Old Mill Updates

Practical guidance for our rural and farming clients #31

In this week’s rural update we discuss:

  • COVID-19: Friday 29 January deadline to claim for the third SEISS grant
  • COVID-19: Interest will be charged for non-payment of self-assessment
  • COVID-19: Local Restrictions Support Grant and Additional Restrictions Support Grant
  • The phasing out of Direct Payments
  • Do you need to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

If you have any questions about any of the topics we discuss in this update or relating to your own business please do get in touch with your Old Mill adviser in the first instance, or alternatively click here…

27th January 2021


COVID-19: Friday 29 January deadline to claim for the third SEISS grant

If you’re eligible for the third self-employment support scheme grant you must make your claim on or before Friday 29 January 2021.

As with the first and second SEISS grants, the third grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

Check you eligibility here and speak to your Old Mill contact if you have any questions.


COVID-19: Interest will be charged for non-payment of self-assessment

HMRC announced on Monday (25 January) that self-assessment customers will not receive a penalty for filing their 2019-20 tax return late, provided they file online by 28‌‌ ‌February. It’s important to note, however, that if you don’t file your return, you still have to pay your self-assessment tax bill on 31 January and interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities.

If you’re in a position where you are unable to pay tax by 31‌‌ ‌January, you may be able to set up an affordable plan and pay in monthly instalments, although your 2019/20 tax will need to be filed before setting up a Time to Pay arrangement.

Feel free to speak to your Old Mill contact for advice.


COVID-19: Local Restrictions Support Grant and Additional Restrictions Support Grant

The Government has announced additional support for businesses during the national lockdown from 5 January 2021.  Most councils are providing automatic repeat grant payments for businesses who previously received a COVID-19 business support grant in the November lockdown.  If you’re in this position you should receive a confirmation notification via email from your local council.

If you didn’t apply or receive a grant covering the November lockdown and further tiered restrictions and you’re now eligible, you will need to apply.  Check your local council for full details.

You can find your local council here.


The phasing out of Direct Payments

Further to the release of the ‘Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021’ in November 2020, farmers and landowners are now able to appreciate and understand the significance of the phased reduction in Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Direct Payments with DEFRA phasing them out gradually from this year (2021) to 2027.

The headline here is that by 2024, whatever BPS income you used to receive will be at least halved. This represents a major decline in income for a considerable proportion of farmers and a major responsibility for DEFRA to produce the anticipated replacement grants and opportunities as soon as possible so that farmers can plan how to replace the lost income.

  • The first step is to acknowledge that the financial support structure for agriculture is changing and that you and your business will need to adapt with it
  • Understand the reduction to your BPS payment and the implications of this on your cash and business
  • Review your outgoings and consider expenses and investments carefully alongside forecasted cash flow based on the reduced support
  • If you haven’t already, start to understand the environmental opportunities for you and your farm so that when grants/subsidies become available you may be ready to apply
  • Ask the right questions now. Get in touch early with your agents and advisers.

Take look at the full article and your estimated BPS reduction here.

If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to speak to your Old Mill adviser.


Do you need to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

Some of our clients have received a letter from the ICO asking them to pay a data protection fee. This is a legitimate and legal request under the Data Protection Act 2018, where almost all organisations or sole traders who process personal information need to pay a data protection fee to the ICO.

Under what criteria do I have to pay?

The fee is payable by a range of companies from sole traders and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through to large organisations, depending on your practices. The amount payable varies depending on the size of the organisation.

  • Any company using CCTV for crime prevention purposes is required to pay an annual data protection fee to the ICO, regardless of other aspects of your business and operations
  • If you hold personal information for business purposes on any electronic device, you may need to pay an annual fee and it’s your responsibility to find out.​

If you’re eligible you should expect a letter through the post or you can access the ICO website which has a handy registration self-assessment questionnaire.

Read our full article here.


If you have any questions about any of the above please do get in touch with your adviser in the first instance, or alternatively click here…