Key dates for your diary

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DiaryAs a self-employed person, or someone who is running a business every day is important. However, some dates should be in your diary to ensure that you don’t fall foul of HM Revenue & Customs or Companies House.

We’d recommend having the following dates in your business diary as reminders of tasks which need to be done.

VAT returns

–          Put in your quarter end dates (or annual reporting date as appropriate). You’ll need to have your accounts up to date quickly after each quarter end.

–          After each quarter end, your VAT return will need to be submitted by the 7th of the “month plus one” following the quarter end. Example, for a quarter ended 31 March your return will need to be submitted by 7th May

Tip – If making a manual payment each time, the funds need to be cleared with HMR&C by the end of the same date. To avoid having to pay early, consider setting up a Direct Debit for your VAT payments – one less thing to then remember!

Payroll & PAYE

–          Put in your pay dates – whether it be weekly, fortnightly or monthly to ensure you remember to pay your team.

–          Your RTI (real time information) reports need to be lodged with HMR&C ahead of making payments to employees.

–          HMR&C need to receive the payments of deductions (PAYE, NI etc) which you have made from the payroll by the 19th of the following month. Example, for a March payroll, the payment of deductions needs to be with HMR&C by 19th April.

–          At each year end, you need to ensure that your additional year end documents are with HMR&C by 19th May.

Tip – consider outsourcing your payroll. At Morrell Middleton we prepare, process and manage the payroll function for many employers, taking away the stresses of remembering all the dates and forms needed. 


–          CIS follows the payroll reporting, in that you need to report each month by 19th of the following month.

Self-assessment tax return

–          So long as filing online, your personal tax return needs to be filed by 31st January, following the tax year end (5th April).

–          Payments of income tax are due (if required) on 31st July and 31st January each year.

Tip – to help you plan don’t leave preparing your tax return until January! If you prepare between April and July, there is scope (where appropriate) to reduce your 31 July payment, and keep money which you are entitled to in your pocket.

Company accounts

–          Limited Companies need to file accounts at Companies House. These are due for filing 22 months from the start of the accounting period. Example: Accounts for 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, will need to be filed by 31 December 2015.

–          Late filed accounts incur penalties, starting at £150 for being up to 1 month late.

–          The penalties are doubled if you are late 2 years running.

Tip – Take care where your accounts period is not 12 months, which is commonly the first period or where the period has been extended to a more convenient date, as the filing date can be mid-month, and sooner after the period end than you were expecting.

Corporation tax

–          A company pays tax 9 months and a day after the end of a “reporting period”. Where the company accounts are for a standard year, this is easy to calculate. However, as a “reporting period” cannot exceed 12 months, where the accounts are for longer periods, or the first period of trade this is tricky, as there will be more than one reporting period for a single set of accounts.

–          The corporation tax return is normally filed 12 months after the year end, meaning oddly that you need to know the tax to pay before the return is due to be submitted.

Tip – make sure you are clear when corporation tax is due and as early as possible have an estimate of how much it is likely to be, so you can budget accordingly and avoid paying HMR&C interest on late payments.

Company annual return

–          Each year a company is required to confirm certain details with Companies House via an Annual return form.

–          The form is normally required to be made up to the anniversary of incorporation, and filed by 4 weeks later.

–          While there are no financial penalties for late filing, if not done on time you risk the company being struck off by Companies House.


There are a number of other dates which you may want to consider which include:

–          Pension contributions payments

–          Attachment of earnings payments

–          EC Sales lists and intrastate returns

Everyone’s diary will be bespoke for themselves, and the above is a guide only.


(The above is only a guide and no responsibility is taken by the author for any missed deadlines and penalties and interest arising.)