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Why does the British tax year start 4th April?

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Wiki User
2009-04-29 16:53:34

Prior to the eighteenth century, the calendar year began on 25th

March and so it was quite natural for the tax year to start on the

same date. When the calendar was reformed the Inland Revenue

decided not to confuse the populace further by changing the dates

of the tax year as well. The Gregorian calendar was adopted in

Britain some time after it had been instituted in Europe, and in

order to correct the time lag which had built up, it was decreed

that September 2nd, 1752 would be followed by September 14th. This

move was unpopular with the general public who took to the streets

in fury, shouting that they had been robbed of 11 days of their

lives. In such a climate the Inland Revenue felt that they could

not start the next tax year on 25th March as usual, as the already

irate taxpayers would effectively be paying a full year's tax for

only 354 days. The solution was to move the start of the following

tax year back to April 6th, where it has remained ever since.

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