-effective solutions, access to expertise, proactive support, enhanced data security, and scalability that come from using a MSP, then contact us for assistance.
This is the second in a series about the concept of Zero Trust, which means in the IT sense that you trust nothing and always verify everything surrounding and connected to your network. Today’s discussion will be on the vendors you purchase network equipment from.
Trusted vendors are those who supply workstations, servers, routers, switches, power protection, software, and anything else connected to your network. Here are some questions that you should be asking yourself:
Do you know who makes your network equipment, servers, computers, and software?
Do you know the way to contact their support and have current account access information?
Do you have current warranties / support contracts on hardware and software?
Is the hardware able to perform at the level needed?
Are you purchasing software from those who meets industry standards?
If a subscription, how much are you paying and are you on the correct plan for your needs?
When is the last time you upgraded your software and hardware?
Have you budgeted for the next upgrade?
Take time to think about these questions and decide where changes can be made to better protect your IT investments, or contact us to do the thinking for you.
Ran into an issue with Scan to Folder on Windows 10 Home from a Xerox Versalink C7025 via SMB. Contacted support and they stated that Xerox does not support this setup. Further digging found that Windows 10 Home folder shares need passwords in a [Computername]\[Username] format that the Xerox Versalink could not provide correctly. I found another option that works well in this situation:
Scan to Folder via FTP
Create a Scan folder in the Users directory
Download and install Filezilla FTP Server with the defaults (I prefer to set “start user interface: to manually)
Click on the Edit > Users menu item.
Click on the Add button and create a username (case sensitive)
Check the password box and create a password
Click on the Shared Folders tab on the left then click on the Add under Shared Folders
Browse to the Scan folder and click OK
Check all File & Directory permissions then click OK at bottom left
With this setup on the Windows 10 Home computer an Address Book entry can be created for Scan to Folder via FTP on the Xerox Versalink. The only thing that could be a problem after that is a software firewall link Windows Firewall or McAfee LiveSafe.
If your company wants to utilize more functionality from your multi-function device, then contact us for assistance.
Ran into a brick wall with a client wanting to have a Workcenter C7225 by Xexox scan to folder. What worked on one did not work on another but I eventually figured out the pattern and wanted to share it. Basically all MacOS X versions before the High Sierra build were not compatible with Xerox’s SMB protocol. (They fixed the SMB protocol in High Sierra so that Xerox Scan to SMB works perfectly.) Here is the workaround:
Xerox Scan to Folder MacOS X pre-Sierra:
The easiest way that I found to allow scanning to these systems is to enable the dormant FTP server.
Type in – sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist
Enter your administrator password
Create Scans folder in Home directory
Go to Preferences > Sharing > File Sharing
Choose + under Shared Folders
Navigate to the Scans folder and click Add
Check all available sharing methods.
Go to the printers IP address in the browser of your choice
Click on Scan
Create a template
Enter IP address
use /Scans as file path
enter full username and password (MacOS takes out spaces by default)
Test scanning successfully
If your company wants to utilize more functionality from your multi-function device, then contact us for assistance. And yes, we support MacOS in the business environment.
Recently had trouble getting a Xerox VersaLink C7025 multifunction printer to Scan to Email correctly and found a couple solutions to the problem that I wanted to share. It all started when I configured the SMTP settings for the scanner to use G-Suite to send emails using the following article – “Send email from a printer, scanner, or app” but got the error 017-714 report from the printer. Did some searching online and found the following answer:
Using Google Insecure SMTP Server
As per the same article, the multifunction will work by using the following settings:
Device Email: clients scanner email address
SMTP Server: aspmx.l.google.com
Outgoing Port: 25
Connection Security: None
SMTP AUTH: None
This is great if the client wants the scans emailed only to people in their own domain. This will not allow sending to anyone outside their domain, which was not what this client wanted, so I contacted Xerox support and worked my way up to Level to support who pointed me to the following more secure answer:
Using Google Secure SMTP Server
The first thing to do is to make sure that Less Secure Apps setting is allowed for the Device Email account. This can be checked at – https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps but you might find that it has to be changed in the G-Suite Admin Console (disabled by default on all accounts). Once logged into https://admin.google.com, click on Security then on Basic. Choose the option to allow each user to chose their own setting then go back to the less secure app setting page and change to allow for only that account. Now the multifunction can be configured as follows:
If your company has software that needs to be automatically updated or would like to sign-up for remote monitoring and maintenance, then contact us for assistance.
