Startups made easy. Sorted.

Pop Art Woman Juggling
Startup Guides Published:  Feb 16, 2022 10 min read

Small business calendar 2022 – the deadlines and changes to UK law that founders need to know

Ever feel like running your business is a blur of dates, deadlines and payments? It’s important to stay on top of your finance admin, not just to keep your accounts, cashflow and peace of mind in good shape – but also to comply with your legal obligations. If you miss a deadline or pay late, you might end up paying a fine or interest – or both.

Here’s our guide to the finance and tax dates and deadlines in 2022 that should be on your radar. We’ve also included some changes to the Employment Bill, Coronavirus Act, National Insurance and the National Minimum Wage which might affect your business. On a more jolly note, there’s an extra bank holiday this year – but are your staff entitled to take it as a day off? Find out below.

Accounting, finance and tax deadlines

Changes to legislation 2022

SeedLegals Calendar - don't miss deadlines for your legal tasks

Read more

💶 Accounting and tax deadlines

VAT deadlines that are the same every year

Normal VAT deadlines vary – they depend on your company’s VAT return period and whether you submit quarterly, monthly or annual returns. Quarterly VAT returns are typically filed and due one calendar month and seven days after the end of an accounting period.

For example, if your business submits quarterly in March, June, September and December, the dates you need to file and pay will be 7 May, 7 August, 7 October and 7 February for your VAT returns and payments. And for annual adjustments, these will be due on either the March or June returns – so that’s 7 May or 7 August.

One-off VAT deadlines for 2022

In 2022, there are a couple of extra deadlines to be aware of:

31 March 2022

This is the deadline to pay VAT in full if you deferred your payment in the period to June 2020. This would have been for payments originally deferred to March 2021.

1 April 2022

  • The VAT for some hospitality and attractions supplies was reduced temporarily to 12.5% under Covid relief measures. On 1 April 2022, the VAT will go back to the standard rate of 20%.
  • UK VAT returns for periods starting on or after 1 April 2022 must be Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant. There’s more about this below.
  • For UK VAT returns for periods starting on or after 1 April 2022, there are new penalties for late returns and/or payments.

Sign up to ‘Making Tax Digital for VAT’ before 1 April 2022

If your company is registered for UK VAT, by 1 April this year you’ll need to start filing your returns digitally.

Businesses with a taxable turnover of more than £85,000 have already been using Making Tax Digital for their VAT returns since April 2019. But now, regardless of your turnover, if you’re a UK VAT-registered business, you’ll need to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT by 1 April 2022.

This means that you’ll need to have digital records starting from 1 April 2020, or from the beginning of your VAT period, and prepare and submit your VAT returns using Making Tax Digital compatible software.

It’s best not to leave this until the last minute – HMRC encourages businesses to sign up well before 1 April.

What is Making Tax Digital for VAT?

Making Tax Digital for VAT is part of the overall digitisation of UK tax. At SeedLegals we’re big fans of automating routine admin tasks because it frees up founders and SME owners to concentrate on looking after customers and growing your business. Making Tax Digital should make the process of filing VAT returns easier and faster, and reduce the potential for mistakes. You can sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT at the gov.uk website.

Not sure if you need to register for VAT?

If your turnover for one year is more than £85,000, you’ll probably need to register for VAT. Some companies choose to sign up even if they’re not required to, and you can usually register for VAT at any time.

However, in some circumstances, there’s a deadline to register:

  • You realise you’re going to exceed the VAT threshold of £85,000 in the next 30 days.
    If this happens, you must register within 30 days. Your ‘effective date of registration’ is the date you realised, not the date you actually register.
  • You exceeded the £85,000 threshold in the past 12 months and aren’t already registered.
    You must register within 30 days of the end of the month in which you passed the VAT threshold.

New customs controls from January 2022

From January 2022, there are full customs controls for goods coming into mainland UK from the EU.
Some controls, including certificates and physical checks on agri-foods and plant imports, are postponed until 1 July 2022.

