Monthly Archives: April 2019

How to ride the investment rollercoaster


An investment can often be compared to a rollercoaster ride – ups and downs are expected, with an element of risk.

Watching the market in the run up to Brexit, I am sure that even the most courageous investor is feel slightly uneasy.

As someone with an inherent dislike of rollercoasters, I can absolutely understand this feeling of trepidation, and the cure for this is similar to what I do when I go on a rollercoaster – I make sure I fully understand what I am getting on and remember to think of the feeling of accomplishment when the ride finally finishes.

I think the problem some people face when investing is that they don’t recognise the process as like a rollercoaster ride, so when the experience becomes uncomfortable or frightening, they want to jump off straight away.

Recent research has shown that had you invested in the UK Stock Market over the last 15 years, your annualised return would have been 7.7%.

However, missing the best 10 days during that period would have reduced your return to 3.4% and missing the best 20 days to 0.8%!

The golden rule to investing is allowing your investments plenty of time to achieve their full potential. Be patient – when stock markets become volatile it is usually best to resist changes to your long term strategy.  

‘Time, not timing’ remains key to investing.

You wouldn’t jump off a rollercoaster mid-way through, so jumping off where your investments are concerned is equally as bad a move.

Just think of the end result, enjoy the ride and reap the long-term rewards.

If you have any questions regarding investments or financial planning, get in touch with Antony Keen by emailing or call 01254 679131.

PM+M Wealth Management is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

When should I enrol for Making Tax Digital?

From the 1 April 2019 the majority of VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) are required to submit their VAT returns via compatible software and keep their VAT records digitally. Whilst the legislation applies to a large number of businesses some more complex entities have been granted a deferment to October 2019 by HMRC.

It is important to note that HMRC will not automatically enrol qualifying businesses into the new legislation. It is the responsibility of the business owner to enrol into the new legislation at the right time.

In our latest blog we look at when you should enrol and start to submit VAT Returns under the new MTD system and the timing requirements for doing so.

When is the first Making Tax Digital for VAT return quarter?

The legislation applies to the first VAT quarter that starts on or after the 1st April 2019, the table below outlines your first VAT return under the new MTD rules:







For example:

Businesses with VAT quarters ending May, August, November and February would be able to submit the VAT quarter to May 2019 under the old rules providing they haven’t already enrolled.

The VAT return for quarter June – August 2019 would need to be submitted under new MTD rules.

When to enrol for MTD for VAT

Timing of enrolment is key, and it is vital that you get this right. Once signed up, HMRC will expect all future VAT returns to be filed through MTD software – including those VAT periods which have not yet been submitted. Businesses should ensure that all non MTD VAT returns have been submitted before enrolling.

HMRC offers the following guidelines as to when you should sign up to MTD for VAT

  • If your business pays via direct debit then you cannot sign up in the 5 working days after the submission deadline for the last non MTD VAT Return
  • Businesses that pay via direct debit must also sign up at least 7 working days before the first MTD VAT Return is filed
  • If you pay by non-direct debit methods, you must allow 24 hours after submitting your last non-MTD return before signing up.
  • You will receive an email acknowledgement from HMRC within 72 hours of registering, do not attempt to file the first MTD for VAT Return until this confirmation email has been received.
  • If you’ve filed your VAT return late, and you pay by direct debit, you must allow five working days after filing late before signing up. If you pay by non-direct debit methods then, as above, you must allow 24 hours before signing up if you’ve filed your VAT return late.

How we can help

PM+M can offer a wide range of services and support to help you become MTD compliant, including; reviewing your current VAT procedures, guiding you towards a suitable solution, assisting with quarterly submissions to HMRC and even providing training for your team.

If you have any questions in relation to becoming MTD compliant get in touch with our specialist MTD team by emailing or call 01254 679131.

Alison Brown joins PM+M VAT team

PM+M has appointed Alison Brown as VAT manager within its tax team.

Her role will include advising the firm’s clients on a range of VAT matters and transactions including property and partial exemption.

She will also be offering VAT health-checks to ensure clients are managing their VAT in line with current laws as well as assisting clients with handling HMRC compliance checks.

Alison previously worked for HMRC as a VAT specialist for 29 years before joining PM+M.

Jane Parry, managing partner at PM+M, said: “Alison brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience around VAT that complements our wider tax offering so we are delighted that she is now part of the team.”

Alison added: “I enjoyed working at HMRC but I was ready to move to a firm where I knew I could develop my career. PM+M really stood out and I’m now looking forward to working with my colleagues and helping to deliver great service to our clients.”

100 years of PM+M

We are thrilled to announce that this year, we are celebrating PM+M’s 100th anniversary.

Founded by Richard Porter, John Matthews and Walter Hindle Marsden back in 1919, our roots have remained firmly in Lancashire throughout our 100-year history and we are incredibly proud to have worked with and supported so many local businesses and individuals throughout this time.

It appears 2019 is a particularly notable year to be celebrating 100 years of success, with other British organisations such as Tesco and British Airways also recognising their centenary this year.

Over the past century, PM+M has grown from strength to strength, now operating from three office locations across the North West, adapting to changes in technology over the generations, growing and prospering whilst remaining fully independent throughout.

Recent achievements include being named as one of the UK’s top 100 firms by Accountancy Age, achieving our highest team headcount ever, and achieving our gold Investors in People status.

Of course none of these successes would have been possible without the fantastic support of our team and clients, past and present. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported PM+M throughout the past 100 years – we are so grateful.

Here’s to the next 100 years!

A topical tax tip – the substantial shareholding exemption (SSE)

The substantial shareholding exemption (SSE) is a wonderfully generous and flexible relief which allows companies to make tax free sales of shares in trading companies – typically subsidiaries, but can be any holding of 10% or more.

It used to be that the company had to be owned for a year pre-sale to qualify.  The rules were relaxed a couple of years ago and now, as long as the trade has been owned for at least a year, you can transfer it into a company and sell the company that same day and be eligible for SSE.

However, you have to have had a group of companies for a year pre-sale to qualify.

Therefore if you have already got a group, you’ve got lots of flexibility.

Moreover, if you have one company with a couple of divisions and they want to sell one, you’ve got a problem – you will pay corporation tax on that sale.  You would need to create a group and wait a year to qualify for the SSE relief.

Therefore, it is worth considering incorporating a dormant subsidiary as an insurance policy in case at some point in the future you may wish to sell part of your company’s trade.  This will give you the ability to sell that part of the trade tax free without having to wait 12 months and possibly losing the opportunity of the sale.

We are always happy to review your capital tax position as well as annual corporation tax and income tax. For more information on eligibility for SSE as above, or Entrepreneurs’ Relief and inheritance tax Business Property Relief, please contact Claire Astley on