7 Dates for Your Diary in 2021

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As small business owners we have a number of key dates that can prove very expensive to forget.

In the first post of the new year I’ve listed just 6 dates (plus 1 I made up) that if missed have combined penalties of over £5,000 and can lead to your business being closed.

I know what you’re thinking... that’s my accountants job and you’re right, but I think you’ll agree with me that these dates should be in your diary too.

The article should take no longer than 15mins to work through and once done you’ll have the dates in your diary for the whole year ahead.

1 – Annual Accounts Due Date (Penalty £100+)

Your annual accounts are due 9months after the end of your accounting period. For example, if your accounting period ends 31st of March then your accounts are due by 31st December. Filing late will result in a fine.

To find out your accounts due date search your company data on the Companies House Website

Enter your company number or company name in the search bar and you’ll be taken to your Company info screen (pic below).


On this screen you can see the date of your next yearend (noted as “Next accounts made up to xxxxxxx”) and the due by date which I’ve highlighted below.


The due by date is the last date your accounts can be submitted without penalty but I would recommend you put both your yearend date and the due date in your diary.

You don’t pay your tax any earlier if you submit your accounts early and it makes a lot more sense to have them completed within 8-12 weeks of your yearend than wait until the deadline. Not least because you’ll be prepared for your tax bill way in advance of having to pay it.

2 – Confirmation Statement Due Date (Penalty £5kmax+ Strike off)

Your confirmation statement (used to be called the annual return) is due every 12months from the date you registered your company providing you don’t change the date.

So if you registered your company on 26th March your confirmation statement will be due each year on the 26th March. You will have 2 weeks from this date to file it before incurring a fine.

Again you can find your confirmation statement due date at the Companies House Website

Again I’ve highlighted above the “due date” but your confirmation statement can be filed anytime after the “next statement date”.

Your accountant should contact you in plenty of time to file but ultimately its your responsibility as a Director to ensure these filings are completed so having the date in your diary will allow you to give your accountant a nudge in plenty of time.

It gets a lot easier from here as the next 5 of your dates are fixed.

3 – Corporation Tax Due Date (Penalty £200+)

Your Corporation Tax is due no later than 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period. For ease its best to think of this deadline as the same as the filing deadline for your annual accounts. Penalties and interest can be applied for late filing.

4- Self-Assessment (Penalty £100+£10per day)

Your personal tax year is often different from your company’s accounting period and will always run from the 6th April -5th April each year. Your personal tax return then has to be filed along with the tax payment by the following January 31st.

So for the tax year April 6th 2020 – April 5th 2021 your self-assessment return and tax payment would be due by 31st January 2021.

Note: don’t forget you may also need to make Payments on Account during the tax year in which case these are due 31st January and 31st July.

Key Dates;

  • January 31st - Filing and payment deadline
  • July 31st - Deadline for second Payment on Account if required

5 – VAT due dates (Penalty up to 15% surcharge)

VAT due dates depend greatly on your VAT quarters. Your VAT return is due along with payment 1month and 7 days after the end of your VAT period.

For example, if your VAT period ends 31st August then your return is due by October 7th (this is normally the payment date also but those paying by Direct Debit often have payments taken on the 10th)

6 – Payroll Dates (Penalty £100)

For employers deducting income tax and national insurance from their employees these deductions need to be paid to HMRC. The due dates depend on whether you are classed as a small employer or not. Those whose deductions total less than £1500 every 3mths can pay quarterly from the start of the tax year. Those with larger deductions should pay each month.

Payments are due by the 19th of the month following the end of the period. That’s either the 19th of the month following the end of a quarter or the 19th of each month if paying monthly.

P11D – Employers National Insurance contributions on benefits provided to employees such as company cars or health care. Your P11d Forms are due with HMRC by the 6th July each year and payment should be received by the 19th July.

7 – Dividends(Penalty - You'll pay more TAX!)

Ok so there are no due dates for dividends as they are governed by an internal decision to distribute funds to shareholders but for those being paid by dividend the 5th April every year is a key date.

Before this date each year you should calculate all your income for the current tax year (including dividends received to date) and decide if its tax efficient to top up your dividends before the end of the current tax year or postpone some into the following year.

It’s important to remember for your personal tax due on dividend income your tax year is not the same as your company’s accounting period your tax year is fixed from 6th April to 5th April EVERY YEAR.

If you can’t do these calculations yourself put a date in your dairy before the 5th April to speak to your accountant each year to ensure your tax affairs are in order and you don’t end up paying more tax than you need to.

Tax Planning - Taking the Next Step

Knowing the dates above can save you a few headaches and avoid some hefty fines but the next step is managing your tax liability effectively during the year.

At any given time you will have money in your company account that belongs to HMRC. If you don’t know how much that is then you need to improve the information available to you.

With a little training and a few simple tools you should be able to track your Tax and VAT liability as you progress through the year.

Once you reach this point you can transfer the tax to a company savings account every month and managing your tax affairs becomes almost as simple as when you were PAYE….. almost.

If you’re aware you need to manage your tax better and you’d like our help please get in touch.

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