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

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IntroductionUK tax dates

There’s 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 running your own UK business. What’s more, when we consider HMRC, contractor responsibilities include various filing tasks throughout the year. Basically, 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, in each case of accounts and tax returns for limited company, there’s certain tax year (UK) dates you must be aware of. Further still, for a limited company contractor, the main filing dates are official Companies House filing deadlines. In addition, there’s your contractor Corporation Tax deadline for making payment of CT, as well as the filing date for a limited company tax return (UK).

If your business is VAT registered or you run a PAYE scheme for your contracting business, you should be well organised. Indeed, this is because there’s additional filing requirements to meet in respect of these taxes. Therefore, in terms of routine company returns or annual filing requirements, it’s important that you don’t miss a HMRC tax deadline, otherwise your business may incur interest or even penalties.

In this guide, we’ll look at the tax year calendar and the tax year end (UK). As part of this, we’ll consider UK tax return deadlines and Companies House filing dates for a UK business. We’ll also look at the UK tax year 2023/24 and Self Assessment deadlines for personal tax return filing as an individual.

Initial thoughts on UK tax year dates 

What to think about first

Before we go into more detail, it’s key to bear in mind that when you’re a director who runs your own company, you must remember any key company filing dates. Indeed, UK companies need to meet the HMRC tax return deadline (UK) and Companies House filing dates each year. Basically, a UK company pays taxes, files official accounts and tax returns with the UK authorities. Therefore, there’s 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 the 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 in respect of 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 be aware of the various filing dates. However, if you’re a new business owner, all the relevant filing dates is new to you and something for you 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.

Certainly, when you run a company, you must know the official filing deadlines with Companies House as well as 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).

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

Common questions

As a contractor, some common questions and thoughts which arise in relation to 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 to 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 return?
  • How to keep track of taxes as a contractor.
  • How do I go about filing taxes as a contractor?

In this guide, we’ll look at company filing requirements and the UK company tax year. What’s more. we’ll research limited company returns and UK tax deadline dates.

Secondary thoughts

In many cases, when you’ve a good contractor accountant, they’ll look after you day to day. What’s more, they’ll help you meet the various deadlines in respect of 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 inform you of any other filing deadlines. They’ll also inform you how much tax you owe and the date by which you need to pay this.

When you run a business, it’s sensible to keep track of your main filing dates yourself. As a result, you can follow up with your accountant if the need arises. Basically, you can list the important dates in your diary, be that a digital diary or paper one. In addition, you can set reminders in a digital diary so that it sends prompts when important dates are coming up.

Preliminary considerations 

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. Certainly, it’s essential to be aware that once you’ve set this up, you’ll have the option in due course to register with HMRC for other taxes. Therefore, in the main, this’ll include VAT and PAYE/NIC. In addition, it could include other taxes too, such as CIS.

When you’re a UK contractor, it’s a good idea to have your own Business Tax account with HMRC. 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 also 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 also recommend that you register for a personal tax account with HMRC. Once you have access, you can view your personal tax liabilities and your current tax code, along with information about your personal tax affairs.

Tax year-end of tax year (UK)

In the UK, there’s two types of tax years which run from certain dates in the calendar year. Basically, in the United Kingdom, the tax year end date 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’s 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 that UK personal tax returns are made up to each year is 5 April. Basically, if you need 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, for 2022/23, it’ll cover your income from 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023. Likewise, for 2023/24 it’ll cover your income from 6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024. What’s more, when there’s 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 that 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 also your business financial year. The last day of this is usually the last day of a calendar month and is 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 your company up. However, you can also change it in the 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 the incorporation date of your company was on 20 July 2023 and you didn’t set your year-end, it’d automatically default to 31 July 2024. As a result, you’d file your accounts up to 31 July each year in future. However, you could decide to change the company year-end if you so wish, at a future date.

UK tax year dates -being organised from the outset

It’s good if you like to be organised, in terms of filing requirements for your company. What’s more, when this is the case, you can make a note all the relevant UK tax year dates that your company needs to meet. 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 these.

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 covers tax tips for limited company contractors. Certainly, this includes all our latest handy tips and advice. What’s more, you should be aware of these when you have your own 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 in respect of 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 that starts on 6 April 2024 will run to 5 April 2025.

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

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

Second thoughts

It’s key to remember your company should save its tax liabilities as it goes along in the company bank account. 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. Certainly, this is a good idea so that they’re kept separate from the regular funds of your business.

As we mention earlier, there’s various HMRC dates, Companies House filing deadlines and Corporation Tax deadlines. What’s more, you should keep track of these when 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’s dates to meet for your personal tax filing too, which is your responsibility as an individual. To sum up, it’s good to be aware of any filing dates during each calendar year.

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

As mentioned, UK contractors with their own company now file their VAT returns under MTD. Basically, they’ll use online software to do this. What’s more, such software makes company record keeping much easier than the previous methods of keeping business records.

