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There is so much to think about when running your own business, including important dates to keep track of – and there are a lot of them. When you’re a freelancer or a contractor, you need to be aware of these tax dates and deadlines, so that you don’t run into problems with HMRC, which can be challenging when you’re busy running your day-to-day operations.

We provide accounting for contractors so, we’re aware of all key tax dates for contractors and freelancers and have put together an accounting calendar to help you stay on top of them.


Accounting Calendar for Contractors and Freelancers – Key Dates You Should Know

As someone who is self-employed, you have to keep all annual tax deadlines in mind, so that you don’t miss any important dates – and risk having to pay fines or penalties. You’ll also have different obligations to HMRC depending on whether or not you employ other people or if you’re a sole trader or own your very own limited company, for instance.

By being aware of your accounting responsibilities, you can have peace of mind that you’re submitting documents to HMRC on time, every time.

If you’re unsure whether you’re meeting all of these obligations or if you’re filling out paperwork correctly, it may be best to seek the expert advice of accountants who will be able to answer all of your questions and assist with everything you require.


In the meantime, you can check out our list of important dates for contractors and freelancers:


22nd January – PAYE and NIC’s

The deadline to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions for the quarter ending 5th December. If you pay by post, the deadline will be 19th January.

31st January – Self-Assessment

This is one of the most important dates in the tax calendar for self-employed individuals. If you have any income outside of PAYE tax, you will usually have to submit a self-assessment tax return, which shows HMRC how much you earned and how much you need to pay in tax.

31st January – First Payment on Account

January 31st is also the deadline for the submission of your first payment on account, which refers to the amount of income tax and National Insurance contributions you have to pay. Your second payment arrives six months later.

6th April – New Tax Year

The 6th of April is when the new tax year starts, which means that new legislation including new tax rates will come into effect on this date.

22nd April – PAYE and NICs

The deadline to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions for the quarter ending 5th April. If you pay by post, the deadline will be 19th April.

30th April – Penalties Start

If you failed to submit your self-assessment tax return before the end of the tax year on 5 April, you incur a £100 penalty and additional £10 penalties for each day you don’t file the document.

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31st May – Issue P60s

If you have employees, you have until the 31st of May to issue their annual P60s.

6th July – Filling P11Ds

If applicable, you have until July 6th to submit P11D(b) forms to HMRC. You also have until this day to issue P11Ds to your employees.

22nd July – PAYE and NIC’s

The deadline to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions for the quarter ending 5th July. If you pay by post, the deadline will be 19th July.

31st July – Second Payment on Account

July 31st is the deadline for your second payment on account. Both payments account for 50% of your tax bill so, if you have to pay £2,000 in tax the previous year, you pay £1,000 on your first payment and the other £1,000 in July.

5th October – Registering for Self-Assessment

This is a very important deadline so, when you become self-employed, you should make it a priority to register with HMRC. This registration needs to occur by 5 October following the end of the first tax year for which you have to submit a self-assessment tax return.

22nd October – PAYE and NIC’s

The deadline to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions for the quarter ending 5th October. If you pay by post, the deadline will be 19th October.


Filing Annual Accounts

At the end of the financial year of your limited company, you have to prepare full annual accounts (called statutory accounts), which are prepared from your business’ financial records. These annual accounts include a ‘balance sheet’ that shows the value of everything your company owns, owes and is owed, and a ‘profit and loss account’ that shows company’s sales, costs, profits and losses.

You will have to send a copy to your shareholders, to Companies House, to everyone to attends general meetings and to HMRC.

When it comes to deadlines, you will file:

  • First accounts with Companies House 21 months after your registration date
  • Annual accounts with Companies House 9 months after your company’s financial year ends
  • A Company Tax Return 12 months after your accounting period for corporation tax ends

Corporation Tax

You must pay corporation tax if you’re a limited company, and the deadline for this will depend on your company year-end, so it won’t be a fixed date.

When you first start doing business, you have to register for corporation tax; you also have to keep accounting records and prepare a company tax return (which has to be sent 12 months after the end of your accounting period) to figure out how much you will pay in corporate tax.

You usually have to pay this tax – or report if you have nothing to pay – 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period (which refers to the period covered by your tax return and can’t be longer than 12 months).

VAT Return

Similarly, there is no set date to submit your VAT returns to HMRC, although you will have to do so every 3 months (accounting period). This deadline is, usually, 1 calendar month and 7 days after the end of an accounting period and you have to allow time for the payment to reach HMRC’s account.


Other Important Dates in 2020

There are many other key dates to consider, and some even depend on the industry you work in. At Gorilla Accounting, we work with self-employed individuals in a variety of specialist sectors, so we believe in being aware of key dates in 2020 that you may want to take advantage of.

After all, they may be of interest to your business and/or industry. These dates include, but are not limited to, the following:

28 January – Data Privacy Day

2 February – World Play Your Ukulele Day

3-7 February – National Apprenticeship Week

5 March – World Book Day

15 March – World Consumer Rights Day

7 April – World Health Day

15 April – World Art Day

25 April – World Veterinary Day

17 May – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

18 June – National Freelancers Day

30 June – World Social Media Day

15 July – World Youth Skills Day

19 August – World Photo Day

29 September – World Heart Day

5 October – World Teachers’ Day

30 November – Cyber Monday

7 December – International Civil Aviation Day

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It’s vital to be aware of key accounting dates when it comes freelancing and contracting, as it allows you to stay on top of important deadlines. Being your own boss offers a wealth of benefits, but it also means that you have to do everything, including keeping track of these financial obligations.

At Gorilla Accounting, we can take the hassle out of your hands and take care of your accounts for you, meaning you get more time to focus on growing your business – not to mention peace of mind, since we’re always up to date with all important deadlines and HMRC changes.

Talk to us to discuss your needs and our expert team of accountants will be more than happy to help – we also provide a contractor tax calculator so you can figure out your take-home pay today.

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