• Emma Walsh

Businesses support changing the tax year dates

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

91 per cent of medium sized firms support simplifying the tax system by changing the end of the tax year to December 31.



The survey, conducted by international accounting firm BDO, found that businesses overwhelmingly believe that the time is right to align the tax date with the end to the calendar year. The Office of Tax Simplification is reportedly mulling the proposal which would bring the UK system in line with the rest of the global community.


There will be challenges associated with implementing this change, not least for the Government itself. But in the long term, a 31 December year-end would also make life simpler for HMRC.


Until 1752 the UK tax year started on the 25th of March, which was formerly the date of New Year’s Day. The date jumped forwards when Britain changed to the Gregorian calendar and in 1800 the Treasury decided that the tax year would end on the 5th of April.


The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) broadly concurred with BDO’s findings.


Nonetheless, Businesses will need time to prepare and implement changes properly to minimise the possibility of disruption.


The UK is virtually alone in ending its tax year on April 05. While Ireland previously shared the same tax year dates it changed them after joining the Euro in 2002.


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