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Key dates small businesses need to know for 2024

6-minute read

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Zach Hayward-Jones

Zach Hayward-Jones

21 December 2023

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When juggling the challenges that come with running your business, forgetting important dates is something that's all too easy to do. But there are some dates and deadlines that small business owners can’t afford to miss.

Starting the year with a clear plan for your finances and business admin can ease the stress later on. So, we’ve highlighted the most important dates for small business owners in 2024. From tax deadlines to new laws and legislation, read on to make sure you’re up to date.

January 2024 – key business dates

Self-Assessment deadline – 31 January

The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return is 31 January but you can submit it before if you want to. Make sure you have everything you need to complete your tax return on time to avoid fines.

Balance of any tax for year 2022-23 due – 31 January

If you still have tax to pay after your two payments on account for the 2022-23 tax year then you'll also need to make a 'balancing payment' to settle your bill.

First payment on account – 31 January

Self Assessment taxpayers need to pay the first instalment of their payment on account for the 2024-25 tax year.

Capital gains tax due – 31 January

If you’ve sold or disposed of a business asset then you’ll need to pay capital gains tax. This can be reported on your Self Assessment tax return or paid at the time you made the gain.

Business budgeting – January

While this isn’t something you have to do at the start of the year, January is a good time to look ahead and start planning your business finances. A budget template can help you do this. And don’t forget to review your forecasting at the start of the new financial year (6 April) and at other key points in the year.

February

National Apprenticeship Week – 5 to 11 February

Celebrate your existing apprentices or consider how taking on an apprentice could help you with your business goals.

March

Spring Budget – 6 March

Updates on tax cuts, including stamp duty and income tax could be revealed in the Spring Budget, along with new alcohol duty rates.

International Women’s Day – 8 March

Fewer than one in three businesses in the UK are run by women, but what’s holding them back? International Women’s Day is a global campaign to celebrate the achievements of women and drive gender parity.

Energy Bill Discount Scheme ends – 31 March

This iteration of the government’s energy bill support for UK businesses was introduced in April 2023 and is due to end on 31 March.

Key dates planner – free download

See all the important dates you need to know for 2024 in one handy download.

Download

April

Stress Awareness Month – April

Running a business can mean you feel extra pressure. If you’re feeling stressed or at risk of burnout, our mental health resources created in partnership with Mental Health at Work (a programme curated by the charity Mind) could be a good place to look for support.

National minimum wage increases – 1 April

It’s a legal requirement for businesses with employees to pay at least the national minimum wage.

From 1 April, the national living wage increases to £11.44 which is a 9.7 per cent increase. This rate will include 21 and 22 year olds for the first time. The rates for 16 to 20 year olds and people on apprenticeships will also increase.

End of tax year – 5th April

If you’re an employer, you need to plan ahead of this date to process any leavers, and send your final payroll report of the tax year from 20 April.

Start of the new tax year – 6 April

The new tax year starts on 6 April.

This is also the earliest you can file your Self Assessment tax return for 2024-25.

National Insurance reforms – 6 April

Self-employed people with profits over £12,570 won’t have to pay Class 2 National Insurance, and Class 4 rates are going down to eight per cent.

Image showing Living Wage, business rates, and National Insurance changes
Three key updates for small businesses. Image credit: Simply Business

Changes to R&D relief schemes – 6 April

The chancellor confirmed in the Autumn Statement 2023 that R&D Expenditure Credit and the SME schemes will be merged in April. Read how to access research and development relief.

Income tax change (Scotland) – 6 April

New income tax thresholds have been announced for high earners in Scotland. A new band for people earning between £75,000 and £125,140 means they’ll have to pay 45 per cent tax. The top rate for those earning more than £125,000 will rise to 48 per cent.

For taxpayers across the UK, the personal allowance of £12,570 has been frozen until 2028 rather than rising in line with higher earnings – this means you’ll pay tax on more of your money.

Dividends allowance reduced – 6 April

The tax-free dividend allowance is reduced from £1,000 to £500. This means more of your dividends will be taxed at the basic rate.

Capital gains tax allowance reduced – 6 April

You pay capital gains tax on the profits you make from selling your business assets, like land or machinery. The tax-free allowance reduces from £6,000 to £3,000 on 6 April 2023.

Business rates change (Wales) – 6 April

Business rates will increase for pubs, shops, and restaurants in Wales. From April, a 75 per cent relief will be reduced to 40 per cent.

It will remain at 75 per cent for businesses in England.

May

P60 deadline – 31 May

The deadline for issuing your employees with a P60 form is 31 May. This is the same time each year – the end of the month after a new tax year begins.

June

Shop Independent Day – 24 June

Holly & Co created a Shop Independent Day for 24 June 2023 to support micro businesses and encourage people to shop small. Businesses can access free marketing assets and join the conversation on social media.

July

P11D forms due – 6 July

If you have employees and offer benefits like company cars or season ticket loans then you’ll need to report this to HMRC. You do this by filling in a P11D form every year.

Second payment on account deadline – 31 July

The second payment on account deadline is 31 July. The payments are based on your previous year’s tax bill and work as advance payments towards your next tax bill.

September

Pension Awareness Day – 24 September

This is a good prompt for businesses to start thinking about their self-employed pension (if you haven’t already got one) and starting to plan for retirement.

And if you have employees, make sure you’re up to speed on workplace pensions.

October

Register for Self Assessment – 5 October

If you’re newly self-employed then you’ll need to register for Self Assessment with HMRC by 5 October after the end of the tax year you became self-employed. Read our guide to registering as self-employed to learn more.

Cyber Security Awareness Month – October

Use this date as a reminder to check your business is following best practice when it comes to cyber security.

Autumn Budget – date TBC

Every year the government announces an Autumn Budget – an annual statement of what tax changes and spending plans are coming up. An independent economic and fiscal outlook is usually published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) on the same day.

The full Budget announcement is usually in October or the start of November, but recent years have also seen a ‘mini-Budget’ and ‘fiscal statements’ that disrupted the usual timetable. An upcoming general election could also impact this date.

November

Talk Money Week – November

The government’s Money & Pensions Service uses Talk Money Week in November to encourage conversations about money, pensions, and financial wellbeing.

So whether you have a self-employed pension or you're struggling with the cost of living crisis, it’s a good time to check that you understand all your options.

Black Friday – 25 November

Black Friday is a global sales event retailers can take part in by offering discounts to consumers online or in their shops. It often kick-starts the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, but how do small businesses feel about Black Friday?

Cyber Monday – 27 November

Following on from Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a date where online retailers might choose to offer large discounts and sales promotions.

What else is happening in 2024?

Other events and legislation changes to keep an eye on in 2024 include:

  • new tipping laws – a new law is making it illegal for employers to withhold tips from workers. The bill has passed and new tipping rules are likely to come into force sometime in 2024
  • general election – the latest the government can hold a general election is January 2025, but it’s been mooted that it could be called in October 2024. Keep an eye on the Knowledge centre for what the general election could mean for small businesses
  • museums in Walesmuseums may have to start charging visitors under plans being considered by the Welsh government

More useful articles for small business owners

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Zach Hayward-Jones

Written by

Zach Hayward-Jones

Zach Hayward-Jones is a Copywriter at Simply Business, with six years of writing experience across entertainment, insurance, and financial services. Zach specialises in covering small business and landlord insurance. He has a particular interest in issues impacting the hospitality industry after spending a number of years working as a pastry chef.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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