Rolling Events and Deadlines Calendar for Business in Carlisle February and March can be quiet months for accountants. We keep ourselves occupied by starting work on the accounts at the same time as we do the VAT returns, which our software allows us to do without doing the same job twice. This takes pressure off the busy period in December and January. If your business has a quiet time of year, then we suggest that you might like to do some direct mailing, possibly with a special offer. Choose your offer carefully, and on the basis that you will do a favour for your customers if they do a favour for you. Your official stance is that your product is worth every penny of the price you charge, and if you suddenly offer a big discount for no obvious reason, it will undermine the credibility of this stance. Rugby Union Six Nations Saturday 22nd February 2020 2.15 pm GMT Italy v Scotland 4.45 pm GMT Wales v France Sunday 23rd February 2020 3.00 pm GMT England v Ireland Tuesday February 25th 2020 – Shrove Tuesday Pancakes are traditional today. A carnival day in many countries. Ash Wednesday February 26th 2020- Start of Lent We will be looking at the Revenue website over the next few days to see who is at risk of a 5% surcharge on income tax unpaid as at March 1st 2020. Saturday February 29th : 2020 is a leap year with 366 days Thursday March 5th to Sunday March 8th 2020 – Crufts Dog Show National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Rugby Union Six Nations Saturday 7th March 2020 2.15 pm GMT Ireland v. Italy 4.45 pm GMT England v Wales Sunday 8th March 2020 3.00 pm GMT Scotland v France Our office is closed on Friday March 13th 2020 The second weekend in March will be a long weekend for us. It is nowhere near any deadlines. Rugby Union Six Nations Saturday 14th March 2020 2.15 pm GMT Wales v. Scotland 4.45 pm GMT Italy v. England 8.00 pm GMT France v. Ireland Mid March – look out for daffodils LISTER DAY IN CARLISLE March 16th 1867 Here is surgeon Joseph Lister writing in The Lancet : In the course of the year 1864 I was much struck with an account of the remarkable effects produced by carbolic acid upon the sewage of the town of Carlisle, the admixture of a very small proportion not only preventing all odour from the lands irrigated with the refuse material, but, as it was stated, destroying the entozoa which usually infest cattle fed upon such pastures. Lister was looking for a substance which would kill Pasteur’s microbes but not affect human or mammalian tissue too badly, and his selection of a solution of carbolic acid in water is the beginning of modern surgery, dramatically improving survival rates after operations. Without the addition of the carbolic acid the cattle would have died of various diseases caught from raw sewage, so here is the first selective antibiotic introduced right here in Carlisle. Obviously Lister gets 99% of the credit, but Carlisle’s contribution is something to celebrate and be proud of. Sunday March 22nd 2020 – Mothers’ Day Monday March 23rd 2020 – Postage Rates Increase The cost of a basic second class stamp increases to 61p and a basic first class stamp increases to 70p, with matching rises for large letters and items over 100 grams. The average rise is by 4.8%. We keep about six months’ supply of basic NVI stamps plus a few stamps in the range between 1p and 20p, so we are a little inflation-proofed until September at least. Higher value stampings are made up of a mixture of lower values. Sunday March 29th 2020 – clocks go forward, so get up earlier, but lighter nights from now on Carlin Sunday March 29th 2020 Carlin or carling peas are traditionally consumed today. These are a brown variety of pea. Wednesday April 1st 2020 – Pounds, Shillings and Pence to be re-introduced. Wednesday April 1st 2020 – National Minimum Wage The main rate of the National Minimum Wage increases today to £8.21 per hour. Rates for young people and apprentices also increase. Click on the link for further details. Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th 2020 – FA Cup Semi-Finals Saturday April 4th 2020 The Grand National is contested today. Sunday April 5th 2020 – Palm Sunday Sunday April 5th 2020 is the end of the income tax year. Deadline for putting money into 2018/19 Individual Savings Account, or for a company to declare a dividend within the 2018/19 tax year, or for some other tax-related actions. The Boat Race is contested today. Friday April 10th 2020 – Good Friday David Porthouse & Co will check e-mails on Saturday April 11th. Easter Sunday April 12th 2020 Easter Monday April 13th 2020 – Bank Holiday in England Mid April – look out for bluebells, for example at Hoddom Castle just across the border Thursday April 23rd 2020 – St George’s Day Saturday April 25th 2020 – Pirelli International Rally The 2020 Summer Olympics will start in Tokyo near the end of July. Some of the qualifying heats can be seen on YouTube if there is some sport in which you are particularly interested. Monday May 4th 2020 – Bank Holiday in both England and Scotland Thursday May 7th 2020 – Local Government elections Mid May – look out for rhododendra, for example at Cragside near Rothbury in Northumberland Saturday May 16th 2020 – FA Cup Final Saturday May 16th 2020 – Eurovision Song Contest Monday May 25th 2020 – Bank Holiday in both England and Scotland End of May 2020 About now is the deadline for a new student loan application if you want funds through by the start of term. Sunday May 31st 2020 P60s should have been distributed to employees by this date. Whit Sunday May 31st 2020 Thursday June 4th to Sunday June 7th 2020 – Appleby Horse Fair Saturday June 6th 2020 – Trooping the Colour Saturday June 6th 2020 – The Derby – Epsom Downs Friday June 12th 2020 to Sunday July 12th 2020 – UEFA Euro 2020 Football Championship Saturday June 13th 2020 – Cumberland Show at East Park, Brisco, Carlisle CA4 0RB. End of June 2020 About now is the deadline for a continuing student loan application if you want funds through by the start of term. Look out for your tax credits renewal pack if you claim tax credits. Monday July 6th 2020 – P11Ds If you have employees who have received non-cash benefits or have been reimbursed for expenses, then today is the deadline to submit form P11D or form P9D. Friday July 17th 2020 – First Night of the Proms which may be viewed on BBC iPlayer. Thursday July 23rd 2020 – Sunday July 26th 2020 – Kendal Calling Music Festival at Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe (near Penrith), Cumbria, CA10 3DY. Friday July 24th 2020 to Sunday August 9th 2020 – Summer Olympics, Tokyo Friday July 31st 2020 Deadline for submission of tax credits claim. Second payment on account of income tax for the 2020/21 tax year Monday August 3rd 2020 – Bank Holiday in Scotland Friday August 7th 2020 – Saturday August 29th 2020 – Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Look on BBC iPlayer after the closing date to see if it has been recorded. Monday August 31st 2020 – Bank Holiday in England Saturday September 12th 2020 – Last Night of the Proms which may be viewed on BBC iPlayer. Saturday October 3rd 2020 is the first of the last posting dates and we are speaking a little tongue-in-cheek. It is the last posting date for an International Economy letter to New Zealand which is intended to get there by Christmas. Mail travels by ship or train or cargo aeroplane and this service was formerly known as Surface Mail, or the Overland Mail in some parts of the world. One good use for this service that we can think of is to send baby clothes, but remember to allow for the baby growing in the time they take to get there, so buy the next size up. Monday October 5th 2020 – Deadline to advise HM Revenue & Customs of taxability If you currently do not have an accountant and do not submit an annual income tax return, but you have trading income or capital gains for the year ended April 5th 2020, then you should notify HM Revenue & Customs by this date. See an accountant if you miss this deadline. Royal Mail Christmas stamps for 2019 may be viewed in advance at a website such as www.bfdc.co.uk. They are available from November 5th. Wednesday October 21st 2020 is Trafalgar Day Sunday October 25th 2020 – clocks go back, so extra hour in bed, but darker nights from now on Monday October 26th 2020 – The Night Mail There is a well-known poem by W.H. Auden “This is the night mail, crossing the border …” which has a local setting near Springfield and Gretna. We like to customise our operations and fly the flag for our area as much as we can, so from now on during winter, all priority mail that we send out will be labelled FIRST CLASS NIGHT MAIL and we will try to use appropriate postage stamps. After weighing and stamping for first class, we will try to catch the 5.00 pm afternoon collection from our nearest supermarket post box, but if we miss that then we will post it in our nearest street post box for a 9.00 am morning collection, so it will always be the case that something useful is happening at night and we have the next best thing to electronic mail. The typeface and colour for NIGHT MAIL is a visual quotation from a famous documentary film which quotes the poem. Compare with