UK tax year dates, HMRC year end accounts & Companies House filing deadlines

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IntroductionUK tax dates

There are various UK tax year dates and UK financial year dates to consider as a UK contracting professional. Indeed, these are key dates to remember when you own a UK business. Moreover, when considering HMRC, contractor responsibilities include various filing tasks throughout the year. The dates in question are the filing dates for taxes and accounts for your company. Indeed, filing duties apply whether you run your own contractor limited company or are a sole trader. Furthermore, you must be aware of certain tax year (UK) dates for accounts and tax returns for a limited company. Further still, the main filing dates for a limited company contractor are official Companies House filing deadlines. In addition, there is your contractor’s Corporation Tax deadline for making payment of CT and the filing date for a limited company tax return (UK).

You should be well organised if your business is VAT registered or you run a PAYE scheme for your contracting business. Indeed, this is because there are additional filing requirements regarding these taxes. Therefore, you must ensure you don’t miss an HMRC tax deadline regarding routine company returns or annual filing requirements. Otherwise, your business may incur interest or even penalties.

This guide will look at the tax year calendar and the tax year end (UK). We’ll also consider UK tax return deadlines and Companies House filing dates for a UK business. What’s more, we’ll look at the UK tax year 2024/25 and Self Assessment deadlines for personal tax return filing as an individual.

Initial thoughts on UK tax year dates 

First thoughts

Before going into more detail, it’s key to remember that when you’re a director who runs your own company, you must be aware of any key company filing dates. Indeed, UK companies must meet the HMRC tax return deadline (UK) and Companies House filing dates each year. A UK company pays taxes and files official accounts and tax returns with the UK authorities. Therefore, there are various UK tax year dates and filing dates for taxes and accounts to meet in each case for a business owner. However, if a limited company misses Companies House filing deadlines or Corporation Tax deadlines, it may be charged interest or penalties. Likewise, a person in self-employment can face fines too if they’re late filing their personal tax return. Consequently, it’s key that the tax year dates (UK) and deadlines are always met for UK personal and company tax filing.

Further initial thoughts

You may be setting up your own company for the first time or have been in business for a while. Indeed, if you’ve been in business for a while, you should know the various filing dates. However, if you’re a new business owner, all the relevant filing dates are new to you and something to bear in mind for the future. Therefore, the details in this guide can be a handy reference point, especially for new business owners. What’s more, many of the routine dates apply to sole traders, as well as limited company filing requirements.

Indeed, when you run a company, you must know the official filing deadlines with Companies House and the HMRC Corporation Tax deadlines. In addition, you should be aware of the HMRC Corporation Tax payment deadline when you file a tax return (limited company).

The dates for Companies House accounts filing requirements, filing company documents, and paying company taxes come around once per year at different times. Therefore, making diary or calendar notes would be a good idea. As a result, you can keep track of these official dates.

Common questions

As a contractor, some common questions and thoughts which arise about taxes and the UK tax year are:

  • What is the UK tax year?
  • When does the tax year start UK?
  • When does the UK tax year end?
  • How long after year-end are accounts due?
  • What do I need to file with Companies House?
  • How to file company accounts?
  • When are company tax returns due?
  • How do you complete a tax return for contractors?
  • When is corporation tax due (UK)?
  • How do I pay tax as a contractor?
  • When to file company tax returns?
  • How to keep track of taxes as a contractor.
  • How do I go about filing taxes as a contractor?

This guide will examine company filing requirements and the UK company tax year. We’ll also research limited company returns and UK tax deadline dates.

Secondary thoughts

In many cases, when you have a good contractor accountant, they’ll look after you daily. What’s more, they’ll help you meet the various deadlines regarding tax returns for limited company purposes. As part of this, they’ll inform you of your Ltd company tax return (UK) due date and Companies House filing deadlines. Furthermore, they’ll advise you of any other filing deadlines. In addition, they’ll inform you how much tax you owe and the date by which you should pay this.

When you run a business, keeping track of your main filing dates yourself is sensible. As a result, you can follow up with your accountant if the need arises. You can list the important dates in your diary digitally or on paper. In addition, you can set reminders in a digital diary, so it sends prompts when important dates are coming up.

Preliminary considerations 

How do you set up a limited company and register for Corporation Tax?

When you set up your own company, the authorities automatically register your business for Corporation Tax as part of the registration process. Therefore, at this point, HMRC will give you login details for your Business Tax account. Indeed, it’s essential to know that once you’ve set this up, you can register with HMRC for other taxes. This will include VAT and PAYE/NIC. In addition, it could include other taxes, too, such as CIS.

