Monthly Archives: February 2015

HMRC Digitalises Services for Registered Charities

shutterstock_169711982It was only last month that HMRC released the VAT MOSS service online for suppliers of digital services to fulfil their tax obligations. HMRC is continuing its digital revolution with the release of a new online service for charities.

The online service will allow charities to register themselves, replacing the current ChA1 paper form. Although charities have been able to reclaim tax online since 2013, they would have had to go through the long process of submitting a paper form to register.

Charities can now register solely online by providing various details about themselves, along with supporting documentation. Registration using the paper ChA1 form will no longer be available although forms that have already been submitted but have yet to be processed will be considered by HMRC.

It would seem that HMRC are taking that step forward by moving away from paper one step at a time. The move toward digital should, in theory, improve customer service and efficiency when dealing with matters that may have historically taken a long time.

If you are a registered charity and would like advice on how these changes might affect you, please contact Helen Binns (Charity Specialist) on 01254 679131 or by email at helen.binns@pmm.co.uk.

Check Your Tax Codes for Errors

shutterstock_124340350Three million people in the UK have more than one source of income and could potentially face backdated tax bills of £2,000 per year because of errors made by HMRC.

Those most likely to be affected are people with two or more sources of income such as multiple pensions, those who continue to work part-time after retirement and former armed services personnel who now have civilian jobs, but still draw an army pension. The problems stem from the calculations based on a person’s personal allowance, of £10,000 having been allocated to more than one source of income.

For example, if you have retired but have chosen to take on a part-time role whilst receiving your pension, HMRC may calculate your tax payable based on your pension less £10,000 and then separately calculate the tax band on your pay from your part time role less £10,000.

The duplicated personal allowance will therefore result in an underpayment of income tax.

The mistake is only found one year later when the bill for the unpaid tax is sent. It is important that you take a close look at your code number to ensure no mistake has been made, or you could receive a nasty surprise.

If you suspect an error in your tax code and wish to seek advice on what to do next, get in touch with our tax team on 01254 679131.

Microsoft End Support of Windows XP

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It’s been over 12 years since the release of Windows XP and now that support has come to an end businesses using XP may have issues with reliability and performance. Whilst most Microsoft software has a lifespan of 10 years, Microsoft increased support for a further 2 years due to the popularity of the software.

Microsoft, along with their partners, will now turn their focus on the likes of Windows 8 and the soon to be released Windows 10. If your business is currently operating XP you may experience some problems with the newer accountancy and payroll software updates from Sage. Other software programmes may also be affected and your computer will be vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other harmful software that could steal or corrupt data, potentially causing your business a more costly problem in the future.

It’s important to be aware that if your business continues to operate on Windows XP, you are risking company data and your systems will be vulnerable to viruses.

For more information on what to do next if you are using Windows XP click the help sheet button below, or if you would like some advice, please call 01254 682248 to speak to a member of our Technologies team.

Email: IT@pmm.co.uk
Twitter: @pmm_tec

Help Sheet

How Much Will Care Cost You?

shutterstock_89750356January saw PM+M’s Wealth Management team present its second ‘Long Term Care and Inheritance Tax’ seminar. Over the years we’ve developed a specialism for advising elderly clients and their families.

Inheritance Tax has always been an area of concern for families looking to transfer wealth down the generations without handing over too much to the treasury.

However, we are increasingly seeing requests for advice on Long Term Care planning as more families grapple with the potentially high cost of providing care, either in a residential setting or at home. With more people living longer, it is an inevitable consequence more of us will need assistance in our later years.

The cost of long term care isn’t cheap as highlighted in articles on the BBC’s news website this week – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31023340. It states that 60% of people are expected to need care in their old age, with one in ten of us facing care costs in excess of £100,000. If you want to know the average weekly cost of providing care in your area, they’ve helpfully provided a care calculator based on your postcode. You can access the calculator here.

Knowing the weekly cost of care is just one side of the coin. There are also a number of planning issues that need to be addressed, questions such as:

  1. How much assistance is available from your local authority?
  2. Where should monies be placed to meet the immediate costs of care, and where should they be invested to meet longer term care needs?
  3. What assets would be exempt from any long term care assessment?
  4. What will happen to the family home?

Careful planning early on can result in reducing the overall impact of care costs, ensuring care needs remain affordable and result in more of a person’s estate being available to pass down to the next generation.

You don’t have to do the planning alone and if you do require assistance, please give me a call on 01254 679131 and I will be more than happy to help.

Richard Hesketh, Client Manager, PM+M Wealth Management

PM+M Support the Burnley Bondholder Scheme

Lee Hoos (Left), Tim Mills (Centre), Sean Dyche (Right)

Lee Hoos (Left), Tim Mills (Centre), Sean Dyche (Right)

We have got a lot to shout about in East Lancashire, especially in and around the Burnley area. This morning, the first Burnley Bondholder event of 2015 took place at Turf Moor, bringing together almost 200 delegates from local businesses. The Burnley Bondholder Scheme is a network of over 150 organisations who work together with a shared objective: to promote business and, more importantly, Burnley.

Guest speakers Lee Hoos (Chief Executive, Burnley Football Club) and Sean Dyche (Manager, Burnley Football Club) opened the event with a passionate account of the club’s history, its financial position and its relationship with the town and its residents. They also discussed the strategies the club adopts and the importance of laying solid foundations to build a brighter and better future. Onwards and upwards as they say!

What is interesting to note is how many of the strategies adopted by Burnley Football Club translate into the business world. They are obviously passionate about the area, respect the club’s heritage and understand that long term success will only be achieved by engaging people at all levels; directors, players and the local community.

Mick Cartledge of Burnley Borough Council gave an overview of plans for over the coming year, highlighting progress already made to improve infrastructure and tourism. With the help of local businesses and the council, plans to increase Burnley’s profile are well underway. PM+M are proud to support Burnley Bondholders and are committed to playing our part in the continuing change and improvement in the area.

Tim Mills, Corporate Finance Partner, commented: “This was an excellent event demonstrating how sport, business and the community work together to achieve great results.”

For more information about the Burnley Bondholders Scheme, and how you can get your business involved, click here.