Making Tax Digital (MTD) removed from Finance Bill 2017

shutterstock_291472427
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a general election, legislation to implement the Making Tax Digital (‘MTD’) initiative has been removed from the Finance Bill 2017.  MTD is the plan for businesses to submit quarterly uploads of accounting information to HMRC, with the first wave of businesses due to be affected from 1 April 2018.

Although postponed for the short term, there has been no change to the MTD proposal, and it is likely that the initiative will return following the general election as part of the Government’s commitment to a fully digital tax system.

As a result of the deferment, it is not known whether HMRC will push back the implementation date of 1 April 2018 for unincorporated businesses with a turnover above £85,000.

We will continue to follow the progress of MTD and keep you up to date with any changes. As always if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact one of our dedicated MTD advisers.

If you have any concerns or if you would like any more information, please contact our tax team by emailing tax@pmm.co.uk or by calling 01254 679131.

PM+M Two-Wheeled Professionals Networking Ride

networking cycling blog

The afternoon of Wednesday 19 April saw the third 2017 gathering of PM+M’s two-wheeled professionals cycle-networking ride. The weather, yet again, was kind and the group met at The Green Jersey in Clitheroe to head out for 25 miles of pleasant riding and business-related conversations. Thanks to modern technology and GPS tracking the route can be viewed using the following link https://www.relive.cc/view/949367024  but took in Bashall Eaves, Cow Ark, Whitewell, Chipping and Chaigley.

The turnout, as ever, was excellent and we certainly weren’t short of representation from many different disciplines including lawyers, bankers, estate agents, marketing specialists andmore!

As ever the conversation flowed as well as the route and I am aware of at least a couple of follow-up meetings in the diary. Post-ride feedback was as positive as ever and the format universally praised. Collaborative communication within the group is so good that the route was planned to allow one of our riders to swing off home on our return to Clitheroe in time to successfully sell a car without missing the ride!

If you are interested in an invite to the next event then please get in touch.

Neil Welsh - Navy
Neil Welsh
Independent Financial Advisor
Email: neil.welsh@pmm.co.uk
Tel: 01254 679131

Apprentice Assessment Day 2017

Photo 2

We held our second annual assessment day on the 20 April. We had 13 bright and enthusiastic students attend our Blackburn office for the afternoon from local colleges and universities. They were all competing for various vacancies we have on offer including 4 apprentice roles for our Tax, Run My Business and Corporate Services departments and a 12-month work placement opportunity within the Corporate Services team.

The candidates took part in a number of activities including the Lego tower challenge, an aptitude test and team role questionnaire, personal presentation, interview and the ‘Dragons Den’ exercise.

The candidates presented a topic of their choice and gave some interesting presentations on positive mind set, climate change, hobbies and travels.

The ‘Dragons Den’ exercise required the candidates to work in groups to create a new product/business idea or adapt an existing product to pitch to the panel of ‘Dragons’. The candidates worked well under the time pressure and dealt with the questions from the PM+M ‘Dragons’ very well. The PM+M ‘Dragons’ also enjoyed the exercise!

After another successful year, we look forward to hosting next year’s assessment centre! For more information on starting your PM+M careers, please click here to view our current opportunities.

Scam Alert – A Notice To Clients

shutterstock_381063385

You cannot be too careful in a world where data is easily accessible to everyone. A lot of scams may seem obvious but some clever scams may seem real and could potentially catch you out.

There’s a new scam in town and this one is targeting the elderly. The scammer will call the victim and tell them that ‘HMRC’ would be looking to take them to court over unpaid taxes but if they wished to prevent this they had to provide various details to them – including bank details.

HMRC have confirmed that this a scam and there are a large number of hoax callers who are attempting to trick elderly people into giving away sensitive information.

If you think you have been targeted by this scam, please contact to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040 to report this as it is a criminal offence.

The Importance Of Right To Work Checks

shutterstock_529521583

A client recently faced a Home Office enquiry into the status of one of their non-EU employees. It was resolved (eventually) with a positive outcome for our client, however, the reality could have been very different. It brought to the surface the significant risk that the business may have needed to amend its strategy for growth in the UK market had it not been able to recruit the required expertise from outside the EU. Of course, the realities of the UK labour market post-Brexit could still impact on this.

All businesses should review their HR and employment policies and processes on a regular basis, especially where it relates to Sponsored Migrant Workers (SMW’s), and I discussed this with Jane Carroll, Partner at Solutions for HR, based in Bury.

