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More than half of small and medium businesses are not aware of important changes to the instant asset write-off scheme, according to a recent poll.

As of July 1, 2012, businesses are able to immediately write-off any new asset worth up to $6,500. The changes could prove to be a significant benefit; however, many SMBs are still unaware.

A LinkedIn poll, conducted by Intel, revealed that 51 percent of small and medium business decision makers did not know about the instant asset write-off.

Small business owner Raymond Lam was not surprised that the changes had slipped by unnoticed. “SMBs tend to not have access to the same calibre of financial advice as larger enterprises. They’re stretched for time and resources, and usually don’t have face-to-face contact with their accountant on a regular basis,” he said.

Intel national marketing manager Anna Torres agreed that it was ‘understandably easy’ for this knowledge to go under the radar of small businesses at tax-time.

However, she stressed the importance of this new benefit, which could affect purchase decisions all-year round.

According to the poll, 64 percent of SMBs who were aware of the write-off said they would use it to purchase new technology for their business.

Torres acknowledged that buying new technology can seem like a big investment, but pointed out that it can lead to savings down the track. She said that older PCs can cost 1.5 times more to maintain and operate.

Lam also emphasised that lost data can be expensive and  difficult to recover, making reliable IT equipment a worthwhile investment.

MYOB chief strategy officer John Moss advised SMBs to take advantage of the increased instant asset write-off. “Even simple software and hardware updates can result in improved business productivity, team engagement and cash flow- not to mention less time spent on IT issues,” he said.

To find out more about the changes to the instant asset write-off scheme, visit the ATO website.