Why the 5th April?

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Like us, you might be curious why the UK Tax Year ends on the 5th April. It’s a strange story – involving disagreements with our European neighbours and Government concerns about lost revenues (sound familiar!?).

In medieval England and Ireland, financial accounts had to be settled on one of 4 ‘quarter days’ each year.  The most important was ‘Lady Day’ – March 25th – the date of the Annunciation. In 1582, most of Europe switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian one, but England decided against.  By 1752, the differences between the calendars meant that England had moved 11 days out of alignment with the rest of Europe! Accepting the need to change, September was shortened that year – moving straight from the 2nd to the 14th.  However, the Treasury didn’t want to lose any tax revenue so, in 1753, the end of financial year was moved 11 days from Lady Day to April 5th (and then again to April 6th in 1800).

It’s stayed the same ever since!

(with acknowledgement to Investing Ethically investing-ethically.co.uk for this interesting blog!)