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Two Wheeled Professionals Roll Again…

PM+M Business Professionals (on 2 wheels) 170816Inspired by the successes of Team GB cyclists in the Rio velodrome, last Wednesday afternoon saw nine local professionals, including two of PM+M’s own, heading out onto the lanes of the Ribble Valley in glorious sunshine to build and cement their business connections.

For the second in the series of 2 wheeled networking events, there were four riders who had participated in the first event and five new faces, whilst the list of those wanting to attend gets ever longer.

The ride set off from The Green Jersey in Clitheroe, heading out to Sawley then on to Bolton By Bowland, and Hellifield before returning via Grindleton and Waddington. The route was just shy of 30 miles and undertaken with an average speed of over 17mph – brisk enough to feel challenging, but not to the extent that it made conversation difficult, after all that is the point of the event, to talk to each other and discuss ways to support or collaborate.

After the ride there was chance to dissect the ride over coffee and for the obligatory photo.

Companies represented were:

PM+M Wealth Management
The Green Jersey
Harrison Drury Solicitors
Forbes Solicitors
NatWest Business Banking
Anderton Bosonet Estate Agents
Atlantik AV
MC Financial Forecasting

Despite a request for another event this week, the next one will be in September (date TBC). Since details of the event were shared on twitter and Facebook the requests to attend future events have been coming in thick and fast, perhaps most notably from the head of world cycling’s governing body Brian Cookson. Brian is now based in Switzerland but gets back to his second home in Whalley from time to time and wants to join us when his diary permits – what better endorsement could you ask for!

If you are interested in joining the guest-list/waiting- list, then get in touch with event organisers Neil Welsh neil.welsh@pmm.co.uk or Tony Brierley tony.brierley@pmm.co.uk

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How’s Business?

SurveyEver felt like telling the Government what it’s REALLY like being in business in 2015?  Well, here’s your chance.  The Quarterly Economic Survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce is a highly respected snapshot of economic conditions for business.  It is taken seriously by Central Government, is one of only three national surveys regularly used by the Bank of England when setting monetary policy and is reported widely in the media.

Each quarter, businesses from across the UK are asked to take part in the survey.  Whilst almost 7,500 companies completed the last survey we need more East Lancashire businesses to complete the survey.

Your input is crucial in helping us understand the local economy and beyond.  From this quarter we are also keen to provide a local picture for East Lancashire. In order to do this we need as many local businesses as possible completing the survey. The East Lancashire of Commerce Chamber will publish the results each quarter in the Business Life magazine. Your support is gratefully appreciated.

You can complete the survey by clicking the button below:

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PM+M Gets Local Business Community’s Brains Ticking with First Ever Quiz

Over 70 people attended with 22 teams taking part from a whole variety of sectors including financial institutions, law firms, property companies and insolvency practioners. They answered questions across a number of challenging rounds from NumbersColours and Music to Around the WorldNature and Picture.

A collection raised over £400 for Derian House Children’s Hospice, Chorley.

PM+M is a leading chartered accountancy, business advisory and wealth management group.  The firm was founded in 1919 and now operates from offices in Blackburn and Burnley.

This winning team was Woodcocks Solicitors who notched up an impressive 86.5 points. They were followed by worthy runners up Southerns Solicitors.

Stephen Anderson – managing partner at PM+M – said; “We were delighted with how the first quiz went. The reaction from everyone who attended was brilliant and there was an infectious buzz in the room that was spurred on by a healthy dose of competitiveness. We were also very happy to raise so much for Derian House which is a wonderful cause.”

New Tax Relief Arrangement of Small Cash Donations to a Charity

In previous years, charities were unable to claim a tax refund on small cash donations.  New rules will see this change.

The HMRC have announced that charities can now reclaim the basic rate tax of 20% deducted from a cash donation of no more than £20.  This type of donation, usually from street collections etc, will now be considered a gift.

These new rules will allow charities to claim back up to £1,250 of the £5,000 per year limit on small donations.

Those who pay tax above the basic rate will not be subject to a higher rate tax relief on these small cash donations.  The original Gift Aid scheme provides this kind of relief if that is what you are looking for.

Small businesses ‘hit by record levels of late payment’

The UK’s late payment culture is getting worse, with the amount owed to small and medium-sized enterprises reaching record levels, a new report has revealed.

The latest research, from payment organisation Bacs, shows that late payments have now reached an all-time high of £33.6 billion.

The average amount owed to each firm is also at its highest ever level of £39,000 and firms are also having to wait longer to receive their payments.

Half of all UK SMEs are affected by the problem of late payment, and are waiting on average 28 days longer than their original payment terms to have their invoices settled.

Large companies account for nearly half of all late payments, with many blaming their internal systems for the delay.

Commenting on the research, Mike Hutchinson from Bacs said, ‘The issue of late payment is continuing to get worse for SMEs in the UK at a time when they need to be able to plan ahead for growth and ensure a strong cash flow’.

Small businesses are advised to make sure that they agree payment terms upfront, and to work to promote a culture of prompt payment throughout their business.

We can help with your cash flow planning needs – please contact us for further assistance.

