Charities will be charged £40 at most by new ICO fee structure

The Information Commissioner's Office has published guidance on its new fee arrangement, which will come into force on 25 May

The maximum fee that charities will be required to pay the Information Commissioner’s Office under its new fee structure will be £40, the data watchdog has confirmed.

Many charities will continue to be exempt when the new fee arrangement, which was laid before parliament on Tuesday, comes into force on 25 May.

Data controllers must currently pay a notification fee of £35 or £500, depending on the size of the organisation, but many charities are exempt from the fee unless they sell or swap data with other organisations or they own their own premises and operate CCTV on them.

Under the new structure, data controllers will be required to pay between £35 and £2,900, depending on the size of the organisation.

But the ICO’s guide to the data protection fee, published this week, has made it clear that charities, including housing associations, will not be eligible to pay if they process or hold data only in order to manage members or supporters and holds only that information about individuals that is necessary for that purpose.

But the guidance says: "Charities that are not otherwise subject to an exemption will only be liable to pay the tier 1 fee, regardless of size or turnover."

The tier 1 fee is £40, but organisations paying by direct debit will get a discount of £5, the guidance says.

The ICO plans to publish a self-assessment tool to help organisations work out the eligibility before the new structure comes into force, the guidance says.

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