On Wednesday 25 November, Chancellor George Osborne delivered the 2015 Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Response was mixed (as we have come to expect – there are always some winners and some losers) and there were a few surprises. The key messages were:
- A U-turn on tax credits;
- An additional £450m to be invested in Government Digital Service so that every individual and small business will have their own digital tax account by 2020;
- Local governments will now have the power to cut rates for businesses and to also keep all the revenues they collect;
- 26 new or extended Enterprise Zones including Carlisle;
- The funding for Innovate UK will be maintained;
- The extension of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme for another year;
- The rise in capital transport spending;
- 400,000 new homes to be built nationwide by the end of the decade;
- 3% stamp duty supplement for purchases of buy-to-let and second homes from April 2016;
- Payments on account of CGT within 30 days of selling a residential property by 2019;
- 3 million apprenticeships to be created by 2020; and
- 0.5% apprenticeship levy to be introduced on the payroll costs of all businesses with £3m+ payroll costs.
All in all, the Autumn Statement was the Chancellor’s chance to show that there has been an improvement in public finances. Some of it was good for business, but the real test will be whether the private sector continues to grow over the coming years as much of it will be dictated by what’s going on in the Eurozone and further afield. For full commentary, please click on the link below.
George Osborne will be delivering his Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday 25 November. The Autumn Statement is usually a significant event in the calendar and this year is unlikely to be any different, especially as it is being combined with a spending review.
There are rumours that the Chancellor could use this week’s Autumn Statement to accelerate the planned tax increases on dividends that are currently set to be introduced in April 2016. There are some significant practical problems with accelerating his plans mid tax year, but this may not hold him back in his mission to cut the UK’s deficit.
We would advise anyone who is considering taking dividends this tax year to take action now, rather than waiting until closer to 5 April as might usually be the plan. Doing so shouldn’t accelerate any tax payments and it may save you money if the Chancellor does decide to surprise us by accelerating the dividend tax changes.
If you want to take your dividends now then you should vote the dividends before Wednesday and ensure that you sign the relevant documentation to reflect this. Dividends don’t have to be paid out immediately in cash, they can be credited to loan accounts and subsequently drawn down, but again it’s important that they are credited to the loan account before Wednesday.
If you think you may be in this situation and are wondering what your next steps are, please get in touch with our tax team on 01254 679131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will have full commentary of all the announcements and how they affect individuals and businesses on our website on Thursday 26 November.
PM+M is delighted to announce that Jane Parry – our managing partner – was named Best Financial Advisor of the Year 2015 at the inaugural Downtown Lancashire in Business Women in Business Awards.
The ceremony, which took place on Friday 13th November at The Villa in Preston, attracted over 200 people.
Other categories included: Best Newcomer of the Year, Best Employee of the Year and Best Legal Advisor of the Year.
Jane said: “I am delighted to have won this award. DLiB does a fantastic job promoting the business community across Lancashire and the North West so this kind of recognition from them is hugely appreciated.”
Frank McKenna – founder and Chief Executive of Downtown in Business – said: “The first Women in Business awards has been a huge success and it was great see to so many female entrepreneurs and business leaders together.”
Once seen as a last resort for businesses in trouble, asset based lending (ABL) is a source of finance that has grown year on year for the past 10 years. Why is this?
For a start, bank loans have been harder to obtain since the financial crisis as lending criteria have become more stringent. Because ABL concentrates on lending secured against more easily realisable assets such as debtors, plant and some types of stock, funders can be more flexible in terms of the structure of the finance being made available.
Moreover, the increasing popularity of ABL has led to an increase in the number of providers leading to greater competition and keener pricing.
ABL is not right for every business, but where it is right a little time spent talking to a number of potential providers could reap significant cost savings and produce a range of alternative options.
Jim Akrill – Corporate Finance Partner
With Christmas just around the corner, we are launching our 2015 Christmas Present Appeal for Blackburn Children’s Services.
We are kindly asking for donations for this extremely worthy cause. If you could consider sparing a little time and money, we know your donations will be greatly appreciated. For some children, this could be the only gift they receive this Christmas. Gifts can be for children of any age or gender and we have included a few guidelines below:
- Gifts should be to the value of around £10
- Gifts must be new
- Gifts can be delivered wrapped or unwrapped
- Wrapped gifts should be clearly marked with gender and age range
- Gifts should not contain confectionery or alcohol
Gifts can be dropped off at our Blackburn and Burnley offices between 8:30am and 5:30pm before Friday 4 December.
The PM+M team would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kindness and generosity and we do hope that as many of you as possible will join us in supporting such a worthy cause.
Last week both I and my fellow partner David Gorton attended the Praxity annual global conference in Beijing. The event, like previous conferences, included a number of high profile speakers from a variety of backgrounds, covering a range of topics. The overriding theme was China and how the country and people have adapted to significant changes in a relatively short period of time.
The conference enabled us to make new connections and also meet old contacts. Developing new business opportunities was the key focus but there was a little time to visit certain historic sites including dinner in the Great Hall of The People, a visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and a walk along the Great Wall of China.
Although there was very little time during the conference to explore Beijing, the small part that I did manage to see was a play on the senses. The scale of Beijing is mind blowing, including both the number of people and the amount of traffic. Driving in Beijing is not for the faint hearted and having been involved in a crash in the taxi from the airport – thankfully nobody was hurt – I decided that I would not be hiring a car for any future visits!
Being part of Praxity enables PM+M to have direct contact with like-minded advisers in all four corners of the world including China, Australia, USA and Europe. The global conference allows attendees to meet and discuss opportunities face to face. Whilst difficult to measure the success of the conference on a personal level, it was informative and thought-provoking, if a little tiring!
The conference was extremely well organised and clearly takes a great deal of planning to ensure each day runs smoothly. Praise should be given to Graham and the rest of the team for delivering such an event no matter where in the world it is held. Thanks are also due to this year’s hosts, ShineWing, for their superb hospitality. Next year the conference is being held at Gleneagles in Scotland. A little closer to home and hopefully a safer drive!
Tim Mills – Corporate Finance Partner