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Data Protection & Privacy Policy

 

Your privacy and trust are important to us and this Privacy Policy provides information about how Ascendis handle personal information we collect about you when you use our services.

 

Personal Data

 

Ascendis is committed to the responsible handling and protection of personal data.

 

Personal data relates to any information about a person that makes you identifiable which may include (but is not limited to):

  • Names and contact information i.e. emails and telephone numbers
  • National Insurance Numbers
  • Employment history
  • Employee numbers
  • Credit History
  • Personal tax
  • Payroll and accounting data

 

We collect, use, disclose, transfer, and store personal information when needed to provide our services and for our operational and business purposes as described in this policy.

 

Data Controller

 

For general data protection regulation purposes, the “data controller” means the person or organisation who decides the purposes for which and the way in which any personal data is processed.

The data controller is Ascendis

 

What information do we collect and how?

 

Ascendis, as a Data Controller, is bound by the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

We obtain, use and process the information provided to us by individuals to enable us to discharge the services (as defined in our Letter of Engagement and supporting Schedules) and for other related purposes including;

  • Updating and enhancing client records
  • Analysis for management purposes
  • Carrying out credit checks in relation to you
  • Statutory returns
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Crime prevention.

 

How will we use the information and why?

 

At Ascendis we take privacy seriously and will only use personal information to provide the services which have been requested from us, as detailed in our Letter of Engagement and supporting schedules and as we have identified above.  We will only use this information subject to data protection law and our duty of confidentiality.

We may receive personal data for the purposes of our money laundering checks, such as a copy of a passport. This data will only be processed for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with the individual’s consent.

Our work may require us to pass on information to our third-party service providers, agents, subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks and providing the services on our behalf. However, when we use third party service providers, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the services and we have ensured that these providers comply with the general data protection regulation as detailed in this policy.

 

Sharing of Information

 

We partner with and are supported by service providers both within the UK and abroad. Personal information will be made available to these parties only when necessary to fulfill the services they provide to us, such as software support. Our third-party service providers are not permitted to share or use personal information we make available to them for any other purpose than to provide services to us.

As part of the services offered, your information may be transferred to countries outside the European Union (“EU”). For example, some of our third-party providers may be located outside of the EU. Where this is the case we take steps to ensure that the information we collect is processed according to this Privacy Statement and the requirements of applicable law wherever the data is located.

When we transfer personal information from the European Economic Area to other countries in which applicable laws do not offer the same level of data privacy protection as in your home country, we take measures to provide an appropriate level of data privacy protection. In other words, your rights and protections remain with your data.

 

Marketing

 

We would like to send information about our services which may be of interest to those clients which have specifically opted in to receive such communications. If any individual decides to opt out of receiving marketing, they may opt out at any point by emailing info@ascendis.co.uk or by following the unsubscribe link found in the email communication you receive from us.

 

How long we keep personal information

 

We retain personal information for as long as we reasonably require it for legal or business purposes. In determining data retention periods, Ascendis takes into consideration local laws, contractual obligations, and the expectations and requirements of our customers. When we no longer need personal information, we securely delete or destroy it.

 

Subject access request policy

 

If you request access to your personal information, we will gladly comply, subject to any relevant legal requirements and exemptions, including identity verification procedures. Before providing data to you, we will ask for proof of identity and sufficient information about your interaction with us so that we can locate any relevant data. We will respond to any subject access requests within one month of receipt of the request.

 

Right to portability policy

 

This is an your right to receive the personal data which you have given to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit that data to another controller without delay from the current controller if:

(a)    The processing is based on consent or on a contract, and

(b)    The processing is carried out by automated means.

 

Right to object policy

 

This is your right to lodge an objection to the processing of your personal data if you feel the “ground relating to your particular situation” apply.  The only reasons we will be able to deny this request is if we can show compelling legitimate grounds for the processing, which override their interest, rights and freedoms, or the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claims.

In some jurisdictions, you have the right to correct or amend your personal information if it is inaccurate or requires updating. You may also have the right to request deletion of your personal information; however, this is not always possible due to legal requirements and other obligations and factors.

 

Right to be forgotten policy

 

Under the GDPR, you have a right to have personal data erased, known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. This could apply where processing is no longer necessary for the purpose; where the data subject withdraws consent; if the individual objects to processing undertaken for legitimate interests; or where there are legal requirements to do so. There are exemptions from this right. For example, the right to erasure does not apply if processing is necessary to comply with a legal obligation. We will respond to any data erasure request within one month of receipt of the request

 

Security breach policy

 

A personal data breach is a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.

Ascendis will report data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours of us becoming aware of it. Ascendis will also report the breach to any affected individuals where there is a high risk that they will suffer adverse effects.

 

Staying in the good books of the tax man can usually mean businesses, and some accountants, aren’t proactive in making savings within the realms of Corporation Tax.

Regulations and laws are tighter surrounding Corporation Tax but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few pounds.