the entry for Monday February 3rd 2020. Our standard advice to businesses is to try to have both a unique selling proposition and a distinctive product, and we aim to practise what we preach. Our USP is the use of plenty of new technology, and our DP is to have plenty of colour and style in combination with the USP. Saturday October 31st 2020 – Deadline for paper tax returns under Self Assessment If you wish to submit your own tax return on a paper form, then October 31st is the deadline. If your accountant does your tax return, then the deadline for electronic submission is January 31st 2021. It’s time to see an accountant if you don’t have one. Tuesday November 3rd 2020 – The 2020 Christmas Stamps will be issued today and can be purchased online from the Royal Mail. Saturday November 7th 2020 – Bonfire Night in Bitts Park, Carlisle. From 6.30 pm. Fire lit at 7.00 pm. Sunday November 8th 2020 – Remembrance Sunday in Carlisle City Centre from 10.00 am. Wednesday November 11th 2020 – Armistice Day Mid November Time to think about Christmas. We will start using the nicest possible stamps on our outgoing mail, some of which we have been stockpiling. We often get our envelopes handed back to us with signed documents inside them, and we cut off the used stamps and give them to charity. It gets us in a cheerful mood. Sunday November 22nd 2019 – Christmas Lights will be switched on in Carlisle City Centre in an event between 3.30 and 5.30 pm Monday November 30th 2020 – Bank Holiday in Scotland for St Andrew’s Day Time to See an Accountant and Time to Get that UTR ! Warning: if you need to submit a tax return by January 31st 2020, then the first thing you need is a Unique Taxpayer Reference, and you are going nowhere without one. Click on the link for more details. Accountants are fairly busy in December, given the deadline at the end of January. Many companies have March 31st year ends and their accounts need to be submitted to Companies House by December 31st. In the last posting dates which we will give below, we hint at the fact that the Royal Mail slows down before Christmas, and you are asked to bear this in mind if anything urgent needs to be sent to your accountant. If there are delays caused by bad weather or strikes, then neither Companies House nor HM Revenue & Customs will accept this as an excuse. Saturday December 12th 2020 is the last posting date for an air mail letter to Australia and New Zealand which is intended to get there by Christmas. Monday December 14th 2020 is the last posting date for airmail sent to the USA and Canada. Allow extra time for the Far West and Hawaii. About Wednesday December 16th 2020 is the last posting date for airmail sent to most destinations in Europe. Allow extra time for Eastern Europe. Friday December 18th 2020 is the last posting date for second class mail in the UK (but perhaps you might allow a bit longer for a letter sent from Carlisle to the Western Isles, or send it first class). Monday December 21st is the last posting date for first class mail. If you have a lot of Christmas cards to post, then second class post sent a couple of days earlier is more reliable than first class post sent at the last minute. Christmas weather forecasts start to be useful with about five days to go. Many accountants in Carlisle will close at lunchtime on Thursday 24th December after making sure all forthcoming deadlines have been dealt with. We will be open for e-mail purposes in the early afternoon. Friday December 25th 2020 – Christmas Day Saturday December 26th 2020 – St Stephen’s Day or Boxing Day Monday December 28th 2020 is a bank holiday in lieu of Saturday. Most accountants in Carlisle will be shut over Christmas. David Porthouse & Co will check e-mails from Tuesday 29th onwards and do any urgent work. We will also deal with anything which requires an online submission to keep the wheels turning. Other accountants are able to check their e-mails by remote access so they can also deal with anything urgent. Friday January 1st 2021 – New Year’s Day Monday January 4th 2021 is a Bank Holiday in Scotland, but not in England. David Porthouse & Co reopens for business. Prospective New Clients who contact us up until January 19th will find that the principal bottleneck is in dealings with HM Revenue and Customs. We can prepare accounts and calculate their income tax liability quickly, and will advise them to pay it by cheque and get a free Certificate of Posting from the Post Office. We will apply at once for a Unique Taxpayer Reference which can go on the SA361 payment advice that is included with the cheque. There is no time