Having your own Business Tax account with HMRC is a good idea when you’re a UK contractor. As a result, you’ll have an overview of your business taxes. Furthermore, you can keep track of the amounts which are due. In addition, you can track any due dates for your company taxes. To sum up, your HMRC Business Tax account is an up-to-date record of your taxes. What’s more, when you or your accountant file a company return such as your contractor Corporation Tax or VAT, such a return and the amount due will show on your account.

From a personal perspective, we recommend you register for a personal tax account with HMRC. Once you have access, you can view your personal tax liabilities, current tax code, and information about your personal tax affairs.

Tax year-end of tax year (UK)

In the UK, there are two types of tax years, which run from certain dates in the calendar year. In the United Kingdom, the tax year-end is the last date in the tax year. In addition, the date after this is the first day of the tax year. What’s more, when there are any changes to UK tax allowances or tax rates, this is the date when they’ll usually take effect. Therefore, the UK tax year-end date is:

  • 5 April for the UK personal tax year-end. A brand-new tax year starts on 6 April. Therefore, the date UK personal tax returns are made up to each year is 5 April. If you’re required to file a personal tax return, this falls under the UK Self Assessment system. Furthermore, when you complete a UK personal tax return it’ll include your income from 6 April to 5 April. Therefore, 2023/24 will cover your income from 6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024. Likewise, 2024/25 will cover your income from 6 April 2024 to 5 April 2025. What’s more, when there are changes by the government to personal tax rules, they’ll usually come in from the start of a new tax year.
  • 31 March for the company tax year, also known as the Corporation Tax year. The new company tax year starts on 1 April. Therefore, this is the date any changes in company tax rates will take effect. As a result, if the government changes the Corporation Tax rate, it’ll take effect on 1 April.

Financial year-end

Besides the personal and company tax year, there’s your business financial year. This is usually the last day of a calendar month, also known as your company year-end or accounting reference date. Therefore, this is the date of the end-of-year accounts and the date accounts are made up to for your company each year.

You can set the company year-end yourself when you set it up, but you can also change it in future. What’s more, if you don’t choose a company year-end when your company is set up, it’ll automatically default to the end of the calendar month (in which your company was incorporated) the following year. Therefore, this is how your company year-end is chosen, and you should bear this in mind when setting up your own private company.

If your company’s incorporation date was 20 July 2024 and you didn’t set your year-end, it’d automatically default to 31 July 2025. As a result, you’d file your accounts up to 31 July each year in future. However, you could change the company year-end if you so wish, at a future date.

UK tax year dates -how can you be organised from the outset?

It’s good to be organised regarding filing requirements for your company. What’s more, when this is the case, you can note all the relevant and key UK tax year dates for your company. Indeed, your accountant will help ensure you’re on time. However, there’s nothing wrong with knowing the various due dates yourself, and then you can keep track of them.

Any official mail for the company from Companies House or HMRC is sent through the post to the registered office. As a result, such mail could include reminder letters from the authorities. Indeed, such mail could be about filing deadlines or tax enquiry-type letters.

Please read our guide, which provides tax tips for limited company contractors. Indeed, this includes all our latest handy tips and advice. Moreover, you should be aware of these when you have a business because it’s good to be tax-efficient. Furthermore, this guide includes our latest guidance for the best tax planning ideas.

The UK tax year dates & filing dates for contractor taxes and accounts

First thoughts  

The UK tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April. Therefore, the 2023/24 tax year, which started on 6 April 2023, will run to 5 April 2024. Likewise, for 2024/25, the tax year begins on 6 April 2024 and runs to 5 April 2025.

When you’re in business, you could be a sole trader or a limited company director. Therefore, you may have an annual personal tax requirement. As a result, you must likely complete an Income Tax Return (UK Self Assessment) each year.

When you have a business, you must choose a year-end as a sole trader or a limited company. However, this doesn’t have to be the same as the personal tax year. Nevertheless, as a sole trader, having your year-end on 5 April is much simpler. What’s more, many people in self-employment choose 31 March or 5 April as their business year-end.

Further thoughts

Remembering that your company should save its tax liabilities in the company bank account as it goes along is key. Indeed, when you do this as a UK contractor, you should aim to keep the funds safe for your contractor taxes. However, it’s better to save these in a company savings account. Indeed, it’s a good idea to keep them separate from your business’s regular funds.