National Minimum Wage goes up from 1 April 2022

On 1 April 2022, the National Minimum Wage hourly rates will increase:

  • National Living Wage (aged 23+) – from £8.91 to £9.50
  • National Minimum Wage (aged 21-22) – from £8.36 to £9.18
  • National Minimum Wage (aged 18-20) – from £6.56 to £6.83
  • National Minimum Wage (aged under 18) – from £4.62 to £4.81
  • Apprenticeship Wage – from £4.30 to £4.81

Statutory rate payments go up from 11 April 2022

From 11 April, these statutory weekly rate increases apply:

  • weekly statutory sick pay (SSP) goes up from £96.35 to £99.35
  • all of the following weekly pay rates go up from £151.97 to £156.66:
    • statutory maternity pay
    • statutory maternity allowance
    • statutory paternity pay
    • statutory shared parental pay
    • statutory adoption pay

To be entitled to these payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit. From 11 April 2022, the lower earnings limit increases from £120 to £123.

Waiting time for Coronavirus SSP goes back to 3 days from 25 March 2022

Unless the Government decides to extend the legislation, from 25 March 2022 the normal three-day waiting time for paying statutory sick pay (SSP) will be reinstated for coronavirus-related SSP. There’s more about SSP at the gov.uk website.

PAYE deadlines for staff on your payroll

If you have workers on your company payroll, there are some important PAYE deadlines to remember. As an employer, you’re responsible for withholding income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from your employees’ pay, and passing this on to HMRC.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Income Tax and National Insurance is reported and paid monthly. If you send out remittances by post, you need to do this on the 19th of every month. If you send the remittances online, it’s the 22nd of every month.

Complete payroll registration by 6 April 2022

6 April is the date to remember for registering for payroll benefits and updating employees’ records. For each employee working for you on 6 April, you must:

  • Prepare a payroll record
  • Identify the correct tax code for the new tax year
  • Enter their tax code in your payroll software.

You can find out more about payroll annual reporting at the gov.uk website.

Send HMRC your Summaries by 19 April 2022

This is the deadline to submit your Full Payment Summary and Employer Payment Summary for the year ending on 5 April, and to pay the tax and NICs for that year. If you’re paying Class 1A NICs electronically, the deadline is 22 April 2022.

Send P60s to employees by 31 May 2022

After the end of the tax year (5 April), you’ll need to issue P60 forms to each employee. You have until 31 May to do that. Whenever an employee leaves, you’ll need to give them their P45.

Send HMRC P11D forms by 6 July 2022

If you give your employees benefits such as childcare vouchers, interest-free loans or a company car, you’ll need to send HMRC P11D forms. They’re due every year by 6 July.

Extra bank holiday on 3 June 2022 for the Platinum Jubilee

The second May bank holiday has been moved this year from Monday 30 May to Thursday 2 June and an extra bank holiday added on Friday 3 June 2022. This four-day weekend is a celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
👑🎉🍰

Are my employees automatically entitled to take the 2022 extra bank holiday as paid leave?

It depends how your employee’s contract of employment is worded.

If the contract states that they have paid leave on ‘all bank and public holidays’, then they’re entitled to take the extra bank holiday as paid leave.

If the contract states that they have paid leave on ‘eight bank and public holidays’, then they aren’t entitled to the extra day as paid leave. But you can grant it as paid leave if you like.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) go up from April 2022

Employer and employee NICs go up by 1.25% for one year from April 2022 to April 2023. This is because the Government is introducing a new, UK-wide Health and Social Care Levy based on our National Insurance Contributions.

The increase to NICs will apply to:

  • Class 1 – paid by employees
  • Class 4 – paid by self-employed people
  • Secondary Class 1, 1A and 1B – paid by employers

Important to know:

  • People of working age who earn less than the National Insurance Primary Threshold or Lower Profits Limit won’t pay anything
  • The increase doesn’t affect people over the State Pension age
  • Employers only pay NICs on earnings above the Secondary Threshold (the thresholds are listed at the gov.uk website)

From April 2023, the increase will be classed as a ‘health and social care levy’ and paid separately from National Insurance. The NICs rates will then return to 2021/22 levels and the levy will be a separate tax.

UK dividend tax is going up from April 2022

Similar to the National Insurance increase, the UK income tax rates on dividends will also increase by 1.25% for one year from April 2022 to April 2023. So if you’re earning from dividends, you’ll need to make sure you’re keeping back a bit extra to pay your tax bill. There’s more about this tax increase at the gov.uk website.

Corporation tax deadlines in 2022

Limited companies pay corporation tax on the profits they make each year. You need to register for corporation tax when you start trading, or within three months of starting your limited company. The date you register will determine your company’s ‘accounting period’ and your deadlines for paying corporation tax and filing your company tax return. There’s more about how and when to register at the gov.uk website.

