Self Employment Income Support Scheme

1 min read

HM Revenue & Customs have today released a guide detailing how it will assess eligibility for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme for sole trader businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The guide sets out how the profits will be calculated, on which the grant will be based.  There are no real surprises, although it is worth noting:

  1.  Losses brought forward are not taken into consideration
  2. Capital allowances will be taken into account

The fact that capital allowances are taken into account could mean that for those which purchased a large item of equipment, such as a new van, and have taken advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance will be disadvantaged as their profits will be much lower and therefore will impact the grant they are entitled to.  In certain circumstances, it could also mean they are not eligible for the scheme at all.  

You can find the full guide by following the link below.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

2 min read

Thousands of small-business owners and landlords say they are confused by Information Commissioners Office (ICO) letters demanding a fee to ensure the protection of their customers’ and tenants’ personal information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. ICO is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The organisation covers the following:

  • Data Protection Act
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)
  • Environmental Information Regulations
  • INSPIRE Regulations
  • The re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations

Data protection fee

Recently, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has launched a campaign to remind small companies and SME’s of their legal responsibility to pay a data protection fee. For most small companies the charge is £40 or £60 a year. The move marks the start of an extensive programme to make sure the Data Protection Fee is paid by all those who need to pay it, unless they are exempt. 

They apply to companies that store personal information which can be used to identify someone which is stored electronically such as a computer, camera or smartphone such as clients’ names addresses and telephone numbers for work purposes. It is likely you’ll need to pay and there is a fine up to £4,000 for not registering.

Fee Checker

If you have received a letter from the ICO, it is a useful reminder that you need to either pay your fee or let the ICO know you are exempt, so they can update their records. Alternatively, you can quickly and easily find out if your organisation needs to pay the fee by using, unless your business is exempt fill out the form at

For companies unsure if they are exempt, there is a helpline number: 0303 123 1113.

The charge will also apply to a wide range of landlords, institutions, including schools and solicitors, but not the police or anyone who stores information for judicial reasons.


It is likely an annual fee payment is due for businesses holding personal information, for business purposes on any electronic device, including using CCTV for crime prevention purposes.

Be aware of scams

The ICO is warning companies to be aware of scams relating to payment of the data protection fee. Businesses that receive a letter, text message, email or telephone call from ICO representatives and want to check that it’s genuine please search ‘ICO fee’ using your usual search engine. Follow the top results to website links which begin with, and this will bring you to the official website.

Staying compliant

Stay up to date with resources on GDPR and compliance for small businesses by visiting for more information.

We can help you with all aspects of business compliance. Please contact us for further advice and assistance.

Disclaimer: Content posted is for informational & knowledge sharing purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Each comment posted by third party readers/subscribers of our website on topics is their personal opinion and due professional care should be taken by you before you act after reading the contents of that post. No warranty whatsoever is made that any of the posts are accurate and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for advice.

Directors and Furlough

1 min read

HM Revenue & Customs have updated their guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme on 4 April 2020.

The new guidance confirms directors are able to be furloughed and where this decision is made it should be formally recorded in the company’s record and the director notified in writing.

With regards to what a furloughed director is able to do for the company the guidance states:

“Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.”

You can read the full updated guidance on the GOV.Uk website.