Here are our top tips that can show you how to save on your Corporation tax bill:

  1. Make sure you keep a record of everything paid for personally as this can offset your profits; and can also mean you are able to draw said money out of the company personally and it’ll be tax-free.
  1. Ensure you are claiming your capital allowances – a very important factor, read our previous blog post about capital allowances
  1. R&D – you could be reimbursed by HMRC if your company is seen to be innovative, and in-turn lowering your Corporation Tax bill. Unsure about if you can claim, see our previous blog post. Ascendis, accountants in Cheshire, are specialists in claiming R&D tax credits, you could be part of the 97& of eligible companies who aren’t claiming.
  1. Pension contributions – this is an allowable expense if you as a director makes contributions, you will also gain from a personal savings stand point.
  1. Make sure you are accruing for all costs necessary – if you have not yet paid for a cost but know it will only slightly fall outside of your businesses Y/E it should be included. But be aware, this will need to be reversed in next year’s accounts

There are many more ways to reduce your Corporation Tax bill. Get in contact for a free consultation, we cover a range of tax saving means.

 

Not making use of technology in business could quickly leave you behind.

All businesses struggle with cash-flow at one point or another. Look at the big giants of the nineties whom were so well established, nobody could ever have predicted they would go out of business.

Blockbuster, Kodak, Radio Shack…ring any bells?

With the constantly evolving technological landscape we live in, refusing innovation and change in your business may leave you struggling to make ends meet. Blockbuster failed to move into online distribution, doing so made way for Netflix, a company we all know and love and is now worth $61 billion.

Streamlining your processes by using technology could be beneficial to your business; it could save you time and money in the long-run. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and self-driving cars, who knows what could be possible in 10 years’ time.

Are you having a glitch in cash-flow? Or looking to improve systems? We can help with funding solutions to meet your needs.

We have access to a wide variety of funding options to suit you and your business. We understand the different circumstances of your business and are here to help. When running a business it can be hard to track how well your business is doing, with the likes of Carillion they weren’t being careful and over-reached themselves and in-turn proved unprofitable. Many opt for tracking profits but we suggest cash-flow is a more important and sustainable metric.

Xero is a great tool that we recommend to clients, it is very easy to use to assist in the accounts side of your business and you can use it for as little as £10 a month. It integrates with lots of different financial apps you may be using already and is very helpful for tracking cash-flow.

Whatever your need for funding, your helpful accountants in Wilmslow can assist.

If this is your first year of filing your personal tax return or you’re just generally unsure, read our top tips about the self-assessment deadline.

Make sure you’re registered

If you’re registered you will have been given a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), you should also have had correspondence from HMRC to confirm that you’re registered. If you are looking to file it yourself, you will also need a Government Gateway login.

If you’re not registered, you will need to be quick because HMRC only provide your UTR by post, which could take a while.

If you’re not sure, HMRC can answer any queries as long as you know your National Insurance number.

Deadlines are there to be adhered to

Don’t ignore the deadlines! If it comes to February and you haven’t filed your return you will be hit automatically with a £100 fine – and that’ll just be for starters.

If you really aren’t able to meet the deadline, make the taxman aware of any genuine reasons as to why you won’t meet the deadline. But don’t depend on a deadline extension!

What if I don’t need to pay any tax?

You will still need to submit a self-assessment form even if you don’t need to pay any tax. The tax man still wants to know, no matter how little you earned.

Be honest!

Any earnings are classed as an income so even if you sell crafts on Ebay, they will want to know about it.

Property rental should be included on your self-assessment  

Even if you’re making a loss on your rental property, you still need to state whether you’re up or down in terms of earnings.

Ask for help if you need it

If you’re unsure of any of the above, we’re happy to help and can ensure quick turnaround times.

Capital Allowances are a right, not a privilege!

Capital allowances are a means of saving tax when your business buys a capital asset. If you own commercial property, are about to sell commercial property, or are about to buy commercial property, you could be claiming tax relief in accordance with Capital Allowances legislation.

What are Capital Allowances?

Capital Allowances are the tax allowances available to a business when capital expenditure is incurred on assets in the course of trade or property investment. They are a way of obtaining relief on some types of capital expenditure, this is because they are treated as a business expense so reduce your taxable profit.

Does all capital expenditure qualify?

No, not all capital expenditure qualifies as the expenditure must be on a particular type of asset on which the tax relief can be claimed.

What is included in Capital Allowances?

  • equipment
  • machinery
  • business vehicles, e.g. cars, vans or lorries

How we can help

If you already own or are acquiring commercial property, we can assist to ensure that valuable tax relief is not lost, helping you to understand both the buyer’s and the seller’s position and steps necessary to avoid losing out.

Managing cash flow is difficult for businesses of any size, this is because the onus is usually put upon profit.  But for small businesses, it can be even more pressing as many rely heavily on seasonal trends which should contribute to steady cash flow throughout the year. So if you’re a seasonal business, that’s why managing cash-flow is important.