You must file a company tax return every year to find out how much you should pay. You’ll need to pay your Corporation Tax after the accounting period. Even if you have nothing to pay, you need to report it.

Deadline to pay corporation tax

This is usually nine months and one day after the end of your accounting period.

Deadline to file your company tax return

This is usually 12 months after the end of your accounting period.

⚖️ Changes to legislation in 2022

New Employment Bill for 2022

The Queen announced a new Employment Bill in her speech in December 2019, saying that it would be applied in Great Britain ‘when Parliamentary time allows’. The Employment Bill hasn’t yet been published but it’s likely that some of these measures will be introduced towards the end of 2022:

  • Vulnerable workers
    The Government will bring together the three existing bodies that enforce labour legislation to form a single organisation with a bigger remit – the aim is that more vulnerable workers will be better protected and get money they’re entitled to. (Source: gov.uk)
  • Zero hours, variable and unpredictable hours contracts
    If workers are engaged under one of these contracts, they’ll have the right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service.
  • Tips and service charges
    All payments must go to workers. This change in the law is supported by a statutory Code of Practice. There’s more about this at the gov.uk website.
  • Pregnant employees
    The redundancy protection that already applies during maternity leave will be extended to cover pregnant employees from the date they notify the employer of their pregnancy and for a period of six months after the end of their pregnancy.
  • Parents of children in neonatal care
    Parents will be entitled to a week of leave for every week their baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Those with a minimum qualifying period of 26 weeks’ service and who earn above the minimum pay threshold will be entitled to receive pay for the neonatal leave period at the statutory rate that applies to parental leave.
  • Employees with caring responsibilities
    Carers will have the right to a week’s unpaid leave.

Laws to protect workers from sexual harassment

The Government has promised to introduce legislation making it a legal duty for employers in Great Britain to be proactive about preventing sexual harassment at work. We also expect the new Employment Bill to put in place new protections from third-party harassment – for example by customers or suppliers – and to support this with a statutory Code of Practice. Keep your eye on the gov.uk website for updates.

Mandatory vaccinations for health and social care workers will probably be scrapped

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is likely to confirm that the Government will revoke the regulations that make vaccines mandatory for health and social care staff. The compulsory vaccine mandate for NHS workers was due to come into force in April. (Source: BBC News)

Protection from eviction and rent arrears recovery ends on 25 March 2022

Businesses that had to remain closed during the pandemic, and as a result couldn’t pay rent on their commercial property, were given protection from eviction through a ‘forfeiture’ process. The Government also brought in legislation to restrict landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR).

In changes to the Coronavirus Act 2020, these protections are ending and new rules on how to deal with pandemic-related rent arrears on commercial premises will be introduced on 25 March 2022 – the Commercial Rent (Coronovirus) Bill. There’s more about this at the gov.uk website.

Restrictions on winding-up petitions end on 31 March 2022

Since June 2021, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 has protected companies facing financial distress due to the pandemic from creditor action and potential insolvency. As the UK returns to normal trading conditions, the restrictions on creditor actions will be lifted.

Restrictions on promoting unhealthy foods from October 2022

From October 2022, businesses with 50 or more employees will be restricted in how they promote unhealthy foods. This includes ‘buy one, get one free’ deals and ‘3 for 2’ offers on ‘HFSS’ foods: high in saturated fat, salt or sugar. Businesses won’t be allowed to feature these promotions in eye-catching locations, such as at checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents.

It isn’t just shops that are affected, hospitality venues are too – the restrictions also ban free refills of sugary drinks. Read more about these changes at the gov.uk website.

Check your legal task deadlines in SeedLegals Calendar

That’s our round-up of dates, deadlines and changes for 2022. With a little forward planning now, you can get ahead of your financial admin for the year.

To view deadlines for your legal tasks, for example if you need to grant share options before your EMI Valuation expires or you can’t remember a SeedFAST longstop date, log into SeedLegals and go to Calendar. If you’re not sure about a date or deadline, hit the chat bubble to ask our experts.

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Sooze is our Senior Writer. She's obsessed with making complicated things easy to understand.
Read more

Start your journey with us

  • Beulah
  • Brolly
  • Oddbox Transparent
  • Index Ventures
  • Seedcamp
  • Qured