What are the Tax Year Dates?

Tax year dates are set by the government and used by both HMRC (the tax office) and taxpayers.

The UK tax year is different to the normal calendar year and lasts for a total period of 12 months.

Understanding tax year dates is important to know for both employed and self employed people for a number of essential reasons including:

  • Making sure you only pay the tax you need to.
  • You are meeting HMRC tax year deadlines.
  • Checking and planning financial budgets.

The dates when the tax year starts and stops are not the only important tax year dates to know about.

Depending on your own set of circumstances different tax year dates will apply at times during the tax year.

When does the tax year start?

The UK tax year start date is on the 6th April each year. To check when the current tax year started work back to the last time it was the 6th April.

At the start of a new tax year HMRC resets many valuable tax reliefs and tax free allowances.

This means you can start to take advantage (for the first time or use them again) of tax saving opportunities from April 6 when the new tax year begins.

When does the tax year end?

The tax year end is on the 5 April each year and marks the completion of the full tax year. To check when the current tax year ends work forward to when it is next April 5.

Tax year end April 5 holds significant importance for taxpayers because it is the deadline for various tax related relief, payments, and submissions.

Understanding what you need to do before the tax year end is vital to avoid the loss of valuable tax reducing reliefs and allowances.

For example if you are employed under PAYE you can only claim back overpaid tax for the last four tax years.

HMRC uses the tax year end as a deadline for claiming back a range of tax reliefs and tax free allowances which if not claimed by the tax year end in some cases can be lost completely.

Tax year dates and tax rebates

If you are entitled to a PAYE tax rebate it’s best practice to make a claim for a previous tax year before the current UK tax year end.

Not all tax rebates through PAYE need to be claimed back with HMRC refunding them automatically usually to your bank account.

Individuals who need to claim for employment expenses for the first time will need to make a claim directly to HMRC.

In most cases if your claim isn’t received by HMRC within four tax years you will miss out on the tax you are owed.

HMRC only accepting a claim for a tax rebate for employment expenses (and some other types of overpaid income tax) for a specific period of time means it is beneficial to make a claim as soon as you can.

When checking the important tax year dates it’s a great time to consider if you have paid too much income tax because you haven’t claimed back something you are entitled to.

The reasons for overpaying are many, with a combination of factors deciding whether you are entitled to a tax rebate which you can find out more about in our how to claim your tax refund back from HMRC guide.

Tax year dates for Self Assessment

The deadlines for submitting a tax return under Self Assessment are different and not to be confused with the tax year end.

A tax return has to be completed by the 31st January after the end of the tax year if you are submitting it online, or by the 31st October if you file using a paper tax return.

If you are issued a tax return from a previous tax year a different timescale applies of 3 months from the date the tax return is issued by HMRC.

Self employed tax year dates

As a self employed person you will need to complete a personal self assessment tax return each year.

If you don’t complete your tax return on time HMRC will impose late filing penalties which will increase depending on how late the tax return is.

Other dates are important for the self employed and are variable for example:

  • VAT tax returns typically every quarter.
  • RTI payroll submission if you have employees.
  • Corporation tax if you run a limited company.

If you are unsure of what tax year dates are important to your business you should ask your accountant or tax adviser.

Ways to save tax before the UK tax year ends

Before a tax year ends thinking about what you could do to make the most of any available reliefs and tax free allowances can be really beneficial.

We’ve listed below some tax allowances and reliefs that can be used against a variety of income sources:

ISA allowance:

ISAs, short for individual savings account provide you with the chance to save a specific amount of money annually without being taxed.

The tax free element of an ISA is referred to as your ISA allowance and is worth £20,000 per person.

The ISA allowance can’t be carry forward so if you don’t use your ISA allowance before the end of the UK tax year you lose it.

Dividend allowance:

Shareholders who receive dividends can use the dividend allowance to reduce the amount of dividend tax they owe.

Worth £500 per person the dividend allowance represents the total dividend income you can receive without being liable to pay tax and isn’t transferrable into a future tax year if unused.

Personal savings allowance:

Your personal savings allowance (PSA) is a tax free allowance that permits you to earn interest on your savings without being subject to tax on that interest.

The specific allowance you receive is contingent upon the income tax rate at which you are taxed with additional rate taxpayers getting no allowance at all.

Basic rate taxpayers get a PSA of £1,000 per tax year and higher rate taxpayers £500.

UK Tax year dates for your diary

We have listed a few important UK tax year dates below that you should mark in your calendars:

6 April: Start of the new tax year.

6 April: First day for submissions of PAYE tax rebate claims for the previous tax year or years and filing of the self assessment tax returns.

31 May: Employers deadline for giving a form P60 to each employee working for them at the end of tax year.

6 July: Employers deadline for submitting P11D(b) expenses and benefits form to HMRC.

31 July: The deadline for the self employed to make a second payment on account (based on income tax owed from the previous tax year).

5 October: The deadline for registering as self employed with HMRC for the previous tax year.

31 October: The self assessment deadline for tax returns in a paper format for the last tax year.

31 January: The self assessment deadline for online SA tax returns for the last tax year.

31 January: The payment of tax owed through self assessment.

5 April: Last day for HMRC to accept a PAYE tax rebate claim from four years ago.

5 April: End of the current tax year.

Tax free personal allowances

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