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Important dates and deadlines when running a business

If you’ve read our previous articles, you’ll be aware of the numerous deadlines that come with running your own limited company or working as a sole trader. Here we’ll provide you with a digestible list of the key deadlines to be aware of and when they fall. The number of deadlines will vary depending on whether you operate as a limited company or a sole trader. Rule of thumb: you’ll have more deadlines and admin to deal with running a limited company, as the business exists as a separate legal entity with its own set of legal requirements.

Deadlines for limited companies

As mentioned, a limited company will have several important legal deadlines to adhere to for HMRC and Companies House:

  • Corporation Tax – the month you incorporate your company automatically becomes your year-end. For example, if your company was incorporated on 1st January 2019, your year-end will be 31st January 2020. Your year-end date is important as it dictates when you need to file your year-end accounts and pay your corporation tax liability. This will be due 9 months and one day after your year-end date. So, for our company incorporated on the 1st January 2019, year-end accounts need filing and paying by 1st November 2020.
  • Confirmation Statement – must be submitted annually to Companies House, outlining any significant changes to your company e.g. changes in directorship or shareholdings. It’s due one year after your company’s date of incorporation and there’s a 2-week window to file. So, for our company formed on 1st January 2019, the statement should be filed between 1st and 14th January 2020.
  • VAT – can apply to both limited companies and sole traders. VAT returns are due one month and 7 days after the period, regardless of whether submitting quarterly or monthly. For a business with a quarter ending 31st January 2019, you’d have until 7th March 2019 to file and pay the return.
  • PAYE – a payment to HMRC, on behalf of employees, of income tax and National Insurance contributions. Like VAT, this can be monthly or quarterly, but is always due on the 22nd of the month following the period end. For a business paying quarterly, for a quarter ending of 31st March 2020, PAYE will be due 22nd April 2020. Note, if paying by cheque, the date is a few days earlier on the 19th of the month.
  • Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) – requires contractors in the construction industry to pay a proportion of a subcontractor’s income tax and NI directly to HMRC. Contractors must submit monthly returns online by the 19th of each month and ensure they are paid no later than the 22nd of the same month.


Deadlines for the individual

For individuals, there are key HMRC deadlines to bear in mind that revolve around the tax year. The tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April each year. Remember, if you run a limited company, these deadlines will also apply as well as the limited company deadlines outlined above:

  • Self-assessment – for an individual with income earned outside of employment, a self-assessment is due following the close of a tax year. This is due to be submitted with HMRC by the 31st October if filing by paper, or by 31st January if filing online. Both will need to be paid by 31st
  • Registering for self-assessment – before you can submit a self-assessment, you must let HMRC know you will be doing so (only if your return will be in excess of £1,000). The deadline for this each year is the 5th
  • ‘Payment on account’ – tax liability payments that split up your income tax liability into two (usually equal) halves. These are due 31st January and 31st July each year. This often means on 31st January you will have to make a balancing payment from the previous tax year and a payment on account for the current tax year.


Need a hand with managing your deadlines?

If after reading this blog you’re wondering how you’re going to keep on top of your business deadlines, then you might want to consider whether you would benefit from a dedicated accountant. No matter the size of your business, an accountant will prove a valuable resource, taking the leg work out of searching for answers yourself, such as the topic discussed above. This will result in you spending less time scouring the internet, and more time focusing on the day-to-day operations to help your business thrive. Click here to find out more about our services.

Why not consider joining one of our packages where one of our accountants can walk you through whether becoming VAT registered is for you. Or you may not need a full-on accounting service and just want to get your company VAT registered. For a great one-off price Cobia will promptly get your company registered. Find out more here.