Month: August 2018

Are you missing out on R&D tax credits?

Are you missing out on R&D tax credits?


There are thousands of pounds being lost in tax relief by eligible companies every year. This reflects the common misconception that Research and Development (R&D) is confined to manufacturing plants, tech giants or research laboratories, when in reality, the ideas and inspirations that move industries forward have their roots in everyday innovation by the professionals on the ground.
R&D tax relief is the government’s way of rewarding businesses that invest in innovation.
This innovation can be in the form of developing new, or improving existing products, processes, services, devices and materials or advancing the state of knowledge in their sector.
You can get a deduction from your corporation tax bill or even receive a cash payment from HMRC for your R&D tax credit claim.

Key stages in ascertaining an R&D tax credit claim include:

• Discussing your technology in detail to figure out if it does indeed qualify
• Evaluating your technology with consideration of which R&D Specialist Unit will be looking at it (different ones have subtly different criteria)
• Preparing a technical narrative that presents your technology in the best possible way to minimise the chances of an audit
• Calculating the size of the claim based on HMRC’s ever-changing criteria (which are also specific to each R&D Specialist Unit)
• Filing the claim directly with a specialist unit to ensure that it is looked at by a specialist (and not an HMRC inspector who suddenly takes an interest in tax credits but has never looked at a claim before)
• Following up on that filing to ensure it is looked at promptly
• Providing a first line of defence when handling questions from HMRC (including ones about the technology), so that unless an audit is requested, you don’t even need to worry about the claim and just wait for the money to come in
• If an HMRC audit does occur, prepping key tech and finance members of your team so that they know how to answer questions in the most favourable way, and sitting in the audit meeting with you to help handle HMRC questions.

Ascentant can help you determine if your business activities are eligible for tax relief and will maximise the claim you make by identifying the biggest relief possible.
If you would like to find out more, contact Ascentant on 01332 897356 or

Ascentant are Accountants and Business Consultants with offices in Derby, Nottingham and London.

Small Business Support

Small Business Support in Derby

If you are an SME in Derby or Derbyshire, are you aware of the support available for your business? Here we take a look at some of the options available.

Apprenticeship Grant

If considering employing an apprentice, employing a 16-18 year old makes you eligible for a £1,000.00 grant. Employing an apprentice allows you to train an employee from scratch and you pay the apprentice the apprenticeship wage for the first year of employment which currently stands at £3.70 per hour.
If considering employing an apprentice in Derby, we recommend contacting the 3AAA Academy.


NBV offer grants and startup loans to small businesses in the Derby area. Grants can be used for IT equipment, Tools and machinery, consultancy services, marketing services or IT services.
NBV grants are match funded, meaning that the small business will need to put in some of its own funds to be eligible for grant funding.

BigHouse/ Mainframe

BigHouse offers support to small and startup businesses in the creative industries in Derby. From networking events and training to funding and financial support, Bighouse specialise in working with creative, artistic and digital businesses.
A number of grants are available including grants to hire freelancers or graduates through the elevator programme.
Mainframe runs at the Quad in Derby and runs a number of workshops and networking events including the Digital Drop in on the first Friday of the month.

Digital Growth Club

The digital growth club offers small businesses access to high quality and free or low cost training and workshops covering areas from social media and SEO to web design and other digital growth support.
The digital growth club also offers grant and funding support.


For businesses looking to grow or invest in large projects, Derby University run the Invest To Grow scheme which is loan and grant funded.
The minimum award is currently £15,000.00 with the minimum project cost being £50,000.00.
The programme is particularly aimed at sectors including creative, transport, engineering and logistics.

D2N2 Growth Hub

The D2N2 growth hub is the local Derby and Nottingham Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which supports start up and growing businesses through training, mentoring and grant funding.

Internship funding

Derby University offer funding programs for small businesses to take on interns during term time. Interns must be paid the minimum wage and can last upto 5 months.
A £500.00 grant is currently available to contribute towards the cost of employing an intern.

Ascentant are Accountants and Business Consultants with offices in Derby, Nottingham and London. Contact or 01332 897356 further information on small business support in the Derby area.