Winter is a tough period for many companies due to the short trading periods, never mind the potential work interruptions because of the weather. A combination of factors can affect the productivity within the winter months, and as a result can have a significant impact on budgets and growth potential. But just because of the slow nature of work within the winter months, your company shouldn’t suffer.

It is important to you that your business is still functional and operating at all times, with the goal of long term success in mind. This therefore means a continued source of cash flow, even in times of slowdown. Here are 3 tips to help your business in the winter.

  1. Evaluate finance options

Even though your business could survive in the short-term, in the hopes that winter doesn’t last too long, it’s still best to look at the long-term bigger picture. To ensure you are prepared for business once the bad season ends, you should invest in your business. This is where alternative lending solutions could be invaluable, re-financing your assets could inject cash into your business.

  1. Look for alternative work

Another way to increase cash flow is to tailor your services to the demand and also suited to the environment. For example if you’re a landscaping business you could expand your business to include maintenance related issues. This would then see your business through the winter months.

  1. Lease instead of buying

Leasing equipment will ensure to keep your business running but will also reduce the immediate reduction in cash. This will then leave you plenty room with your cash flow and expenditure.

Making the most of the options available to you is crucial to overcoming a winter slowdown. We offer funding solutions that could get you through this tough winter period.

If you would like to discuss your funding options, please call us on 0845 054 8560.

Are you one of the 97% of eligible companies who hasn’t made a Research and Development claim?

The government are encouraging all forms of innovation and view it as a priority. That is why they are making it easier for companies to access valuable tax credits.

Alongside the common misconception that Research & Development is only meant for the guys in the white coats, there is another which implies that to take advantage of R&D tax credits you must be profitable for it to be worthwhile. However, the reality is different.

Putting time and effort into research and development may not be generating profits currently for your company, but being an innovator in your sector should reap rewards surely? Loss-making companies are also just as eligible as profitable companies for R&D relief as the developments are still being sought. To recognise the R&D work undertaken by loss-making companies HMRC allow them to claim a tax credit equal to 14.5% of the enhanced R&D expenditure. For those running at a loss, such a cash injection could prove invaluable.

For instance a loss-making company spends £50,000 on qualifying R&D. They are entitled to increase this by 130% meaning that their enhanced R&D expenditure is £115,000. The company can elect to surrender this £115,000 for a 14.5% tax credit equal to £16,675 which will be refunded by HMRC. The upshot is that of the £50K spent by the company on R&D, HMRC have effectively contributed one third.

Even if you are doubtful about whether your project qualifies, a brief conversation with a specialist could add clarity.

As always, any queries please contact Richard or Jason on 0845 054 8560.

As the giving season is on its way and many have already started present planning. We have answered your festive tax questions to help make gift giving a little more cost effective, as it seems the tax man isn’t as generous as Santa.

Christmas Parties:

Having an annual function any time of year is an allowable tax deduction for a business. Employers can spend up to £150 per head on annual staff events without it being treated as a taxable perk. But be careful, if you spend £151 per person the whole amount becomes a taxable benefit for the employee.

Client Entertaining:

If the event is predominantly for staff, you can invite clients without prejudicing the staff’s tax treatment as set out above.

Staff Gifting:

In previous year, the only gifts that have no tax implications are seasonal gifts such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. But from April 2016 non-cash vouchers can be gifted and employers can now benefit from the exemption.

Trivial benefits legislation came into action April 2016, making room for more benefits for staff and directors. For more information on the different benefits you can claim, contact us on 0845 054 8560.

It is a common misconception that the Research & Development tax relief is only available to companies who are working in new technologies or have people in white coats working with test tubes. However this is not the case as the relief is available to any UK based company which spends money on being an innovator within any respective field.

 

How it works

Companies which invest in new or existing processes, products or services are able to claim additional tax relief. Based on a profitable company paying corporation tax at 20% this would result in a tax saving of 26p for every £1 on top of the “normal” 20p tax saving. This means that the Government is contributing 46p towards every £1 of your R&D expenditure.

 

Do I qualify?

There are no restrictions on which industries qualify for the relief meaning that any company in any sector can qualify. If you can answer “Yes” to either of the following two simple questions there is a good chance you will qualify for the relief;

  • Are you spending money developing new products, processes or products or improving existing ones?
  • Do you employ staff to work on projects which advance the knowledge or overcome uncertainties within your trade?

 

How we can help

We have a successful track record in helping companies put together R&D tax relief claims in all types of industry sectors including manufacturing, software development, retail and leisure.

We will take a hands on approach led by a Chartered Tax Adviser to ensure that all qualifying expenditure is included in the claim.

We will prepare a detailed report setting out for HMRC the R&D work undertaken by the company and quantifying the tax relief due and submit this to HMRC along with amended Tax Returns where necessary.

In the event that HMRC raise questions in relation to the claim we will answer these on behalf of the company.

All of our work is undertaken on a contingent fee basis meaning that if, after discussions it is concluded that the company does not qualify for R&D tax relief or, for whatever reason, HMRC do not accept the claim, we will not charge a fee.

Please get in touch on 0845 054 8560 for a no obligation meeting.