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The key dates you need to know: Financial deadlines, strikes and Christmas post

Written by: Emma Lunn
It pays to be organised with your finances at this time of year, whether you have tax to pay, claim benefits or you simply just want to get organised.

The end of 2022 is fast approaching and the UK is in chaos with waves of industrial action hitting numerous industries and public services.

It’s useful to know what’s happening and when, so we’ve compiled this handy guide.

When will benefits be paid?

If you receive benefits, the upcoming Bank Holidays could mean you get your money on a different day.

Christmas Day is on a Sunday this year, meaning there will be a four-day Christmas weekend from Saturday 24 December to Tuesday 27 December.

If you’re due to be paid benefits such as Universal Credit on any of these days, you’ll be paid the previous working day instead – this will be Friday 23 December. The same goes for Child Benefit – any payments due over the four-day weekend will be paid on 23 December.

If your Tax Credits payment is due on 28 December, this will also be paid on 23 December.

Universal Credit claimants due to be paid on 2 or 3 January 2023, will receive their money on 30 December. Payments due on 4 January will arrive a day earlier on 3 January.

When do I need to pay tax?

If you complete a self-assessment tax return, you’ll need to submit your online return for the 2021/22 tax year to HMRC by 31 January 2023. The deadline is earlier for paper returns – these needed to be complete by 31 October.

Any outstanding tax payment for the 2021/22 tax year is also due on 31 January 2023. The first payment on account for the 2022/23 may also be due.

If you sold any assets in 2021/22, you’ll need to pay any capital gains tax (CGT) due by 31 January 2023.

When is the last Christmas post?

Strikes by postal workers have prompted Royal Mail to bring forward its final posting dates for Christmas by about a week.

Here are the dates you need to know:

  • 12 December: final date for second class deliveries
  • 16 December: final date for first class deliveries
  • 21 December: final date for ‘Special Delivery Guaranteed’
  • 22 December: final date for ‘Parcelforce Worldwide express24’

Who is on strike and when?

There are numerous workers striking at the moment but, arguably, industrial action by transport workers will have the biggest impact on Christmas plans.

Fresh rail strikes have been announced for Christmas Eve with workers at the UK’s biggest rail union RMT walking out from 6pm on 24 December until 27 December as the row over pay and conditions escalates.

There will also be industrial action by rail workers across Network Rail and train companies on the following dates:

  • 13-14 December
  • 16-17 December
  • 3-4 January
  • 6-7 January

There is likely to be disruption in the days before and after the strikes too.

Some Eurostar staff will also walkout on the 16, 18, 22 and 23 of December.

There will also be disruption at 11 Scottish regional airports during two days of strikes on 19 and 22 December when Unite members at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) will walk out in a dispute over pay.

If you’re flying anywhere from Heathrow, your plans could be disrupted by baggage handlers working for Menzies Aviation striking in a row over pay. The 72-hour strike action starts on 16 December and will affect flights operated by 10 major airlines from Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4.

The affected airlines are: Air Canada, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian Airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair.

Other striking workers include nurses, teachers, civil servants, ambulance workers, and criminal bannisters. Details of strike dates can be found here.

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