Business tax deadlines: Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, VAT, PAYE, NICs

Reviewed for 2018

As a business owner you need to meet a range of important tax deadlines throughout the year. We have compiled a list of some of the most important, to help make sure you meet fulfil your obligations.

Please note that all of these deadlines may be subject to change. Similarly, if they fall on a weekend or bank holiday, payment may be required on the last working day before the deadline.

Self Assessment

31 October. If you intend to file your tax return on paper, you need to do so by 31 October. The only exceptions to this are for taxpayers who received their Notice to File after 31 July, and those who have been specifically told by HMRC that they are not allowed to file online.

30 December. If you owe less than £3,000 and you want HMRC to collect it through your tax code, you must file your tax return online by 30 December.

31 January. If you intend to file your tax return online, you must do so by midnight on 31 January. Remember that you will need a Government Gateway login and password to do this, and these can take up to 10 days to arrive – so make sure you apply well in advance if you are filing online for the first time.

You will also need to make your first payment on account on January 31. This will usually be equal to 50 per cent of your tax liability for the tax year just gone, and will go towards next year’s tax bill.

6 April. The start of the new tax year. You can expect to receive a paper tax return shortly after this date if HM Revenue and Customs believes that you need to complete a Self Assessment.

31 July. You will be required to make your second payment on account by this date.

Corporation Tax

Starting up. If you start an active (as opposed to dormant) company, you must inform HMRC within three months. You can do this by completing form CT41G. You will normally receive this form along with the information pack that HMRC sends out to companies newly registered with Companies House.

If you start a dormant company, you should tell HMRC as soon as possible in order to avoid being treated as an active company.

Payment deadlines for taxable profits of £1.5 million or less. You will be required to pay your Corporation Tax bill by the date nine months and one day after the end of your Corporation Tax accounting period if your taxable profits are £1.5 million or less. This date is known as the normal due date.

Payment deadlines for taxable profits of more than £1.5 million. You will normally have to pay your Corporation Tax in four instalments if your total taxable profits exceed £1.5 million. You should contact HM Revenue and Customs for more information.

Filing your Company Tax Return. You must file your Company Tax Return within 12 months of the end of your company’s accounting period. This is known as the ‘statutory filing date’. It is therefore important to understand that you will be required to pay your Corporation Tax before you file your return – unlike Self Assessment, where payment is normally due on the same date as the filing deadline.

VAT

Filing your VAT return on paper. Paper VAT returns have now been phased out for most businesses. You must file your return online unless your business is subject to an insolvency procedure, you object to using computers on religious grounds, or you can’t file online because of your age, a disability, or because you live in an area without internet access.

Filing your VAT return online. The deadline for online filing will normally be one month and seven days after the end of your VAT accounting period. There are numerous exceptions to this; for example, firms using the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme do not qualify for the seven day extension.

Paying your VAT bill. You will normally be required to pay your VAT bill on the same day it is due. Remember that you must pay using an electronic method if you file online.

If you use the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme. Firms that use the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme file just one return a year, two months after the end of their accounting period, and pay their bill in instalments.

If you make monthly payments these are due at the end of the 4th through 12th months of your accounting year, meaning you make nine payments. If you make quarterly payments these are due at the end of the 4th, 7th and 10th months of your accounting year, meaning you make three payments.

A balancing payment is then due, along with your return, two months after the end of your VAT accounting period.

PAYE and National Insurance Contributions

Monthly PAYE and Class 1 NIC payments. If you are paying PAYE and Class 1 NICs monthly by an electronic method, payment must reach HMRC by 22nd of each month. If you are paying quarterly, you must pay by the 22nd after the end of the relevant quarter. If you are paying by cheque, payment must reach HMRC by 19th of each month.

Quarterly PAYE and Class 1 NIC Payments. You may be able to pay quarterly if you pay less than £1,500 a month. You should contact HMRC to find out whether you are eligible.

Class 1A NIC payments. If you are paying Class 1A NICs by electronic methods, payment must reach HMRC by 22 July. If you are paying by post, payment must reach HMRC by 19 July.

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