Jane commented “Under UK immigration rules, it is a criminal offence to employ a person who is not entitled to work in the UK, therefore before employing any candidate it is essential that you ensure he or she has the right to work here. The easiest way to do so is to check all job applicants’ documents as part of your normal recruitment process – whether you believe candidates to be migrants or not. The necessary documents will depend on a candidate’s individual circumstances. You must ensure that the documents are valid.” Employers should not underestimate their obligations during the recruitment and on-boarding to the HMRC, and to effectively ‘police’ the movements of all SMW’s during their employment.

Jane continued to say that there is a useful online service which allows users to quickly check that the specific circumstances allows someone the right to work in the UK. This includes determining whether the vacancy could be filled by anyone in the EU. The site is anonymous and asks five simple questions to give an immediate answer. The test can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk.

If someone you wish to employ is not permitted to work in the UK without restriction, they will need to apply to work under a points-based system and are likely to require a certificate of sponsorship from an employer. As such, to employ workers under the points-based system, you will need to register as a sponsor.

Jane warned that you can be sent to jail for up to five years and receive an unlimited fine if you know or should have known that you employed someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK.

The advice is to safeguard yourself and your business by carrying out the correct right to work checks on employment, but to also ensure robust HR administration processes to flag up visa expiry dates to ensure rights to work remain valid.

If you would like to revisit your processes or seek advice, please contact Helen Clayton at helen.clayton@pmm.co.uk or call 0161 641 8684.

Are You Ready For Your MBO?

shutterstock_274686614 (1) So, you are currently working in a management role, but with no, or minimal, shareholding in the business and you believe that the current owner is thinking about retirement or perhaps going off to do something else altogether. Suddenly, you may have the opportunity to buy the business and have the potential to benefit from all your hard work and those great, new, business ideas you have been harbouring. It sounds to me like you have a chance to do a management buy out (MBO).

Where to start?

The first step can often be the hardest to take. You must raise the matter sensitively with the owner and how you do this will depend on your relationship with him or her. What you mustn’t do is kick anything off behind the owner’s back, as this may be upsetting as well as possibly being in breach of your contract of employment. You need the owner on your side. Assuming you get the green light, who will be in your team? Whoever it is must be 100% committed and understand the risks and rewards associated with being a business owner. Each team member will be asked to invest some capital personally and may also have to sign up to guarantees. You must suss out who is up for this. You don’t want anyone pulling out part way through because that would be very disruptive. Importantly, your team must be complete and cover all the bases; management, sales, production and finance. Finance is particularly critical. MBOs often require a significant level of debt and operating in this environment may require a change in emphasis to focus on cash flow, margin and cost control as well as the all-important sales figures.

Plan early

You will need a robust business plan so the sooner you can get cracking on this the better. Your MBO will more than likely need financial backing from one, or perhaps more, lenders or investors. They need to understand the business, believe that you and your team can deliver your growth plans and see how they can make a return.

Choose your advisers

You will need a corporate finance adviser. Don’t go for cheap. Don’t be tempted to go with the current company accountants as they will almost certainly advise the existing owner and thus have a conflict of interest. Choose an experienced adviser who has a track record in completing MBOs. Importantly, choose an adviser you can get on well with if the going gets tough.

Spring clean the business

Work with the owner and your advisers to tidy up before you start talking to funders. They will subject the business and your plans to detailed due diligence so you don’t really want any surprises.

Choose your financial backers

Your financial backers will be an integral part of your business life for at least 3 years and perhaps more. You need to choose those who you can rely on for support. Hopefully, things will all go according to plan, but if they don’t, having a supportive and flexible backer will be crucial. Your corporate finance adviser will know who to approach and what they want to hear.

Jim Akrill - website
Jim Akrill 
Corporate Finance Partner
Email: jim.akrill@pmm.co.uk
Tel: 01254 604353

 

Who Wants To Work Forever?!

shutterstock_130453604

Hardly a month goes by without the Government releasing another report on pensions and the past few weeks have been no exception. Analysis by the Department of Work and Pensions has suggested that people under the age of 30 may not get a pension until age 70. A second report by John Cridland CBE for the Department for Work and Pensions has recommended that those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer to age 68.

The root cause of the problem is that life expectancy seems to be ever increasing with the average retiring worker now spending twenty plus years in retirement. When the State Pension was first introduced in 1908, retirement age was set at 70. However, only one in four people reached that age and life expectancy was only 79.

