Friday, June 21, 2013

Guide to HMRC deadlines for businesses

There’s no reason why your business should be one of the many who waste money on fines because they miss HMRC deadlines. These fines are a cost that’s entirely avoidable with a little planning and preparation.

To help you plan ahead, we’ve put together a list of some important dates you need to remember. Write them onto a calendar now, or put them into an online calendar and schedule reminders in advance.

If you use an accountant to make your returns, there’s no harm in reminding them of the deadlines. You’ll be responsible for any fines if they submit late.

Monthly deadlines

22nd of each month - PAYE and NIC payments

If you run a payroll, the payment for PAYE and NICs must be in the HMRC bank account by the 22nd. Leaving three working days for the online payment to clear means you should make the payment by the 19th of the month. Or even earlier, if there are weekend days or bank holidays on or immediately before the 22nd.

If you pay late, you can be charged a penalty and interest.

Quarterly deadlines

Once per quarter for VAT returns and payments

VAT registered businesses on the standard scheme must complete an online VAT return once every three months. Your firm’s deadline is set by HMRC.

It’s important to keep a record of the submission receipt reference number, in case there’s any doubt about whether the VAT return was processed correctly in the HMRC system.

Copies of old online VAT returns can be accessed up to 15 months after they have been submitted.
VAT payments must be made online by the date on your VAT return, or you can agree to a Direct Debit. If you do this, HMRC will take the money three days after your VAT return due date.

Your deadlines may be different if you use one of the special VAT schemes or have other arrangements with HMRC.

If you submit your VAT return or payment late, you may have to pay a surcharge. You can request an email reminder of an impending VAT deadline, through the VAT online system.

Annual deadlines

31 January for online income tax returns

There’s an initial fixed penalty of £100 if you miss this deadline, even if you owe no tax. The later you are, the higher the penalty becomes.

The tax returns will relate to the year ended the previous 5 April. (This means online returns for the tax year ended 5 April 2013 must be made by 31 January 2014.)

31 January for paying tax

Whether you submit your returns online or on paper, you must pay the income tax due for the previous tax year by 31 January. The tax due for the year ended 5 April 2013 must be paid by 31 January 2014.

You may also be required to make the first of two payments on account, towards your next tax bill. HMRC will tell you if this is required. A payment on account in January will be for the current tax year.

22 July for Class 1A NICs

These National Insurance Contributions are paid by employers on benefits in kind and calculated from P11Ds. If you’re not sure whether these apply to your business, speak to your accountant or whoever handles your payroll.

31 July

This is the deadline for making a second payment of income tax on account, if you have been asked to by HMRC. This will be for the tax year ended the previous April.

31 October for paper tax returns

If you’re still completing paper tax returns, they need to be with HMRC by midnight on 31 October. You can extend this deadline to 31 January if you send in your return online.

The penalties are the same as for late online returns, which are due on 31 January. The tax returns will relate to the year ended the previous April. (So paper returns for the tax year ended 5 April 2013 must be made by 31 October 2013.)

Corporation tax

For most small firms, with taxable profits under £1.5 million, corporation tax is usually due nine months after the end of your financial year. So if your year end is 31 March 2013, the corporation tax should be paid by 31 December 2013.

Businesses with taxable profits over £1.5 million usually pay corporation tax in instalments, which will be agreed with HMRC.

Your corporation tax return is due 12 months after your financial year end. This means that the tax needs to be paid before you are legally required to submit your corporation tax return.

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