Share this content

5 April?

1. Why does tax year start on 6 April?
2. Obviously it would make more sense to be 31 March, would the government lose tax revenue if it changed it?


Please login or register to join the discussion.

here is your answer

Thanks (0)

Traditional rent 1/4 days plus the change to the Julian calendar

The traditional quarter days are:

Lady Day - The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25Midsummer Day - The Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24Michaelmas - The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, September 29Christmas Day - The Feast of the Nativity, December 25

The tax year used to end of 25 March - Lady Day.

The timing of the tax year has its origin in the switch from the old Julian calendar to the more accurate Gregorian calendar in September 1752. At the time of the change it was calculated that the Julian calendar had lost 11 days since its introduction in 46 BC.  To catch up those 11 days, 2 September was followed by 14 September. Rather than lose 11 days' tax revenue in that tax year, the authorities tacked the missing days on at the end, which meant moving the beginning of the tax year from 25 March, Lady Day, to 6 April.



Thanks (0)

Apparently they did think about changing it to 31 March

not so very long ago, but it was a logistical nightmare and would have led to a loss of tax revenue, so we are stuck with 5 April.

Thanks (0)

It it ain't broke...

It's now one of those curiosities which, though illogical, still works and so there's no real need to change it.

Though it can be useful for timing dividends from an OMB limited company! (Presumably not a major issue or they *would* have changed it!)

Thanks (0)

New Year

In days of yore, Lady Day was the start of the New Year, so it made sense for the tax year to start then.

Thanks (0)

I like it.

It's quirky.


Would the Government lose revenue by changing it ?


I doubt it.  More likely to see it as an opportunity to charge us a full year's tax from 360 days' pay.

Thanks (0)

@ lionofludesch

I am sure that the press would work out that a pensioner somewhere was worse off, and it would be political suicide...


Thanks (0)