As we mentioned, there are various HMRC dates, Companies House filing deadlines and Corporation Tax deadlines. Moreover, you should keep track of these before filing your company’s accounts and any other filing requirements. In addition, filing obligations are all part of your director’s duties when you run your own company. However, there are also dates to meet for your personal tax filing, which is your responsibility as an individual. To sum up, knowing any filing dates during each calendar year is good practice.

Making Tax Digital (MTD)

MTD is a recent UK government initiative. What’s more, the move to MTD in the UK is now well underway. MTD is all about reporting tax digitally to the government. Indeed, it’s now in place for all VAT-registered businesses, including UK contractors. What’s more, specialised online account software is used to do this. Therefore, a business can now file VAT and PAYE returns using this type of software.

As mentioned, UK contractors with their own companies now file their VAT returns under MTD. They’ll use online software to do this. Moreover, such software makes keeping company records much easier than previous methods.

In addition, there are current plans to extend this to landlords and self-employment businesses (ITSA). This will now happen on 6 April 2026. Those with incomes over £30,000 must join first. Moreover, the scope also plans to extend this to company tax returns. This was initially planned for April 2026 but now looks even further away.

Filing company accounts & limited company tax returns online

When considering tax returns for limited company purposes, a company will file its accounts with Companies House online via specialist software. In addition, it’ll file corporation tax online, and as part of the same process, it will go ahead with filing company accounts online. Once again, specialist software is required to perform this process. Using Companies House and HMRC online filing for these tasks is possible, although specialist software is more efficient. Contractors and small business owners usually let their accountants look after these annual tasks.

What are the dates to remember for UK contractors & small business owners?

UK tax year dates -important key dates 

The key dates for a UK limited company will differ depending on the business year-end. Indeed, your business year end could be set at any date within the calendar year. However, most UK businesses will choose a date at the end of a calendar month. As a result, the key dates to bear in mind for your company year-end filing tasks are:

The date by which you must file accounts with Companies House. When submitting accounts to Companies House, the due date is 9 months after your company year-end.
The date by which you must file a company tax return and accounts with HMRC. This is also the date by which you’ll be filing company accounts with HMRC. When submitting accounts to HMRC, the due date is 12 months after your company year-end.
The due date for your Corporation Tax payment to HMRC.  If you’re due to pay CT, the due date is 9 months and 1 day after your company year-end.

UK tax year dates & what are the filing dates with the UK authorities? 

Besides the main filing and tax deadlines (UK) shown above, there are various other dates for a UK business regarding filing with the UK authorities. Indeed, all such UK tax deadlines and filings are with either Companies House or HMRC. A business files accounts with Companies House. Likewise, it will file various tax returns and pay taxes regarding these to HMRC. Therefore, the key tax return deadlines and dates for your business to keep track of are:

Action Deadlines for filing and paying any tax you owe.

Companies House accounts filing dates

File first accounts with Companies House (shortened version of the complete reports) The Companies House accounts filing deadline is 21 months after the date you incorporated with Companies House or nine months after your year-end, whichever is earlier.
File Annual accounts with Companies House (shortened version of the complete reports) The usual Companies House filing deadline is nine months after your company’s financial year ends.
The date to file a Confirmation Statement with Companies House 14 days after the last day of your statement’s review period.

HMRC filing deadlines and payment date(s)

File tax returns for limited company and file accounts (HMRC). This is your company tax return due date and when you’ll file a UK Corporation Tax Return and file company accounts (HMRC) The Corporation Tax deadline is 12 months after your accounting period for CT ends. Therefore, the limited company tax return deadline is when you must file the tax return (limited company) and HMRC year-end accounts by. However, accounting periods for CT can’t be longer than twelve months. As a result, if your HMRC company accounts cover a period longer than twelve months (this could be the case for your first accounting period if they cover a period of longer than twelve months depending on when you start trading and set your year-end), there’ll be two returns to complete. In addition, there’ll be two CT deadlines and two Corporation Tax (UK) payment dates. To summarise, the first Corporation Tax filing deadline is for the first twelve months of trade, and the second one is for the remaining period up to the company year-end.
Corporation Tax due date or tell HMRC your company doesn’t owe any tax You must pay the CT within nine months and one day after your ‘accounting period’ for CT ends. As mentioned above, if your accounts span longer than twelve months, there’ll be two Corporation Tax due dates, which will end nine months and one day after the end of each CT period.

