The End of the Year

1 July 2008

Today in Australia is the first day of the new tax year and it’s also the first day of the new financial year for most companies here.  So over the next few weeks I’m rather busy tying up loose ends for all the companies I work for, except for one which is linked  into the same accounting periods as its English parent company.

In New Zealand I believe the tax year ends on 31st March, in the USA 31st December, in Oz 30th June and in the UK  . . . . 5th April! 

A strange date to choose, you may think. 

Well, it wasn’t really chosen.  Circumstances conspired.

In England it was always the custom that rents and taxes were paid on the Quarter Days (and in fact most commercial rents are still calculated like that). 

25th March  –  Lady Day

24th June  –  Midsummers Day

29th September  –  Michaelmas

25th December  –  Christmas Day.

Lady Day was chosen as the end of the tax year until 1752 when the Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar.  11 days went missing in the changeover and as Parliament didn’t want a tax year that was 11 days shorter than previously, they extended it to 5th April.  And there it’s stayed.

Well, wasn’t that interesting?!



  1. It was the end of the political year too, not just the tax year. 25 March being exactly 9 months before Christmas. Also, at that time the day still changed at midday rather than midnight, that changed later than 1770 (not sure when) because Cook’s Endeavour Log has the midday changes.

  2. Yes, that was interesting. I love trivia. And have you got a T-shirt for World Youth Day that will get you arrested in a spectacular fashion? We will all put in for your bail.

  3. Definitely interesting. Love this sort of thing, thanks.

    Is the risk of arrest so huge, then?

  4. Interesting trivia – and somebody please take a picture of S. getting dragged away to jail.

  5. Up to, I think, the mid-70s, you could claim back the income tax for a whole year if you had a baby near the tax year-end (April 5th). Ie, they would assume you’d had the baby for the whole tax year. My daughter, thoughtless brat, (and despite my jumping up and down, drinking gin, etc, arrived on 16 April. She’s as careless with other people’s money now, bless her.

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