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The Fielding Financial Blog

Have you ever wondered why the tax year ends on April 5th?

Have you ever wondered why the tax year ends on April 5th?

Have you ever thought it strange that the tax year should end on 5th April? Well, keep reading and we will tell you why!

 

In the 12th Century the government of the day discovered that a year was 365 days in length, they then tasked themselves with deciding when the year should officially start. They choose the 25th March, the thought-process behind this was that Jesus was born on the 25th December meaning that Mary would have become pregnant on the 25th March. This was perfectly logical and worked very well up until 1750, however it was decided that all calendars should be brought in line with the Gregorian Calendar which was considered more accurate. The calendar was named after the Pope at the time, Gregory, and it had already been introduced in each of the catholic countries.

 

So in 1752 all calendars changed over to the Gregorian, this meant going forward that the new year would start on 1st January. However, there was a public outcry claiming that 11 days had now been lost (the government effectively removed the period between 2nd to 14th of September, in a bid to even things out a little), in order to appease the disgruntled public, the government said they would make a compromise. For one year only they would add the 11 days back into the calendar but at another point, effectively the year would end, according to the original 12th Century calendar, on the 5th April instead of 25th March.

 

This ‘one year only’ practice continued for a couple of hundred years or so, until 1970 when the  official year end was confirmed at last by statute (The Income and Corporation Taxes Act), but unfortunately, they confirmed the year end not as 31st December, but - you guessed it - 5th April...and this is why the Tax Year is ending today!