Tax return deadlines to remember for limited companies

David Crossley
March 20, 2024

Your first year as the owner of a limited company can seem like a whirlwind of accountancy-related deadlines. There are dates to remember for filing your year-end accounts, your self-assessment tax return, your VAT returns…and a host of different dates for making payment of your various taxes.

Tax Return Milestone 1 Milestone 2 Milestone 3 Milestone 4
Annual Accounts Your accounting period begins Your accounting period ends Submit annual accounts to Companies House and HMRC Pay your Corporation Tax on any profits
Self-Assessment Tax Return Tax Year starts on the 6th April each year Tax Year ends on the 5th April each year Submit your Self Assessment Tax Return by 31st January Pay your Self Assessment Tax by 31st January
VAT Returns VAT Quarter begins from registration date First Quarter ends Submit your VAT Return Pay any VAT due, or collect a refund

Your company’s annual accounts

It will be necessary to prepare annual accounts for Companies House and a tax return for HMRC every year. Your company’s accounting period begins on the date your company was registered with Companies House. Your first set of annual accounts must be submitted to Companies House 21 months after your incorporation date. For HMRC, your accounts must be paid no later than nine months and one day after your accounting period ends.


Let’s say your company is registered with Companies House on 10th December 2023. Your first year-end will be 31st December 2024. You will have until 30th September 2025 to submit your annual accounts to Companies House (21 months after incorporation) but your Corporation Tax would need to be paid to HMRC by 10th September 2025.

Your Self-Assessment Tax Return

As a director of a limitedcompany, it’s likely that you will receive your income as a mixture of salaryand dividends. Most people will take a minimal salary to ensure NationalInsurance contributions are maintained, with dividends making up the rest oftheir income. Dividends are subject to dividend tax which you can pay via aself-assessment tax return.

Tax returns must be submitted toHMRC by January 31st. They relate to income you receive the previous tax year,so the forthcoming 31st January 2025 deadline will relate to income received(6th April 2023 and 5th April 2024).

If this is your first yearrunning a limited company then your self-assessment period will probably coveronly a part of the year, especially if you were previously employed and paidtax via PAYE. The income from the previous employment, will need to be submittedon the Tax Return, along with any income from your Limited Company.

We will work with you to helpyou prepare your self-assessment tax return. It will need to detail thedividends you took from your company (and any salary over the tax-freeallowance) as well as any income from other sources such as interest oninvestments, income from a rental property, etc.

Importantly, you don’t need towait until the deadline of January 31st to submit your tax return and pay anyoutstanding tax – you can do so at any time after the tax year has ended (ieany time after April 6th). If you are late in making payment, HMRC imposepenalties.

Learn how to prepare your taxreturn with our guide here.

Most people will take a minimalsalary to ensure National Insurance contributions are maintained, withdividends making up the rest of their income. Dividends are subject to dividendtax which you can pay via a self-assessment tax return.

VAT Returns

If your business is registered for VAT you must charge your clients VAT with each invoice. Your VAT return will then need to be completed and typically paid on a quarterly basis.

The deadline for paying your VAT is one calendar month and seven days after the end of the VAT period. For example, if your VAT period ends on 31st March, your return must be submitted, and payment made to HMRC, by 7th May.

Again, it’s a good idea to set aside your VAT in a separate business savings account as soon as you receive payment from clients, so that it is available when you need to pay it.

We’re here to advise your with your finances!

Our team accountants will advise you in about the relevant documentation needs to be submitted to HMRC. We are here to help you understand your accounting milestones and let you know in advance that a deadline is approaching, while making the correct payments on time so that you don’t incur penalties.

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Don’t forget, though, that if you have any questions or need help at any time, our team of dedicated small business accountants we are just a phone call away.

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