A checklist of key deadlines and topical issues to consider for SMEs and their owners. What tax returns and claims are due before the end of the tax year? What are my tax filing requirements? 

A guide for subscribers.

Topic and deadline

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Employees and employers

PAYE & NICs obligations: deadlines to 5 April 2024


  • Employees must Make good any payrolled benefits that can be taxable as earnings for National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
    • Car fuel benefits where the amount cannot be ascertained by 5 April, the deadline is 1 June.
    • For non-payrolled benefits, the deadline is 6 July following the tax year.
  • Payrolling of Benefits: must be set up and agreed with HMRC by 5 April before the start of the tax year.
    • Payrolling of benefits will become mandatory in 2026.
    • It is recommended that employers start payrolling as early as possible.

Personal Service Companies (PSCs)

  • Calculate their IR35 deemed payment.
  • Tax and NICs to be paid by 19 April (22 April if paid electronically).

Deadline: 6 July 2024

  • Non-payrolled Benefits: Forms P11D and payment of Class 1A National Insurance on benefits due.

Deadline: 30 June 2024

  • Review any double cab pick-ups provided as company vehicles. From 1 July 2024, these may be classified as cars for Benefit In Kind purposes, subject to a transitional period. See Company cars

Sole traders/partnerships

Accounts review before the year-end

  • Review sideways loss claims, capital allowance claims and share loss claims to ensure that they may be relieved in the current year, or carried back if necessary.
  • Farmers need to be mindful of Averaging provisions from one basis period to the next.
  • Sole traders, hobby farmers and market gardeners may find their Sideways loss relief blocked if their trade continues to operate on a non-commercial basis.
  • See Losses, trade losses and sideways relief

Sole traders: capital allowances

  • Watch out for timings of expenditure by unincorporated businesses and the effect of the cap on unlimited Income Tax reliefs (see above).
  • For capital allowances, leasing and losses,  for example, in a seasonal boat hire business, there are Special rules that dictate how long the trade must be carried on and how much time an owner spends in the trade.
  • The Structures and Buildings Allowance applies for acquisitions on or after 29 October 2018.
    • This is a 3% straight-line allowance on eligible expenditure on qualifying structures and buildings from April 2020. It does not apply to dwellings.
  • The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is now permanently fixed at £1 million for all qualifying investments in plant and machinery.
  • Although Full expensing First Year Allowances (FYAs) were introduced from 1 April 2023 this only applies to companies.
  • 100% FYAs are available on zero-emission cars, zero-emission goods vehicles and electric vehicle charging points. See Enhanced Capital Allowances: Energy saving plant (inc. vehicles)
  • Consider accelerating planned expenditure on double cab pick-ups to on or before 30 June 2024. From 1 July 2024, expenditure on double cab pick-ups may constitute expenditure on a 'car' for capital allowance purposes, meaning lower rates of allowances will be available thereafter, subject to a limited transition period. See Cars & Vans & Wheelers: Allowances

Sole traders: Basis Year Reform from April 2023

  • Measures to simplify the basis period rules for the self-employed and partners are being introduced.
  • Trading profit will be allocated to tax years regardless of the business’ accounting period end date. 
  • 2023-24 was a transitional year for businesses that do not have a 5 April/31 March year-end.
  • Overlap relief can be claimed in the 2023-24 transitional year.
  • Transitional profits are spread over the following five tax years.

See Basis Period reform

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax

  • From April 2026: self-employed businesses and landlords with business turnover above £50,000 report under MTD for ITSA.
  • From April 2027: self-employed businesses and landlords with business turnover above £30,000 report under MTD for ITSA
  • From To Be Announced (TBA): self-employed and landlords under £30,000 (if at all, this is under review), general partnerships and Limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

See Making Tax Digital

Tax conditionality from 2 October 2023

  • Legislation is included in Finance (No.2) Act 2023 to extend existing tax checks for taxi and scrap metal licence renewals, which apply in England and Wales, to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • These checks will apply to license renewals for:
    • Drivers of taxis in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    • Drivers of private hire cars in Scotland.
    • Operators of a booking office in Scotland.
    • Metal dealers who operate on a site or on an itinerant basis in Scotland.