Besides the main filing dates with HMRC and Companies House for the accounts, company tax return and Confirmation Statement, there are other filing dates to bear in mind. Indeed, this will cover VAT, PAYE, and other PAYE issues such as the P11D:

Routine returns for a business

Deadlines for filing and paying any tax you owe.
HMRC VAT return deadlines -filing the VAT return and VAT payment due date One month and seven days after your VAT period ends if you pay by internet banking. Furthermore, when paying the VAT by direct debit, it’ll go through around three days later.
PAYE filing deadline -filing payroll returns and PAYE/NIC due date You must pay the tax and National Insurance within 14 days after the end of the PAYE period.
File P11D forms to HMRC online 06-Jul
Give employees a copy of their P11D form 06-Jul
File P11D(b) form to HMRC online 06-Jul
Pay Class 1A NI on benefits 19 July (by cheque) or 22 July (by other payment methods).

There are filing dates for your personal tax (small business owner or contractor Self Assessment). Therefore, the key dates for your contractor tax return (personal tax) are:

Self Assessment dates Deadlines for filing and paying any tax you owe.
Registering under Self Assessment 5 October following the end of the tax year.
Filing a paper Income Tax return The due date for filing a paper tax return is 31 October, following the end of the tax year.
Filing an Income Tax Return online The UK tax filing deadline for your Self Assessment tax return is 31 January, following the end of the tax year. Therefore, for 2022/23, the deadline and tax return due date (UK) is 31 January 2024.
Making the first payment on account (POA) 31 January following the end of the tax year.

Self Assessment -other dates

If you’re due a refund for the tax year, HMRC will refund this shortly after filing your tax return. However, if you file this after 30 December, they’ll net this off your first payment on account for the following tax year if you’re due to make payments on account (POAs).

If you owe some tax and would prefer to have this coded out in your tax code rather than paying this to HMRC, the deadline for filing your tax return is 30 December. 

Self Assessment payments on account 

When you’re registered for Self Assessment, you may have to make payments on account. Indeed, most contractors who take dividends from their company must make payments on account. As shown above, POAs are made for personal tax (Self Assessment). Therefore, POAs are due to HMRC unless:

  • Your last Self Assessment tax bill was less than £1,000.
  • You’ve already paid over 80% of all the tax due at source, such as via PAYE on your salary.

This area often confuses UK limited company contractors. In addition, it’s not always straightforward for most directors of limited companies. Therefore, if you want more information about payments on account, please discuss these with your accountant. Indeed, they’ll be able to explain how these payments work, tell you whether you must make such payments to HMRC, and check if you can reduce your payments on account.

Example of UK tax year dates 2023/24 for a new company 

Tom started as a contractor, and his company was set up on 7 April 2024. As a result, he commenced trading on 10 April 2023. Therefore, his first set of accounts are made up to 30 April 2025. In addition, his company registered for VAT. Furthermore, his company’s VAT quarters end on 30 June, 30 September, 31 December, and 31 March.

Action

The tax year (UK) dates for Tom to remember
Companies House accounts filing dates
File first accounts with Companies House The accounts filing deadline (UK) and the date by which he must file the accounts for the period ending 30 April 2025 is 7 January 2026.
File annual accounts with Companies House The usual year-end accounts deadline with Companies House is nine months after the year-end. As a result, the due date for the year ending 30 April 2026, is 31 January 2027.
File Confirmation Statement with Companies House
Tom’s company was incorporated on 7 April 2024.
Therefore, the statement is made up to 6 April 2025, and as a result, it’s due for filing by 20 April 2025.

HMRC filing and payment date(s)

Corporation Tax due date or tell HMRC your company doesn’t owe any tax He must to pay the CT by 1 February 2026.
File tax returns for limited company. This is when Tom will file a Corporation Tax Return and file company accounts (HMRC) The Corporation Tax deadline (UK) and due date to file accounts with HMRC will be 30 April 2026.
VAT returns -file the return and send payment to the VAT office
The June 2024 VAT return must be filed by 7 August 2024. In addition, the liability must be paid to HMRC by 7 August (10 August if his company pays by direct debit).
PAYE/NIC payments
For the 5 July 2024 PAYE quarter (he files quarterly), the filing and payment are due to HMRC by 19 July 2024.

Routine returns for Tom’s business

VAT returns -filing the return and payment to the VAT office One month and seven days after his VAT period ends if he pays by internet banking. Furthermore, if he pays the VAT by direct debit, that’ll go through around three days later.
PAYE/NIC payments He must pay the tax and National Insurance within 14 days after the end of the PAYE period.
File P11D forms to HMRC online 06-Jul
Give employees a copy of the P11D form 06-Jul
File P11D(b) form to HMRC online 06-Jul
Pay Class 1A NI on benefits 19 July (by cheque) or 22 July (by other payment methods).