Autumn Statement date is announced

The Chancellor George Osborne will make his Autumn Statement on 29 November, the Treasury has announced.

The Statement will follow the latest economic forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

It is seen as a replacement for the Pre-Budget Report, which was first introduced by Gordon Brown to outline the Government’s tax plans.

Osborne will instead use his Statement to provide an update on the UK economy and respond to the updated growth figures from the OBR.

Speaking at a dinner earlier this week, the Chancellor conceded that his short-term hopes for the economy have been revised down, but he insisted that the Government would continue with its deficit reduction plan.

PM+M awarded ‘Silver Status’ by Investors in People

We are delighted to announce that PM+M has been awarded the coveted Investors in People (IIP) Silver Status Award. We received a Certification of Recognition confirming PM+M’s Silver Status in July.

PM+M has been a proud IIP accredited firm for many years but our new Silver Status is a further mark of excellence and follows an intensive reassessment process involving interviews with our staff.

IIP Silver Status is awarded to organisations that demonstrate a forward-thinking and progressive approach to business improvement through people.

Receiving IIP Silver Status positions PM+M in the top 2% of IIP accredited companies in the UK. Just 80 organisations in the North West have received this accolade, only 11 of which are in Lancashire. We look forward to building on this success.

HMRC admits millions have not paid correct amount of tax

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has said that up to 4.7 million taxpayers will be sent letters later this year telling them they paid either too much or too little income tax in 2010/11.

Every year HMRC conducts a reconciliation exercise to check that people have paid the right tax via the PAYE system. Last September, HMRC faced severe criticism when it emerged that 5.7 million people had not paid the correct tax via PAYE for the years 2008/09 and 2009/10, which led to about 1.4 million people having to pay an extra £1,428 each on average, while about 900,000 taxpayers had their debts of up to £300 written off. The explanation given by the Revenue was that a new, more effective computer system had revealed previous calculation errors.

This year the reconciliation exercise for 2010/11 will take place in late July, and HMRC estimates that between 1.7 and 3.5 million people will be repaid an average of £340 each, while 1.2 million will owe £500-£600 each.

Cheques for people previously overtaxed are due to be sent out in August and September, and calculations for underpayments will be sent in batches after that, with the last going out in December.

Those presented with a bill will have time to challenge the calculations if they think they are wrong. If the challenge is unsuccessful then the money will be taken from their earnings each month via a change to their PAYE tax code for 2012/13.

Up to £3,000 per individual will be collected this time via PAYE, more than the previous limit of £2,000.

“We expect that hardly anyone will be faced with a bill larger than £3,000, but if they want to pay us in one go by cheque they can,” said an HMRC spokesman.

HMRC to target e-traders in new tax campaign

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to launch a series of new campaigns to tackle tax avoidance, it has announced.

One of the campaigns will target those who use e-marketplace sites such as e-Bay and Amazon to buy and sell goods as a trade or business.

While occasional sellers are unlikely to be liable to tax, people earning a living as self-employed traders may need to pay income tax, national insurance and VAT.

Meanwhile, private tutors and coaches who are able to earn either a main or secondary income from their expertise will be the subject of a separate campaign to recoup unpaid tax.

HMRC said it will also build on its plumbers’ campaign and ‘give an opportunity to another group of tradespeople to come forward and declare unpaid tax’.

It confirmed that it would be using ‘cutting-edge tools’ including a ‘web robot’ to search the internet and find targeted information about specified people and companies.

“By being open about our areas of interest for the coming year we hope to maximise that exchange of information and ensure we reduce the tax gap and help customers pay what they owe,” commented Mike Wells, HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence.

Meanwhile Gary Ashford, of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), said: “The news last week that HMRC have launched 16 criminal investigations off the back of earlier campaigns shows that the taxman is taking a very tough line against suspected tax evaders.

“It will be important for HMRC to explain to e-traders the borderline between an individual selling one’s own surplus belongings and moving into trading,” he added.

Warning over red tape challenge response

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that Government plans to reduce red tape for businesses may be compromised amid growing concern from the public.

Speaking in Westminster last week, Cable claimed that members of the public and consumer groups were using the new Red Tape Challenge website to lobby for existing regulations to be maintained or increased.

Launched in April, the site gives firms and the public a chance to have their say on regulations affecting their business or lives.

The campaign forms part of the Government’s wider strategy to tackle excessive regulation and thus give businesses the freedom to innovate and grow.

However, the Prime Minister David Cameron may be forced to review his pledge to cut red tape if there is a lack of support for the deregulation plans.

“One of our top priorities is to reduce that amount of regulation that small companies and start-ups face, but please don’t pretend this is easy,” said Cable.

Pointing to the Red Tape Challenge website, he added: “Very perversely we are being bombarded by messages from the public saying please increase regulation.”

Last month the Chancellor George Osborne told the Institute of Directors’ annual conference: “There are lots of people who will oppose this, lots of pressure groups. We really need the people who make the arguments – that we need growth, we need expansion, we need new businesses, we need new business premises – to make sure they are heard. Otherwise it is Government alone defending itself against those pressure groups.”

Once online debate has closed, ministers will have three months to explain why a regulation was still required or it will be scrapped.