See Conditionality: Taxi, private hire vehicles and scrap licenses



60-day deadline

  • Where spouses hold unequal beneficial interests in assets and they wish to be taxed other than 50:50 on income arising on the property they will need to make an election under section 837 ITA 2007 to ensure that each is taxed on the income that corresponds to their beneficial interest. This is achieved using Form 17. 
  • A declaration on Form 17 takes effect from the date the declaration was signed by the last spouse or civil partner to sign it, providing the notice of declaration reaches HMRC within 60 days of that date. See Joint Property Elections

Residential property landlords

  • If you have refurbished a property during the year, consider what tax relief may be available under the Replacement of Domestic Items Relief rules. Eligible expenditures may include: 
    • Moveable furniture such as beds, dining tables and chairs, and free-standing wardrobes.
    • Furnishings such as carpets, curtains, blinds and linen.
    • Household appliances such as televisions, dishwashers, washers, fridges and freezers.
    • Kitchenware such as crockery and cutlery.
  • Rent-a-room relief remains at £7,500.
  • Restrictions on deductions for finance costs related to residential property now fully apply. 
  • The £1,000 property income allowance has applied since April 2017:
    • If relevant income does not exceed the £1,000 allowance there is no need to register for Self Assessment and declare or pay tax on that income.
    • If property income is above £1,000 an election can be made to deduct the allowance from income instead of claiming actual expenditure.
    • See Allowances: Trading and Property
  • Fixed-rate mileage deduction claims are available to landlords for travel in connection with their property business.

Reporting and payment of CGT on residential property

60-day deadline

  • For disposals of UK residential property, the deadline for reporting and payment of Capital Gains Tax on UK residential property is 60 days from the date of completion. This applies to disposals by residents and non-residents. 

See CGT: how to report


Private clients (see separate checklist Tax Planning for the 2023/24 year-end: Private Clients)

Key points: deadlines 5 April 2024

Deadline: ongoing


Employment-Related Securities (ERS): share schemes

Deadline: 5 April 2024

  • Deadline for operating PAYE and NIC on any securities that are readily convertible assets.

Deadline: update in real-time

  • New schemes or changes in share rights etc are notified in real-time. Including any gift/sale of restricted securities to an employee or director.

Deadline: 6 July 2024

Deadline: 92 days from the date of grant

  • Notification of grant of EMI options within 92 days.
  • Note that from 6 April 2024, the deadline for notifying an EMI option will be extended from 92 days following grant to the 6 July following the end of the tax year. 

Other EMI changes from 6 April 2023



Penalty rules

From 1 January 2023

  • The new points-based penalty system applies for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.
  • Previously there have been no penalties for nil returns or returns where the trader was in a repayment position, under the new rules this has changed and nil/repayment returns must be filed to avoid penalties.

New interest rules

From 1 January 2023

  • VAT is brought into the scope of the Income Tax provisions for late payment interest and repayment interest.  
  • Where payment of VAT to HMRC is made late, late payment interest is payable from the date that payment became due until the date payment is received by HMRC, at the Bank of England base rate plus 2.5%.
    • Late payment interest will apply to VAT returns, amendments, assessments and payments on account.
  • For VAT periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023, the repayment supplement is withdrawn. Repayment interest is payable at the Bank of England base rate minus 1% (with a minimum of 0.5%).  

See Penalties (VAT)


Guides for the new tax year

A new business? Start here...
Starting a new job or starting in business? Will you be Self-employed? Our 'At a glance' guide takes you through the key steps in getting started for tax, with links helping you drill down for more detail.

Finance Act 2023: tax update & rolling planner 2023-24
This rolling planner tracks the key tax announcements that impact the 2023-24 tax year and beyond. This planner is updated on an ongoing basis.