Fiscal year

A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is used by government accounting and budget purposes, which varies between countries. It is also used for financial reporting by businesses and other organizations. Laws in many jurisdictions require company financial reports to be prepared and published on an annual basis, but generally, do not require the reporting period to align with the calendar year (1 January to 31 December). Taxation laws generally require accounting records to be maintained and taxes calculated on an annual basis, which usually corresponds to the fiscal year used for government purposes. The calculation of tax on an annual basis is especially relevant for direct taxation, such as income tax. Many annual government fees—such as Council rates, license fees, etc.—are also levied on a fiscal year basis, while others are charged on an anniversary basis.

Some companies—such as Cisco Systems[1]—end their fiscal year on the same day of the week each year, i.e. the day that is closest to a particular date (for example, the Friday closest to 31 December). Under such a system, some fiscal years will have 52 weeks and others 53 weeks.

The calendar year is used as the fiscal year by about 65% of publicly traded companies in the United States and for a majority of large corporations in the UK[2] and elsewhere, with notable exceptions being in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.[3][failed verification]

Many universities have a fiscal year which ends during the summer to align the fiscal year with the academic year (and, in some cases involving public universities, with the state government's fiscal year), and because the university is normally less busy during the summer months. In the northern hemisphere this is July to the next June. In the southern hemisphere this is calendar year, January to December. Some media/communication-based organizations use a broadcast calendar as the basis for their fiscal year.

The fiscal year is usually denoted by the calendar year in which it ends, so United States federal government spending incurred on 14 November 2020 would belong to fiscal year 2021, operating on a fiscal calendar of October–September.[4]

Chart of various fiscal years

Start date of fiscal year by country
Country Purpose (Jul) (Aug) (Sep) (Oct) (Nov) (Dec) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec (Jan) (Feb) (Mar)
Australia
Austria
Bangladesh
Belgium
Brazil
Canada government
corporate/personal
China
Costa Rica
Egypt
Ethiopia 8 July
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Iran 21 March
Israel
Japan government
corporate/personal
Nepal 17 July
Netherlands
New Zealand government
corporate/personal
Pakistan
Portugal
Qatar
Republic of Ireland
Romania
Russia
Singapore government
personal
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden personal
corporate
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom personal 6 April
corporate/government
United States federal
most states
corporate/personal
Country Purpose (Jul) (Aug) (Sep) (Oct) (Nov) (Dec) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec (Jan) (Feb) (Mar)
Other Languages
العربية: سنة مالية
беларуская: Фінансавы год
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Фінансавы год
català: Any fiscal
español: Año fiscal
Esperanto: Financa jaro
فارسی: سال مالی
français: Exercice fiscal
ગુજરાતી: નાણાકીય વર્ષ
한국어: 회계 연도
हिन्दी: वित्त वर्ष
Bahasa Indonesia: Tahun fiskal
italiano: Anno fiscale
עברית: שנת כספים
қазақша: Қаржы жылы
magyar: Üzleti év
Bahasa Melayu: Tahun fiskal
Nederlands: Boekjaar
日本語: 会計年度
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Byudjet yili
پښتو: مالي کال
português: Ano fiscal
română: An fiscal
Simple English: Fiscal year
suomi: Tilikausi
Türkçe: Mali yıl
українська: Бюджетний період
اردو: مالی سال
Tiếng Việt: Năm tài chính
中文: 財政年度