to pay electronically by our recommended method of making a small test payment first of all and checking it. We do not charge extra for late-coming clients. What we do ask for is payment upon presentation of draft accounts, and also that they have means of e-mailing scanned documents as PDF files. They could buy a small modern printer/scanner at once, and it does have other uses. They will also need to telephone the Revenue to get the UTR in good time and we can provide a crib sheet to help with this. Early in January, all our clients who still have outstanding tax returns will be be provided with the means to sign an e-mailed document, which should make life a bit easier for them. We aim to take up a market position as the technological accountants and this is a part of this aim. All our outgoing mail related to the tax deadline goes first class by the next available collection. We happen to have post boxes in our area where there are both early morning and afternoon collections. We can be posting twice a day at different boxes. The extra cost of postage of first class mail may be pointless when the collection is in the morning, but we are not taking any chances. Mid January – look out for snowdrops from now on and throughout February. Prospective New Clients who contact us on or after January 20th will find that the principal bottleneck is in dealings with HM Revenue and Customs. We can prepare accounts and calculate their income tax liability quickly, and will advise them to pay it by cheque and get a Certificate of Posting from the Post Office. If they have left things very late then they may need to consider Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed for 1 pm, possibly with Consequential Loss Cover. The SA361 payment advice that is included with the cheque can use their National Insurance number and we can write in February to allocate the payment properly once the Unique Taxpayer Reference is known. They will need to telephone the Revenue to get the UTR quickly and we can provide a crib sheet to help with this. We do not charge extra for late-coming clients even at this stage. What we do ask for is electronic payment upon presentation of draft accounts, and also that they have means of e-mailing scanned documents as PDF files. They may make a £10 test payment to us electronically first of all, and they could buy a small modern printer/scanner at once, which has other uses. We would warn that if they leave things to the last minute, then there are things that can go wrong which are nobody’s fault and we will not accept liability. The last weekend in January is a working weekend as far as submitting tax returns is concerned. The Revenue’s computer systems are relatively quiet over the weekend and we can take advantage of this. We will submit signed tax returns as fast as we get them either in our letterbox or by e-mail. Outgoing e-mails will not be sent until Monday morning. Monday January 25th 2021 – Burns Night Sunday January 31st 2021 – Tax Deadline for Sole Traders and Partnerships This is the deadline for electronic submission of income tax returns for the year ended 5th April 2020 under Self Assessment. Also the deadline for the first payment on account of income tax for the 2020/21 tax year, and the balancing payment for the 2019/20 tax year, which are usually paid together. We close for business at 9.00 pm. It really is possible that someone will e-mail or hand-deliver an acceptable signed document to us at 8.59 pm which we will then process to meet the deadline. We don’t advise pushing the system like this, but it can be done. The Revenue’s computer system may be running slow today. We can submit the return, but probably won’t be able to see it online for a few days. Rugby Union Six Nations Saturday 1st February 2020 2.15 pm GMT Wales v. Italy 4.45 pm GMT Ireland v. Scotland Sunday 2nd February 2020 3.00 pm GMT France v. England It’s party time for accountants. If you are watching this at home, then for a bit of atmosphere use YouTube to play some music for the winning team at half time, such as Jerusalem for England, Gwahoddiad for Wales, Road to the Isles for Scotland and Star of the County Down for Ireland. You could pick other tunes as well. For the winning team at full time play Thaxted for England, Calon Lân for Wales, Scotland the Brave for Scotland, Danny Boy for Ireland, Gloire Immortelle for France and Va Pensiero for Italy. If Wales lose, also play Myfanwy. Many of these tunes could have been the national anthem or are of similar quality and are good enough to stand up to the Marseillaise, which is still the