When you're a business owner, every season is tax season - it’s imperative that you keep your accounts on track by staying up to date with multiple HMRC dates in your calendar. These include: VAT returns, personal tax returns, and corporate tax filing deadlines to name just a few. Keeping track of critical deadlines is important to ensure that you’re paying your accounts on-time.
Every registered business must assemble accounts that report on their businesses performance over the financial year. As a business owner, the choice for your accounting year-end is completely up to you. However, it's important to remember that the date you choose will determine the date you file your Company Accounts, Corporation Tax Return and pay corporation tax on your profits each year.
Deadline for filing first company accounts
For all new business owners, the first initial accounting reference date is set to the last day of the month to align with the first anniversary. Subsequently, the first accounting reference date will automatically fall on the same day each year. Companies have the choice to make up their accounts to the accounting reference date or a date up to seven days either side, if this is more convenient.
Deadline for first accounts (covering a period of 12 months or more)
- Private Company / Limited Liability Partnership - 21 months
- Public Limited Company - 18 months
Normal Deadline (After Your First Year)
- Private Company / Limited Liability Partnership - 9 months
- Public Limited Company - 6 months
Tax Year Dates
The UK’s tax year, also known as ‘the financial year’ is an important date for business owners to keep in mind - the current tax year ran from 6th April 2022 to 5th April 2023.
For the tax year dates of 2023/24, here’s what you need to know:
- 2022/23 tax year: 6 April 2022 – 5 April 2023
- 2023/24 tax year: 6 April 2023 – 5 April 2024
Self Assessment Tax Return Deadlines
Self Assessment Registration Deadline (5th October)
Self assessment tax return is applied to business owners whose income isn’t automatically taxed by their employers through PAYE (pay as you earn). If you are outside of a PAYE code, you’re responsible for paying tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on any income you’re receiving.
You will need to register for self assessment registration with HMRC.
You need to complete this by 5th October of the year following the end of the tax year. You can do this online or by the post.
Self Assessment Tax Payment and Filing Deadlines (31st January 2024)
Once you’ve completed the registration process, you must file your self assessment tax returns each year - HMRC will then use your return to calculate whether you need to pay taxes and how much you owe.
You will need to keep financial records (for example receipts and bank statements) all throughout the year so that you can file your return accurately. Once you know how much you owe, you can pay your outstanding tax.
The deadlines are as follows for 2022/23:
- Self assessment paper tax return - 31st October 2023
- Self assessment online tax return - 31st January 2024
- Self assessment tax payment: 31st January 2024
VAT Registration Deadline
If your turnover exceeds £85,000 you will need to register and charge VAT (Value Added Tax) on the goods and services that your business sells. You’ll need to file regular VAT returns to report an accurate value of what you owe. This also allows you to reclaim some of the tax you pay. HMRC also gives the option for businesses to register for VAT if turnover does not exceed £85,000.
If you realise that your annual total of taxable turnover is going to go over £85,000 in the next 30 days - you need to register within 30 days of realising.
VAT Payment and Filing Deadlines
VAT returns are usually generally filed and paid quarterly. Specific dates will vary from business to business, so it’s important to work out your individual timeline.
Once registered, you can determine your VAT payment dates online at GOV.com.
If you have recruited employees, you are required to meet certain PAYE obligations. A PAYE scheme means you are responsible for withholding income tax and NICs from employees salaries and passing them onto HMRC.
Annual Registration Deadline (4th April)
You must register for payroll benefits online and the deadline to register for this is 4th April.
PAYE Remittance Deadlines
PAYE is typically calculated and paid each month.
- PAYE remittance on paper - 19th of each month
- PAYE payment through the internet is due on the 22nd of each month
Deadline for P45 and P60
After each tax year, you must issue the official documents to each employee.
P45 form deadline: to be sent out when an employee leaves a company
P60 form deadline: for the tax year 2021/22 is 31st May
P11D deadlines if you provide your employees with benefits
Cars, child-care and interest-free loans are known to be ‘benefits in kind’ and are advantages outside of tax and insurance payments.
P11D deadline for 2021/22 tax year: 6 July
Corporation Tax for Limited Companies
Each year, limited companies are required to pay corporation tax on their profits.
If you run a limited company, you must register for corporation tax and file for an annual tax return that calculates how much tax you owe. Your registration date determines your company's accounting period - after this accounting period ends you must pay your taxes (or report if you have nothing to pay).
The deadline to register for a corporation tax is three months after the start of your business.
The deadline for paying corporate tax is nine months after the end of your accounting period.
We can help your small business with more than just accounting dates
Here at Dojo, we specialise in providing contactless card and payment solutions for small and medium businesses, making it easier than ever for you to easily take payments and keep cash flowing. We’ll do our best to have your money in your account the very next day, even on bank holidays, meaning you never have to worry about late payments.
An accounting reference date is the end of your company’s financial year. For new companies, this will be decided by Companies House (this is where business owners first need to register their business).
This is the last day of the month, that is 12 months from the initial day that you registered your company.
Here are a few examples:
|Company Incorporation Date||First Accounting Date Reference|
|7 January 2023||31 January 2024|
|20 May 2023||31 May 2024|
Your first accounting reference period is more than likely to be longer than a year.
This could mean that you will need to file two tax returns in the first year.
This would look like:
- 7 January 2022 - 6 January 2023
- 7 January 2023 - 31 January 2024
This date is so important because it is essentially the date that you’re going to work out your accounts to. What is most important about this date, is how this date will affect other deadlines - this date determines when you need to file your accounts to Companies House, and when you need to file your corporation tax return and pay your corporation tax.
As previously mentioned, you can change your accounting reference date on the Companies House website.
You will need the following information:
- Company number
- Full company name
- Date of accounting reference period
- New accounting reference dates
- Signature of director
Sole traders and partnerships will need to pay their tax via a self-assessment return. This means they should treat the end of the tax year (5 April) as the end of a company's financial year.
You will get fined. If you file your accounts late, the fine starts at £150 for a singular one day late payment and can go up to £1,500 if you pay over 6 months late! These penalties can be higher for public companies.
If you are worried about missing a payment, you can register for email reminders on the Companies House website.
Similarly, if you don’t pay your corporation tax on time, penalties can start from £100 for submitting your tax return one day late.