Monthly Archives: June 2012

Unlock Cash to Boost Economy, says Government Whip

Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and Member of Parliament Brooks Newmark believes unlocking cash for small businesses will improve the region’s economy.

At a forum with business leaders and enterprise organisations, hosted by Blackburn-based PM+M Chartered Accountants, Mr Newmark spoke of the great heritage of business in Lancashire, and discussed the challenging environment companies currently operate in.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme offers tax incentives to investors who bank roll companies with assets less than £200,000, and the government hopes this will kick-start a SME revival, which have often been seen as the backbone of the economy.

Mr Newmark said: “It was a lively discussion, and it’s clear there is a lot of ambition to support small businesses across the county.

“We see the scheme as highly attractive to would-be investors.

“By allowing them to back small businesses we can tap into the entrepreneurial spirit that exists not only in Lancashire but across the country.

“It is clear there is still some work for us to do on simplifying schemes such as SEIS, and I’ve asked all who attended to keep in touch and highlight any concerns they have with me directly.”

Tony Tinker, general practice partner at PM+M, said: “We were honoured to host a discussion with such a high-level government representative, and it was a great opportunity to bring businesses together and share ideas on how to overcome the barriers many of us and our clients face.”


Diane Eatough, our business services and rural business partner retired from the partnership at the end of April. Diane will be continuing as a consultant of the firm and will be in the office for four days per week, continuing to be actively involved in our rural business team.

Diane has been a partner of PM+M since 1992 and hopes her retirement from the partnership will mean she has a little more time to spend with her family, travel and persue her love of creative arts.

Long Service

This year, three valued members of our team have between them “clocked up” 95 years with PM+M.

In May one of our receptionists, Glad Ashworth, completed 25 years service; Neil Jones, a business services manager, completes 30 years in July and August sees our rural business services manager, Peter Oddie, complete 40 years service.

Neil started his career at PM+M in 1982 straight from Preston Polytechnic. His early time was spent working on smaller unincorporated businesses preparing accounts, while studying to become a Chartered Accountant. Over the years, Neil has worked on various audit clients and is now a business services manager handling a large portfolio of both audit and non audit clients.

“One of the many reasons I have been so happy with PM+M through the years is the long-standing relationship I have built with many of my clients. I am fortunate to have a great working relationship with all my clients, both large and small. I have enjoyed seeing their businesses thrive and grow over the years, and take pride in the fact that I may have helped along the way.

Hopefully I can continue to do this for a number of years to come.”

Peter joined PM+M in 1972 after completing his A levels at school. His first position was as an articled clerk assisting on audits and accounts preparation.

For the last 12 years, Peter has been part of our rural business services team, a role he really enjoys “I was brought up on a farm and still live on a livestock farm today. I enjoy talking to my clients about their businesses and providing an accounts preparation and tax planning service Working with a portfolio of clients means I can build good working relationships with them and benefit from the variety of work that this entails”.

“During the last 12 years our team has gone from strength to strength and we now look after over 100 rural businesses ranging from dairy farmers to caravan parks. I have enjoyed playing a part in the growth of our team and look forward to continuing the expansion in the future”.

Providing Vouchers to Staff

Do you reward your staff with vouchers? If so, make sure you’re treating them correctly for tax. This seems to be a hot topic for PAYE Inspectors at the moment

There are income tax and national insurance charges for providing vouchers – which can be exchanged for goods or services – to employees.

Employers can take care of these costs under a Pay As You Earn Settlement arrangement whereby the cost is grossed up and the employer pays the tax, and class 1B national insurance on behalf of the employee.

This does of course mean that the cost to the employer is increased but it stops what was a positive benefit for the employees becoming a pain.

Alternatively, they can be reported on forms P11d or P9d for lower paid employees and the employee will be liable to pay the tax.

If you have provided vouchers to staff and would like further advice, please get in touch with Julie Walsh on 0125467921 or email

Don’t Miss Out on Valuable Relief

Many businesses are missing out on claiming a valuable tax relief which, in some cases, can actually generate cash payments from HM Revenue & Customs.

Research & development tax credits provide extra tax relief for qualifying research and development (‘R&D’) costs. Small and medium sized companies can have 225% tax relief for qualifying expenditure and, if they are making losses, can surrender the tax credits in return for a cash payment.

Whether a project qualifies as R&D for these purposes can be a complex decision and this is an area where we have considerable expertise of advising and have had great success at generating tax savings for clients.

In brief, if you are doing something new – expanding the boundaries of scientific or technological knowledge or applying such knowledge or technology in an entirely new way – you may well be carrying out qualifying R&D.

Costs you can include in a claim are the salary and NIC costs of the people carrying out the R&D, consumable materials for the R&D project plus a reasonable overhead element. These can easily add up to a substantial sum.

Claims can be made up to 2 years after the end of the accounting period to which they relate.

Visit our helpsheet section for more information on both R & D tax credits and the Patent Box

To find out whether what you are doing might qualify for R&D tax credits or for advice on preparing a claim, please contact Jane Parry on 01254 679131 or email

For more information on the Patent Box click here.