So, how do you avoid working until you are 70? Of course, the answer is to save more! As a rough rule of thumb take the age you start your pension and halve it, and this is the percentage of your salary you should set aside each year until you retire.

The above is of course simple in theory but much more difficult in practice, as life, children and mortgages get in the way! It is always better to be saving something rather than nothing and the magic of compound growth should not be ignored. For example, if you save £100 per month for thirty years and with an average growth of 6%, you should have a retirement fund of £104,608.

For further information on pension planning contact Antony Keen, PM+M Wealth Management Director, by phone on 01254 604303 or by email at antony.keen@pmm.co.uk.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) Update

shutterstock_508146895Following the spring budget, the chancellor has announced that MTD for unincorporated businesses and landlords with an annual turnover between £10,000 and £85,000 will now take effect from April 2019 as opposed to the original implementation date of April 2018. This delay will no doubt be a welcome postponement for smaller businesses.

Unincorporated businesses and landlords who have turnover exceeding £85,000 will need to submit quarterly returns digitally to HM Revenue & Customs from April 2018. There is no change to the scheduled start date of April 2020 for limited companies.

If you have any questions on how MTD will affect you, please do not hesitate to contact one of our dedicated MTD team.

Andrew Cowking - New Website
Andrew Cowking
Partner
Email: andrew.cowking@pmm.co.uk 
Telephone: 01254 679131

Julie Walsh - New website
Julie Walsh 
Tax Manager
Email: julie.walsh@pmm.co.uk
Telephone: 01254 679131

Jill Morris - New Website
Jill Morris
Run My Business Director
Email: jill.morris@pmm.co.uk 
Telephone: 01254 679131

Lucy O Gorman - New wesbite
Lucy O’Gorman
Run My Business Manager
Email: lucy.ogorman@pmm.co.uk
Telephone: 01254 679131

 

 

 

 

 

The Chancellor makes a U-turn on National Insurance Tax Rise

shutterstock_332468855 (1)

Plans to increase National Insurance (NI) levels for self-employed people announced in the Budget last week have been dropped.

A pledge to not increase NI was made in a manifesto back in 2015. The Chancellor broke that pledge last week during the Budget but, after the announcements last week, Philip Hammond has had a change of heart by announcing “There will be no increases in…rates in this Parliament.”

What does this mean?

This is great news in the short term but this almost certainly won’t be the end of the story.

This leaves a rather curious situation entering the build up to the Autumn Budget. There’s obviously no way of predicting what the Chancellor will have in store for us, but the Treasury may be facing a new problem – the increase in NI rate was due to raise over £2bn by 2022. We can expect some changes in the Autumn as it was heavily briefed that the rise in NI was a way to pay for social care and business rate support spending commitments.

It’s worth noting that there’s no backtrack on dividend allowance reduction.

On your marks, get set, LEGO!

Last week was a busy one at PM+M! On top of the Spring Budget (you can find our commentary here), the team attended the UK Praxity Conference in Coventry, the Red Rose Awards and took part in a regional event as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Kath Rigbye (HR + Talent Manager), Neil Welsh (Financial Adviser) and Faye Hughes (Marketing + Business Development Manager) upped sticks and headed to Darwen Aldridge Community Academy for the day to take part in the HIVE Skills Showcase.

Over 800 pupils from across Blackburn with Darwen attended the showcase to meet businesses who are committed to helping young people secure a bright future. During the showcase, the PM+M team engaged with students and gave them an insight on what they can expect from a career in financial services. The team also gave a sneak preview of some of the tasks they would be expected to take part in as part of our apprenticeship assessment day. It wasn’t just the students that got involved, however. Neil and Faye’s competitive sides came out – and they weren’t happy being beaten by pupils from QEGS!


The event marked the launch of our annual School Leaver Programme which offers 4 apprenticeships to school leavers aged 16-18. All our vacancies are now live on the PM+M website. Applications must be submitted by Friday 24th March and successful candidates will be invited to attend our assessment day on Thursday 20th April.

“My apprenticeship has been very interactive. I have learnt to use multiple skill sets in my daily tasks and work alongside a range of motivating and inspiring colleagues. PM+M is an uplifting work environment that has allowed me to harness new skills and engage with the wider workforce as part of my training role. I feel more responsible and my understanding of the finance industry has improved massively. I am lucky to have stepped foot into an exciting career path in a bright and integrated team.” – Bahiya Hussain (Wealth Management Apprentice studying for the CII Certificate in Financial Services)

SCHOOL LEAVER BUTTON