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Are you one of the 90 per cent of businesses that are unprepared for GDPR?

With less than 60 days left until the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more than 90 per cent of UK small businesses admit they are not yet fully ready.

In fact, a poll conducted by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) found that only eight per cent of SMEs have completed their preparations for the new data protection regulations, while a further 35 per cent said preparations are only at an early stage and 33 per cent said they had not even started.

This latter figure is not surprising as the survey also showed that 18 per cent of small business owners were completely unaware of the GDPR; with 34 per cent admitting they had little understanding of its requirements or complexity.

When breaking down the sectors of those asked, arts and entertainment businesses were the least prepared for the regulations followed by the retail and wholesale sector, construction, manufacturing and the scientific professions.

The most prepared were those in the financial services sector, where 82 per cent of respondents said that they had either started or completed their GDPR preparations.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: “Many small businesses will be concerned the changes will be too much to handle. It’s clear a large part of the small business community is still unaware of the steps they need to take to comply and may be left playing catch-up.”

UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, welcomed the FSB’s campaign. She said: “Research suggests the SME sector is less prepared than others for the changes. We know that many small businesses are keen to get it right, but with so much misinformation out there, it’s difficult for them to know what’s right and what’s not.”

Link: Federation of Small Business GDPR Research

Latest News

270,000 late penalty notices cancelled by the Revenue

A response to a freedom of information request has revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) cancelled 270,000 late penalty notices in 2016.

However, this figure was dwarfed by the 610,000 cancellations in 2015 and the 400,000 cancellations in 2014.

The request was made by a partner in a ‘magic circle’ law firm, who was himself issued with a late penalty notice, despite having submitted his tax return in December, ahead of the 31 January deadline.

Despite having filed on time, when HMRC overturned the penalty in March this year, it nevertheless issued a letter, stating “if you file on time we won’t charge penalties”.

While HMRC revealed the number of late penalty notices that were cancelled over the three-year period, it did not disclose how many of these were the consequence of errors on the part of the Revenue, as opposed to the taxpayer having a reasonable excuse for late filing.

A spokesperson for HMRC said: “We don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns. Taxpayers with a reasonable excuse for filing late or who have been taken out of SA do not have to pay penalties. Taxpayers who file on time are not issued with penalties.”

Link: HMRC cancels 270,000 late penalty notices

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