Key dates for businesses in 2018

7 February 2018

As usual 5 April, being the end of the tax year, is an important date that should be planned for, but there are some others. Here are a few of them in chronological order.

13 March

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Tax rates and thresholds for 2018/19 were set in last year’s budget but this may nevertheless be an opportunity for new measures to be introduced.

1 April

The National Living Wage increases to £7.83 per hour for employees aged 25 or over. (£7.38 for 21-24 year olds; £5.90 for 18-20 year olds; £4.20 for under 18s; and £3.70 for apprentices.) The new rates apply to pay periods beginning on or after this date.

4 April

Deadline for Gender pay gap reporting. Companies with 250 or more employees have one calendar year in which to publish their data ‘snapshot’ as at 5 April 2017.

5 April

  • Dividend allowance is reduced from £5,000 pa to £2,000. If you are drawing dividends tax-free from your company, ensure that you have paid yourself the full £5,000 by 5 April (subject of course to all the other relevant considerations).
  • Last date for using your annual ISA allowance of £20,000.

6 April

  • New minimum contributions apply for workplace pensions (auto-enrolment). Employers are required to increase the amount of their minimum contributions into their staff’s automatic enrolment pension to at least of 2% of qualifying earnings. Employee contributions rise to 3%.
  • Lifetime allowance for pension funds increases to £1.03m
  • Student loan thresholds Plan 1 loans will rise to £18,330. Plan 2 loans will rise to £25,000.
  • Childcare voucher scheme closed to new entrants. Employees can instead join the Tax-free Childcare Scheme.
  • New Scottish tax rates and bands come into force. This will affect businesses that employ Scottish residents.

25 May

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. It applies to all businesses processing personal data, even if not computerised. Personal data is anything that may identify a person, such as name, email address or even CCTV footage. If you do not have a ‘legal basis’ for holding personal data you will not be allowed to use that data without the express consent of the individual, and there is a presumption that the consent expires if not regularly renewed. For more information follow this link.

31 July

Last date for payment of the second instalment of 2017/18 self-assessment tax.

5 October

Last date to register for self-assessment if you commenced in business or had a new source of untaxed income in 2017/18.

31 October

Last date to file a paper return for 2017/18.

30 December

Last date to file your self-assessment return if you want any underpaid tax to be included in your PAYE code and deducted from salary or pension. The amount owed has to be less than £3,000, and obviously you have to be paying sufficient PAYE to cover it.

31 January 2019

Last date for filing 2017/18 self-assessment return and paying any outstanding tax for that year.

If you are registered with us as a client, we will endeavour to monitor all relevant key dates on your behalf and advise accordingly. There will be other key dates and deadlines that relate specifically to you and your business.

For further information about this topic, please speak to one of our accountants in Newcastle, Jarrow or Sunderland.

As one of the leading firms of accountants in the North East, with offices in Newcastle, Sunderland and Jarrow, we have the expertise to advise you on a wide range of tax related issues. If you would like to speak to one of our local experts, please contact us.