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One of the most important dates to remember if you’re self-employed or run your own business is the Self Assessment tax return deadline. Your tax return shows your income and expenditure for the previous tax year and is how your tax bill is calculated.
If you’re a sole trader or in a business partnership, or if you’re a company director, then you’ll need to file a tax return to HMRC every year. Landlords earning money from renting out property may also need to complete a Self Assessment, but we have a separate guide for that.
The Self Assessment tax return deadline is on 31 January each year. This means that the deadline for filing your 2022-23 taxes is by midnight on 31 January 2024. This is also the deadline for paying any tax owed for the previous tax year (and your first instalment of payment on account).
Remember, this deadline is if you choose to file your taxes online – there’s a different date to remember if you want to file a paper return.
There are other important company and self-employed tax return dates too – keep reading and mark your diary with the key tax year dates to remember.
For untaxed income earned during the 2022-23 tax year, the online deadline for filing your Self Assessment tax return and paying your bill is midnight 31 January 2024.
You’ve missed the deadline for filing a paper tax return though, as that was 31 October 2023.
But you can file your tax return at any time before the deadline – there are a number of benefits in filing it early. It can make it easier to plan your finances, plus help you minimise the risk of fines. Here are five reasons to do your tax return early.
Download your free in-depth guide to completing your self-employed tax return. Why not save it and refer back to the guide when filling in your Self Assessment?Download
If you brought home untaxed income between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022 (for example, through self-employment or earning money from a rental property) the tax return deadline was 31 January 2023.
If you’ve missed this filing deadline you’ve probably already received a fine. But the fines keep piling up the longer you delay, so it’s important to file your tax return and pay any tax owed as soon as possible.
If you need a hand, check out our top tax return tips.
If you continued earning untaxed income from 6 April 2023, this will fall into the tax year 2023-24, which ends on 5 April 2024.
The deadline for filing a 2023-24 Self Assessment tax return will be midnight on 31 January 2025.
We know 2025 may sound like a long way off, but it’s a good idea to start thinking about your tax return as soon as you start earning money. For example:
We are currently in the 2023-24 tax year, and from 6 April 2024 we’ll be in the 2024-25 tax year.
The UK tax year ends on 5 April each year.
The end of the tax year is one of the most important tax dates in the calendar. That’s because rates and allowances usually change each year.
For example, the amount you can save in an ISA resets each tax year. If you don’t use your allowance, you lose it. This means it’s important to contribute as much as you can before the new tax year starts.
The new tax year starts on 6 April each year.
The start of the tax year is often when new tax rules and regulations are introduced.
Starting up – if you start an active (as opposed to dormant) limited company, you need to tell HMRC within three months. You can do this by completing form CT41G. You’ll normally receive this form along with the information pack that HMRC sends out to newly registered companies.
If you start a dormant company (which means you’ve set up your limited company but aren’t trading), you should tell HMRC as soon as possible to avoid being treated like an active company.
Payment deadlines for taxable profits of £1.5 million or less – you need to pay your bill by the deadline, which is nine months and one day after the end of your corporation tax accounting period. This date is known as the ‘normal due date'.
Payment deadlines for taxable profits of more than £1.5 million – you normally have to pay your corporation tax in four instalments if your total taxable profits exceed £1.5 million. You should speak to HMRC for more information.
Filing your company tax return – you need to 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’.
You need to pay corporation tax before you file your return – unlike Self Assessment, when payment is normally due on the same date as the filing deadline.
Filing annual accounts – the deadline for filing statutory accounts is nine months after the end of your company’s financial year.
The 5 October is the deadline for telling HMRC that you’re self-employed, so that they know you need to complete a tax return the following year. If you’re already registered as self-employed, there’s no need to do this again. Check out our guide to registering with HMRC for more information.
The 31 October is the Self Assessment deadline for the self-employed tax year if you want to file a paper return rather than filing online. However, most businesses find it easier to file their tax return online – and under Making Tax Digital plans, paper filing soon won't be an option.
The 30 December is the deadline for filing your online tax return if you want the tax owed to be collected through PAYE via your tax code.
This is only an option if you have some income that’s already taxed through PAYE (as in, you’re employed as well as self-employed), and if your Self Assessment tax bill is below £3,000. See our article on tax codes for more information.
Payment on account is due in two instalments across the year – it’s how you pay your tax bill to HMRC. The first payment is due on 31 January and the second payment on account deadline is 31 July.
Payment on account applies to you if your Self Assessment tax bill was more than £1,000 when you submitted your tax return for the period.
It doesn't apply if your tax bill was less than £1,000, or if 80 per cent or more of your tax was deducted at source (for example through your tax code, or because your bank has deducted interest on your savings). Take a look at our payment on account guide if you’re not sure.
All VAT returns must be filed online (unless you have an exemption from Making Tax Digital). This means you’ll need to use accounting software to keep digital records and submit VAT returns.
Our guide to filing a VAT return goes into more detail, but keep reading for a general overview:
Filing online – the deadline for online filing will normally be one month and seven days after the end of your VAT accounting period. There are exceptions to this – for example, firms using the VAT annual accounting scheme don’t qualify for the seven day extension. You can check your VAT return and payment deadlines on your online VAT account.
Paying your VAT bill – you normally need to pay your VAT bill on the same day it’s due. You need to pay electronically if you file online.
If you use the VAT annual accounting scheme – you file just one return a year, two months after the end of your accounting period. You pay your bill in instalments.
If you make monthly payments, these are due at the end of the fourth month through to the 12th month of your accounting year. This means that you make nine payments.
If you make quarterly payments these are due at the end of the fourth, seventh 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.
Wondering how much VAT to charge on your products or services? Our guide to working out VAT includes a free calculator to help you.
Monthly PAYE and Class 1 NIC payments – if you’re paying PAYE and Class 1 NICs monthly by an electronic method, payment must reach HMRC by the 22nd of each month. If you’re paying by cheque, payment must reach HMRC by the 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. If you’re paying quarterly, you must pay by the 22nd after the end of the relevant quarter. You should speak to HMRC to find out whether you’re eligible.
Class 1A NIC payments – if you’re paying Class 1A NICs electronically, payment must reach HMRC by 22 July. If you’re paying by post, payment must reach HMRC by 19 July.
For a full list of important business dates to remember, see our key dates guide.
Still feeling confused about the Self Assessment deadline and tax year dates? Ask any questions in the comments.
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Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
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