Found myself setting up a client with a remote desktop connection to a local workstation from a remote site to use their Client Management System (CMS). Even after successfully getting them connected to the local workstation and warning them there would be issues with using their network printer at the remote office, they stated it would be just fine. Found out later indeed they were not able to use the printer successfully due to the inherent issue with network printers across a Remote Desktop Connection. Found this little workaround to provide Remote Desktop network printer redirection in the Microsoft forums:
Click on the Start button and open Control Panel then open “Devices and Printers”
Right click on the network printer that needs to be redirected and choose “Printer Properties”
Click on the Ports tab and put a check next to “Enable printer pooling” and next to the “LPT1:” in the list then click the OK button to finish.
Click on the Start button and open Remote Desktop Connection then click on the “Local Resources” tab.
Click on the “More…” button at the bottom then put a check next to the Ports item then click the OK button.
Make sure to go back to the General tab and click on save before clicking on the Connect button.
Once connected download and install the needed print driver but do not create the printer itself yet.
Inside the Remote Desktop connected computer click on the Start button and open Control Panel then open “Devices and Printer”
Click on the Add Printer button at the top then click on the “The printer that I want isn’t listed” link at the bottom of the window that opens.
Click on the radio selection next to “Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings” then click on the next button.
Click on the list “Use an existing port” and choose “TS001:” which usually corresponds to the LPT1: port redirection, but it may take some trial and error going through this list later to figure out which one it is.
Search through the list of drivers to pick the one associated with the one being connected then click on the Next button.
If requested, choose to “Replace the current driver” and click on the Next button.
Change the name as needed and click on the Next button.
Choose “Do not share this printer” and click on the Next button.
Test the printer by clicking on “Print a test page” then click the Finish button.
If the printer does not print then open the printer properties on the Remote Desktop connected computer and change the port to TS002: on the Ports tab, click Apply then click “Print a test page” on the General tab to test again. Repeat down the list until the correct port is found. If your company is using Remote Desktop Network Printer Redirection or need help getting the network connected printers working properly, then contact us for assistance.
Had a users who had their printers disappearing and even after reboot or Print Spooler Service restart the printers would vanish after only a few seconds. After much research found this article from Chicago Tech that explains in detail how to troubleshoot this Faulting Application spoolsv issue. Here are the three steps that fixed the issue for this domain user:
Step 1: Clear the print caches to fix Faulting Application spoolsv
1. Open “Computer” and browse to the folder “c:\windows\system32\spool\printers” and delete all the files in the folder.
2. Do the same to clear the content in the folder “c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86”
If the above step doesn’t work, please perform the next one.
Step 2: Reset the printer spooler to fix Faulting Application spoolsv
1. Open command prompt as administrator
2. Type “Net stop RPCSS” (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
3. Type “sc config spooler depend= RPCSS” (without quotation marks and note the spacing) and press Enter.
4. Type “Net start RPCSS” (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
5. Type “Net start SPOOLER” (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
6. Delete the printer and reboot the computer to allow Group Policy to re-install printer.
If the issue persists, please go on to Step 3 since the issue can be caused
by some corrupted printer drivers on the computer.
Step 3: Remove Printer Drivers to fix Faulting Application spoolsv
1. open RegEdit as administrator
2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print, click Registry->Export Registry File on the menu, and export the current key to a REG file for backup. (Note: You may double click on the REG file in Windows Explorer to restore the original settings)
3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environment\Windows NT x86\Drivers, remove both the Version-2 and Version-3 keys if they exist.
4. Remove all sub keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers. (Do not remove the Printers key.)
5. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environment\Windows NT x86\PrintProcessors, delete any processor that is not the following:
6. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers, delete any provider that is not one of the following:
Internet Print Provider
LanMan Print Services
7. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors, delete any monitor that is not one of the following:
BJ Language Monitor
PJL Language Monitor
Standard TCP/IP Port
Windows NT Fax Monitor
AppleTalk Printing Devices
8. Exit the registry editor.\
9. Remove all files from the following directories if they exist:
10. Reboot to let Group Policy install the printer drivers again. This will take extra time for this one reboot.
If your company is uses Group Policy to deploy printers or just needs help troubleshooting network printer issues, then contact us for assistance.
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. - 2 Corinthians 9:8-10