Penalties

What are the Self Assessment fines for late filing? 

When you miss the deadline for a tax return (UK), there are various fines for filing and paying your SA tax late. What’s more, these increase the later you file your tax return. Therefore, the following will apply when you’re late:

Late Filing Late Payment Penalty
Miss the filing deadline of 31 January Automatic £100.
Miss the next filing date of 28 February to file your return and pay any tax due 30 days late 5% of the tax due.
Three months late (30 April) Daily penalty of £10 per day for up to 90 days (maximum £900).
Six months late (31 July) 5% of the tax due or £300, if greater.
Six months late 5% of any tax outstanding at that date.
12 months late (31 January the following year) The penalty is 5% of any tax due or £300 if greater unless the taxpayer is held to be deliberately withholding information that would enable HMRC to assess the tax due.
12 months late Based on behaviour:
Deliberate and concealed withholding 100% of the tax due, or £300 if greater.
Deliberate but not concealed 70% of the tax due, or £300 if greater.
Reductions apply for prompted and unprompted disclosures and telling, giving, and helping.

What are Companies House fines for late filing of accounts?

There are fines if your company misses the deadline when filing accounts with Companies House. We detail the due date for your company accounts filing earlier. What’s more, the fines increase the later you are with filing accounts at Companies House. Therefore, the following penalties apply if your company is late:

Up to 1 month £150
1 to 3 months £375
3 to 6 months £750
More than six months £1,500
Furthermore, the penalty would double if you filed late the previous year.

It’s best practice to file your accounts on time with Companies House. As a result, your company won’t incur any unnecessary fines. What’s more, you’ll avoid the risk of your company being struck off the register, which can happen if you’re late filing. 

What are HMRC fines for late filing of accounts & company tax returns?

There are various fines if you’re late when you pay and file Corporation Tax (UK). Therefore, it’s key these are paid and filed on time each year. Indeed, the fines increase the later you file the documents with HMRC after the Corporation Tax return due date. Therefore, the penalties which apply when you miss the Corporation Tax deadline in respect of filing a CT return and filing accounts with HMRC are:

What must a company director do?

Deadline
Pay the Corporation Tax or advise HMRC the company does not owe any tax Nine months and one day after your ‘accounting period’ to which the Corporation Tax period ends.
File a HMRC Company Tax Return -Corporation tax return deadline The UK tax return deadline is 12 months after your `accounting period’ for which the Corporation Tax period ends.
Time after your Corporation Tax deadline The penalty
1 day £100
3 Months Another £100
6 Months HMRC will estimate your CT bill and add a penalty of 10% of the unpaid tax.
12 months HMRC will add another 10% of any unpaid tax.

It could be that your HMRC company tax return is late three times in a row. Indeed, when this happens, the £100 penalties are increased to £500 each. However, it’s best practice to ensure your company tax return is filed on time. As a result, you’ll not incur unnecessary fines.

If you miss the Corporation Tax deadline and your HMRC company tax return is six months late, HMRC will write and tell you how much Corporation Tax they think your company must pay. This is called a ‘tax determination,’ and you cannot appeal against it. As a result, you must pay the Corporation Tax due and file your company tax return. Moreover, once you’ve done this, HMRC will re-calculate any interest and penalties you must pay.

Final thoughts 

We hope this guide was a helpful overview of the UK tax year dates for companies and individuals. We set out the current Companies House filing deadlines and Corporation Tax deadline for filing a return and paying CT. Indeed, if you’re a UK contractor and director of a company, this is a handy reference point for your ltd tax filing and when your contractor taxes are due. In conclusion, we summarise what to consider when filing tax returns for limited company purposes and the important dates to remember. Indeed, we include the Companies House deadlines and when to file a limited company tax return. Furthermore, we include when to make tax payments and any official document filing dates.

As a business owner, making diary notes for your company’s key UK tax year dates is a good idea. This way, you’ll hopefully not miss any deadlines. Finally, some clients expect their contractor accountants to provide constant reminders regarding filing dates. Indeed, a key point when you run your company is knowing the important dates for your business.

Besides this guide on tax dates (UK), there are many other excellent guides on this contractor’s website. Indeed, these cover many aspects of working as a UK contractor or small business. They include various tips and advice on running your own business. Moreover, they show you how to operate effectively and tax efficiently.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

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Published On: April 6th, 2024 / Categories: Company Taxes, First timer guide /

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