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Information for small businesses & individuals


Tax dates and return deadlines for the tax year 2020/21


Knowing the important deadlines in the last tax year started on 6 April 2020 and ended on 5 April 2021 will help you to prepare and send off the main forms in good time. You may have a range of obligations for corporation tax, PAYE, self-assessment, VAT, National Insurance contributions (NICs) and the Companies House annual confirmation.

As well as preparing for the tax year end, you need to deal with a variety of regular payments and filings. When necessary, you should take professional advice.

Calendar for the tax year 2020/21

The calendar below starts on 6 April 2021.

The dates are deadlines by which the payments or forms must have been received by the relevant authority (eg HMRC), or, in the case of reclaiming tax, the date by which your application must have been received.

You should register with HMRC for any online at least a week before any deadlines to allow time for the service to be activated.

April 2021:
Submit your final Full Payment Submission and/or your Employer Payment Summary on or before your final pay period for the 2020/21 tax year (which ends 5 April 2021).

Register with HMRC to use the payrolling employees taxable benefits and expenses service before the start of the tax year.

  • 6Key tax changes come into effect, including changes to income tax and National Insurance rates and thresholds.
  • 22 PAYE and NICs for the month or quarter which ended on 5 April, paid to HMRC electronically (19 April if paid by post).
  • 30 Automatic £100 penalty and additional daily £10 penalties start to be incurred if you have not filed your self-assessment tax return for year ending 5 April 2020.

May 2021:

  • Form P46 (Car) to send to HMRC relating to the quarter ending 5 April 2021 (if there has been any change in the use of your company cars) for benefits not payrolled.
  • 31 Give each employee who was employed by you a form P60.
    Provide a letter to all employees with details of payrolled benefits.

June 2021:

July 2021:

  • 5 Reach agreement with HMRC about the terms of any PAYE settlement agreement and the expenses covered for 2020/21.
  • 6 Expenses and benefits forms P11D, P11D(b) submitted online to HMRC for benefits and expenses not payrolled such as living accommodation and beneficial loans Give a copy of the relevant form to each employee.
  • 6 Submit form P11D(b) for Class 1A NICs on benefits regardless of whether payrolled or reported on P11D.
  • 6 Deadline for submitting employee share scheme annual returns for 2019/21.
  • 22 Pay any Class 1A NICs on taxable work benefits and taxed award schemes to HMRC for 2019/21 electronically (19 April if paid by post).
  • 31 Second instalment of your self-assessed tax payment for the tax year to 5 April, sent to HMRC.
  • 31 Late filing/payment penalty deadline. You will pay another £300 or a surcharge of 5% of the tax due (whichever is higher) if you have still not filed and paid your 2019/20 income tax.

August 2021:

  • 2 Form P46 (Car) relating to the first quarter ending 5 July (if there has been any change of use in your company cars) sent to HMRC (for benefits not payrolled).

September 2021:

  • 30 Reclaim VAT you spent on supplies from other EU countries, in the previous calendar year, from the relevant EU country's tax authority, unless you already do this as part of your regular VAT return.

October 2021:

  • 5 Registration deadline if you have any income which is not fully taxed or any capital gains tax liabilities for the 2020/21 tax year.
  • 22 Income tax and National Insurance due under a voluntary PAYE Settlement Agreement, paid to HMRC electronically (19 April if paid by post).
  • 31 Self-assessment tax return for the year ended 5 April to be sent to HMRC if you want to submit a paper return.

November 2021:

  • 2 Form P46 (Car) relating to the quarter ending 5 October (if there has been any change in the use of your company cars), sent to HMRC (for benefits not payrolled).

December 2021:

  • 30 This is the last day to file your self-assessment tax return online if you want HMRC to collect any underpayment automatically through your PAYE tax code.

January 2022:

  • 31 Self-assessment tax return for year ending 5 April 2021, submitted online to HMRC. You have to pay a penalty of £100 if you fail to send in a tax return by this date. Additional penalties are incurred after three months.
  • 31 The first payment on account of your self-assessment tax for the tax year ending 5 April 2020/21 and the remaining unpaid balance of your self-assessment tax for the year ending 5 April 2019/20, paid to HMRC.
  • 31 If you have not filed your 2019/20 self-assessment tax return, you will incur a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300 (whichever is greater).

