Organisational skills are something that every small business owner must cultivate in order to succeed. From scheduling sales calls and managing shipments to sending out and paying invoices, every entrepreneur understands the importance of having a digital calendar or physical diary to rely upon.
However, while it’s possible to move around meetings and delay making travel arrangements, there are some dates that you can’t control, most importantly when it comes to your business tax affairs.
For example, HMRC has strict deadlines when it comes to filing tax returns, registering for VAT, and submitting payroll information. Failing to meet these deadlines can result in penalties and fines, which can be detrimental to even an established business, let alone a fledgling start-up. Using accounts software will help individuals to administer tax and accounting needs but in order to meet all the financial obligations small business owners should familiarise themselves with key dates in advance
Dates For Freelancers and Sole Traders
If you’re a freelancer, sole trader, or the director of a company, you need to be aware of these dates:
5th October: You must register to pay your self-assessment tax return by this date in the year you began trading. This can be completed online through the gov.uk website. If you have submitted a tax return before but you didn’t submit one last year or have never used the online system, you may need to undergo a slightly different re-registration process.
31st January: This is when you must submit your online tax return by. If you want to submit a paper return, the deadline is much earlier (31st October in the previous year). However, with the introduction of MTD for VAT, many businesses are making the switch to online tax returns to future-proof their processes.
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Dates For Limited Companies
Paying tax as a limited company can be more complicated than filing a return as a sole trader. Here are some key tasks you must complete on time:
- File your Confirmation Statement – There’s no universal deadline for filing your Confirmation Statement, but it must be done at least once a year. You can either file this 12 months after the date your business became incorporated or 12 months after the last statement you filed.
- Submit your Company Tax Return – Unlike a self-assessment, a Company Tax Return isn’t due on the same date for everyone. You will need to file yours 12 months after your accounting period has ended. Typically, your accounting period coincides with your Companies House financial year. Your first year of trading is a little bit different though and will span a period of 13 months, so you will need to submit two separate returns during this time.
- Pay Your Corporation Tax – Corporation tax is always due 9 months and 1 day after your accounting period has ended. You will need to pay corporation tax once your business makes a profit, as there is no personal allowance you can claim.
Whether you’re planning to hire employees in the near future or you simply want to be prepared for payroll year end, these dates are useful to have in your calendar:
- 31st May: After the tax year has ended, you must issue every employee with a P60 form by this date.
- 6th July: All benefits your employees receive must be reported by this date.
- 22nd July: This is the deadline for paying any P11D costs online, but if you’d rather submit a paper return you must complete this by 19th July.
It can also be useful to mark the 22nd of every month on your calendar to remind you to pay all PAYE tax and national insurance contributions to HMRC. As an employer, you are responsible for deducting tax from your employee’s wages and passing it on to HMRC. After you issue a payslip and distribute wages, you must pay any outstanding tax by the 22nd of the following month.
It’s also important to submit your Full Payment Summary (FPS) before your employees are paid every month.
Even if your business isn’t currently VAT registered, it’s always good to be aware of the rules surrounding VAT in case your sales exceed the annual threshold of £85,000. If you expect to exceed this threshold, especially in the next 30 days, then it’s important to begin your VAT registration process.
You will need to file your VAT return every 3 months. Much like corporation tax, the date your return is due will depend on your business, but HMRC will provide you with a deadline once you’re registered, which makes keeping track easier. Usually, the deadline will be 1 month and 7 days after your 3 month period ends.
H2: Keep your calendar updated and never miss a deadline again
Keeping track of dates and deadlines is challenging, especially when you’re a limited company that pays VAT and manages payroll. Set reminders or alerts well before the deadlines listed above to give you chance to organise your accounts and pay your taxes in good time.
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