In addition, there’s current plans to extend this to landlords and self-employment businesses (ITSA). This’ll now happen from 6 April 2026 for those with income over £50,000 mandated to join first, a change from the original £10,000 limit. In addition. for those with income over £30,000, this’ll now be mandated from April 2027. What’s more, the scope also has plans to extend this to company tax returns in the future too. This was originally planned for April 2026; however, it now looks even further away.

Filing company accounts and limited company tax return online

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

Dates to remember for UK contractors and small business owners

UK tax year dates -important key dates 

The various key dates for a UK limited company will differ depending on when the year end is. Indeed, your business year end could be set at any date of 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 you’re submitting accounts to Companies House, the due date is within 9 months after your company year-end.
The date 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 you’re submitting accounts to HMRC, the due date is within 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 date -filing dates with the UK authorities

Besides the main filing and tax deadlines (UK) shown above, there’s also various other dates for a UK business, in terms of filing with the UK authorities. Indeed, all such UK tax deadlines and filings are with either Companies House or HMRC. Basically, a business files accounts with Companies House. Likewise, it will file various tax returns and pay taxes in relation to 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 the 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 date you make your statement up to.

HMRC filing deadlines and payment date(s)

File tax returns for limited company and file accounts (HMRC). Basically, 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 the date by which you must file the tax return (limited company) and HMRC year-end accounts. 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 sum up, 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’ll 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’s also other filing dates to bear in mind. Indeed, this’ll 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 end if you pay by internet banking. Furthermore, when you pay 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 employee 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).

Similarly, there’s also dates for your personal tax (small business owner or contractor Self Assessment). Therefore, the key dates you should bear in mind 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 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 POA.

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 (POA). Basically, POA are made for personal tax (Self Assessment), as shown above. Therefore, POA is 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 is an area which often causes confusion for UK limited company contractors. In addition, it’s not always straightforward to follow for most directors of limited companies. Therefore, if you want more information about payments on account, please discuss these with your accountant. Certainly, they’ll be able to explain how these payments work. In addition, they’ll be able to tell you whether you need to make such payments to HMRC. Furthermore, they’ll also be able to check if you can reduce your payments on account.

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

Tom started up as a contractor and his company was set up on 7 April 2023. As a result, he started trading on 10 April 2023. Therefore, his first set of accounts is made up to 30 April 2024. 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 date by which he must file the accounts for the period ended 30 April 2024 is 7 January 2025.
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, for year ended 30 April 2025 the due date is 31 January 2026.
File Confirmation Statement with Companies House
Tom’s company was incorporated on 7 April 2023.
Therefore, the statement is made up to 6 April 2024, and as a result, it’s due for filing by 20 April 2024.

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 2025.
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 2025.
VAT returns -file the return and send payment to the VAT office
The June 2023 VAT return must be filed by 7 August 2023. In addition, the liability must be paid to HMRC by 7 August 2023 (10 August 2023 if his company is paying by direct debit).
PAYE/NIC payments
For the 5 July 2023 PAYE quarter (he files quarterly), the filing and payment is due to HMRC by 19 July 2023.

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 end if he pays by internet banking. Furthermore, if he pays the VAT by direct debit, this’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 employee 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

Self Assessment fines for late filing 

When you miss the deadline for tax return (UK), there’s various fines in respect of filing and paying your SA tax late. What’s more, these increase the later you are filing 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.

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 in respect of your company accounts filing earlier. What’s more, the fines increase the later you are with filing accounts at Companies House. Therefore, the following fines 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 practice to make sure your accounts are filed 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 indeed happen if you’re late filing. 

HMRC fines for late filing of accounts and company tax return

There are various fines in place if you’re late when you pay and file Corporation Tax (UK). Therefore, it’s key that these are paid and filed on time each year. Indeed, the fines increase the later you are at filing the documents with HMRC after the Corporation Tax return due date. Therefore, the fines that 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’ for 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 the case that your HMRC company tax return is late three times in a row. Indeed, when this is so, the £100 penalties are increased to £500 each. However, once again, it’s best practice to make sure your company tax return is filed on a 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 that your company must pay. Basically, this is called a ‘tax determination’ and you cannot appeal against it. As a result, you must pay the Corporation Tax that’s due and file your company tax return. What’s more, once you have done this, HMRC will re-calculate any interest and penalties which you need to pay.

Final thoughts 

We hope this guide was a helpful overview of the UK tax year dates for companies and individuals. What’s more, it also sets 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 your own company, this is a handy for a 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. Certainly, this includes the Companies House deadlines and when to file a limited company tax return. Furthermore, it also comprises when you should make payment of taxes and any official document filing dates.

When you’re a business owner, it’s a good idea to make some diary notes for the key UK tax year dates for your company during the year. As a result, 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 own company is you should also know yourself when the important dates are for your business.

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

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

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Published On: January 4th, 2024 / Categories: Company Taxes, First timer guide /

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