Sole Traders: Key dates in 2024

January 4, 2024

As attentions turn to 2024 and the new calendar year, UK sole traders find themselves at the intersection of opportunity and responsibility in the world of business. It isn’t always easy to stay ahead of key dates, including tax deadlines, cut-off dates for payments, and public holidays. To thrive as a small business, however, it’s essential. That’s why staying on top of deadlines is key for sole traders to successfully manage professional responsibilities.

This comprehensive guide aims to empower sole traders with the essential information you need to navigate the financial year effectively. From critical submission dates to strategic planning milestones, we detail the key dates that will shape your business throughout 2024.

In this guide, we look at key dates in 2024 for sole traders.

Key dates in the sole trader business calendar

Remember to stay informed about any changes in tax laws, attend to your year-end obligations, and plan ahead for self-assessment tax return submissions. Regularly check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or seek advice from a financial professional to make sure you meet tax regulations and meet all your filing and payment requirements.

Note that specific dates may vary based on your location and tax jurisdiction. Here’s an outline of the key dates to know as a sole trader.


Monday 1st: New Year’s Day (Public Holiday)

Wednesday 31st: Deadline for submitting the previous tax year’s self-assessment tax return


Friday 29th: Good Friday


Monday 1st: Easter Monday

Friday 5th: End of the UK tax year

Saturday 6th: Start of the new UK tax year

Friday 19th: The Full Payment Summary and Employer payment summary is due to be completed for the tax year ending 5th April 2023, with any tax or NIC due to be paid.

Tuesday 30th: Deadline for filing personal income tax returns


Monday 6th: Early May bank holiday

Monday 27th: Spring Bank Holiday

Friday 31st: Give employees their P60 forms by today


Sunday 30th: Deadline for filing your VAT return, if you use the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme


Friday 5th: PAYE Settlement Agreements are due to be paid

Friday 19th: Paper submissions of Class 1A National Insurance contributions are due to HMRC (21st for digital versions)

Wednesday 31st: Second payment due for self-assessment tax bill


Sunday 26th: Summer bank holiday


No specific tax deadlines, but a good time for financial planning and record-keeping


Wednesday 25th: Christmas Day (Public Holiday)

Tuesday 31st: New Year’s Eve

What are the tax year dates for 2023-24 in the UK?

In 2023-24, the tax year runs from 6th April 2023 to 5th April 2024. This specific timeframe, also known as the financial or fiscal year, is established by HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to govern the assessment and collection of taxes. The choice of these specific dates is rooted in historical calendar adjustments that were made to align the tax year with the old Julian calendar.

The tax year is crucial for sole traders as it determines the period over which income, gains, and allowances are considered for tax purposes. It also influences the timing of various tax-related activities, such as filing self-assessment tax returns and making payments to HMRC.

Understanding the tax year’s boundaries is essential for accurate financial planning, record-keeping, and compliance with tax obligations. As the tax year draws to a close, people and businesses can finalise their financial affairs and prepare for the upcoming tax year’s obligations.

PAYE deadlines for payroll system

If you run a payroll system for your employees in the UK, you’re responsible for meeting various deadlines related to reporting and payment of taxes and National Insurance contributions.

It’s important to note that failure to meet these deadlines may result in penalties or interest charges. Additionally, be aware that these deadlines are subject to change, and it’s advisable to check with HMRC or consult with a payroll professional to ensure compliance with the latest regulations.

Here are some key deadlines for sole traders who are employers in the UK.

Monthly deadlines

Before or on the 5th of each month, you’ll need to submit full payment submission (FPS) to HMRC, reporting details of employees’ pay and deductions for the previous tax month.

By the 19th of each month (or 22nd if paying electronically), you’ll have to pay PAYE (Pay As You Earn) taxes and National Insurance contributions to HMRC for the previous month.

Quarterly deadlines

By 5th July, October, January, and April, you’ll have to submit your Employer Payment Summary (EPS) to HMRC if you didn’t pay any employees in a tax month.

Year-end deadlines

By 19th April, you should submit your final FPS for the tax year.

By 31st May, you’ll need to provide employees with a P60 form, summarising their total pay and deductions for the tax year.

By 6th July, you have to report expenses and benefits provided to employees in the previous tax year.

What are the sole trader changes for 2024?

There are new rules when it comes to taxing sole trader profits, which are due to come into effect in this next new tax year. Starting in April 2024, certain self-employed individuals (sole traders) and partnerships will experience a change in how their profits are taxed, with calculations now aligning with the tax year instead of their accounting year.

This shift is a result of the introduction of new rules known as ‘basis period reform.’ Under these rules, all profits from self-employment and partnerships will be subject to taxation based on the tax year. The transitional year for this change is 2023/24, during which specific rules have been established to facilitate a smooth transition for relevant businesses. These transitional measures aimed to ensure that all businesses affected by the basis period reform were prepared to adopt the tax year basis effectively from 6th April 2024.

If your accounting period concludes between 31st March and 5th April, inclusive, there is some flexibility in the regulations. You can continue reporting profits as usual, as these rules consider any accounting period ending on these specific dates as aligning with the tax year. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that you might still be impacted by basis period reform if you have unused overlap relief.

What are the changes in HMRC 2024?

In addition to the basis period reform changes, there are further changes coming into effect for 2026/27, which some sole traders can start getting prepared for. If you earn over £50,000, you’ll no longer need to complete a Self Assessment return in two years’ time. Instead, you’ll need to comply with new Making Tax Digital for Income Tax rules (MTD for ITSA).

This will be done through a digital system, with the need to periodically report your earnings to HMRC at least once a quarter, rather than once a year. You’ll also have to provide an End of Period Statement (EOPS) at the end of each January, along with a final declaration. It’s all designed to give you better insights into your business finances. The good news is that you’ll know ahead of time exactly how much you’ll need to set aside for tax at the end of the tax year.

You can start preparing for these changes in 2024, by doing away with paper and using software for your accounting if you don’t already, so that you have online records of all your finance details. It will also be a requirement of the new Making Tax Digital system to record all of your business expenditures digitally, so you can get into the habit of taking photos or scans of your receipts, inserting them into your accounting software.

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