benchmark. Monday February 1st 2021 From now until next winter, all priority mail that we send out will be labelled FIRST CLASS NEXT COLLECTION. We will weigh and stamp it for first class, and then select the local post box with the next collection for the actual mailing, so that it does not sit in the box for any longer than is necessary. Compare with the entry for Monday October 28th 2019. Thursday February 4th 2021 Assuming that the dust has settled a bit on Self Assessment, we will look online to see who has paid their tax, especially if we are asked to do this. If a client has paid with form SA361 and no UTR then we may need to contact the Revenue to get their payment allocated properly. We will check this later. Rugby Union Six Nations Saturday 8th February 2020 2.15 pm GMT Ireland v. Wales 4.45 pm GMT Scotland v. England Sunday 9th February 2020 3.00 pm GMT France v. Italy A Structured Deadline Sole traders and partnerships who pay tax under Self Assessment need to submit their tax return by January 31st if this is done electronically. If this deadline is missed, then the trader or each partner will be fined 100 pounds. There is another deadline on March 2nd (30 days later) to pay the tax due, and if this is missed, then there will be an additional penalty of 5% of the tax that is due on top of any interest charged for late payment. If you are near or beyond the January deadline, you should still get a move on and submit your accounts and tax return as quickly as possible because there is still something to play for. If we prepare your accounts, then we will do it using the latest technology for the sake of speed. Prospective New Clients who have missed the January 31st deadline who contact us between February 1st and February 14th will find that the principal bottleneck is in dealings with HM Revenue and Customs. We can prepare accounts and calculate their income tax liability quickly, and will advise them to pay it by cheque and get a Certificate of Posting from the Post Office. The SA361 payment advice that is included with the cheque can use their National Insurance number and we can write later to allocate the payment properly once the Unique Taxpayer Reference is known. They will need to telephone the Revenue to get the UTR quickly and we can provide a crib sheet to help with this. We do not charge extra for late-coming clients even at this stage. What we do ask for is electronic payment upon presentation of draft accounts, and that they have means of e-mailing scanned documents as PDF files, and that they can be contacted both by e-mail and by SMS text messaging on a mobile phone. They may make a £10 test payment to us electronically first of all, and they could buy a small modern printer/scanner at once, which has other uses. We normally communicate by e-mail and SMS is just the backup system. We would comment that anybody who leaves things to the last minute is not obviously an attractive client for any accountant, and suggest that they can remedy this by having excellent communication and cash transmission facilities. February – look out for crocus flowers Sunday February 14th 2021 – St Valentine’s Day This is our cutoff date. If you should have submitted an income tax return by January 31st and you haven’t, then we are prepared to take you on as a client up to this date. Otherwise we have little experience of missing deadlines because we never fail to meet them with all our technology, and you may find another accountant can give you a better service. The next deadline to worry about is March 2nd, and we estimate that there is just enough time to get everything done by then if you act now. Our office is closed on Friday February 19th 2021 The third weekend in February will be a long weekend for us. It is nowhere near any deadlines. Notes If you have an event or a local product you would like to include, then please contact us. Please mention if it is an annual event. Why does the income tax year end on April 5th? This date is the anniversary of Lady Day (The Annunciation, March 25th Old Style) in 1752 when Britain changed from the Julian Calendar (Old Style) to the Gregorian Calendar (New Style), making an adjustment of eleven days in the year of changeover. HM Revenue & Customs are believed to be still in the process of implementing this change. Dates in grey are merely provisional. Generally the dates are based upon the previous year. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this calendar, we are dependent upon third parties for the provision of information, and no responsibility will be accepted for any errors or omissions.