February 2022:

  • 2 Form P46 (Car), relating to the quarter ending 5 January the previous year (if there has been any change in the use of your company cars), sent to HMRC for benefits not payrolled.

March 2022:

  • 1 If you have not paid the balance of your 2020/21 self-assessment tax bill, you will incur a penalty of 5% of the tax unpaid as well as interest charges.
    An additional surcharge of 5% will be payable on any balance still unpaid on 31 July, and a further 5% on 31 January.

Preparing for the tax year end

Prepare well in advance for the end of the tax year ending (5 April 2022)

  • January is a good time to start collecting documents and compiling figures, in order to begin planning your future tax affairs.

Under self-assessment, 31 January is the deadline for claiming reliefs and allowances from HMRC over the previous four tax years.

In March, consider making additional payments into your personal pension scheme

  • This can help maximise the tax efficiency of your pension.
  • You will receive tax relief at your marginal tax rate.

From 6 April, after the year end, start getting ready to complete your self-assessment tax return for the last tax year.

  • Start collecting together all the relevant documents, such as your share vouchers and dividend documents.

Compulsory online filing

Almost all employers need to file PAYE information online in real time

  • You must submit a Full Payment Submission (FPS) every time you pay employees. This must include how much each employee has been paid, details of deductions made such as tax and NICs and start and leave dates (if applicable).
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may need to submit other information and submissions online to HMRC. See payroll pricing guide.

Almost all VAT-registered businesses must file VAT returns online

  • You must also pay VAT electronically and comply with Making Tax Digital rules for businesses above the VAT registration threshold. See VAT pricing guide.

Company tax returns must be filed online

  • Accounts and computations must be submitted in eXtensible Markup Language (XML). You (or your agent) must use software that can do this.
  • Any corporation tax that is due must be paid electronically. See accountancy service.

The easiest way to file forms online is to register for HMRC online services

  • You can also file online using some commercial software packages. Check whether the package you use has an online filing function.
  •  Alternatively, you could use an agent or bureau to file forms online on your behalf.

The deadlines for the Making Tax Digital initiative are still not confirmed for most taxes.

  • All small businesses and self-employed people will be required to use digital tax accounts to report their tax quarterly. The mandatory implementation starts in April 2019 and then only for VAT reporting. A single digital account for other taxes is not expected to be in force until at least 2020. (This has been delayed due to COVID-19).

Regular payments and filings

PAYE, student loan deductions and National Insurance payments must be made every month

  • Payments are for the previous month unless you are paying quarterly.
  • Electronic payments must be made by the 22nd (the previous day if the 22nd falls on a weekend or a holiday). Postal or bank payments are due by 19th of the month.

VAT is paid monthly, quarterly or yearly

  • It is usually paid quarterly, electronically, seven days after the end of the month following the quarter in question.

Corporation tax must usually be paid within nine months and one day of the company year end

  • So if your tax year ends on 30 November, you must pay corporation tax by 1 September the following year. Special arrangements apply to companies whose accounting period is other than 12 months.

Companies with profits of more than £1.5m pay their corporation tax quarterly

  • The first instalment is due six months and 13 days after the start of the company's accounting period, and the others follow at three-monthly intervals.
  • For example, a company with a financial year starting on 1 January 2019 would make payments on 14 July and 14 October, with a further payment on 14 January 2020 and the final payment on 14 April 2020.

Companies must file accounts with Companies House

  • Private companies must do this within nine months of the end of their financial year
  • For public companies, the period is six months.

All companies must file corporation tax self-assessment returns with HMRC

  • The deadline is 12 months from the end of their accounting periods.

All companies must file a confirmation statement each year

  • This is usually due on the anniversary of the date of incorporation or the last filed confirmation statement.
  • It includes a list of directors, company secretary (if any), the registered office, the share capital and the shareholders.
  • A £40 processing fee (£13 if filed online) is payable to Companies House.

Various notifications must be given when share options are granted or exercise


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