“Why does Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seek to tax an individual’s income in a particular tax year which runs from April 6 to April 5?.
Why April 6? It’s not the start of a month; it tends to be around about Easter so why pick such an odd date? The tax year used to start on March 25. This was on the old Julian calendar which wasn’t totally accurate as it calculated a year lasted exactly 365 days whereas it is slightly longer. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reformed the calendar and to correct the inaccuracy that had built up the new calendar missed out 10 days by jumping from October 4 to October 14. England didn’t want anything to do with this new stuff coming from Europe (no change there then) and kept to the old calendar. By 1752 our calendar was 11 days behind Europe so it was decided to reform it by going straight from September 2 to September 14. The year was shorter by 11 days which was obviously unfair since you’d be paying 365 days of tax or rent for an actual period of 354 days. To get round this problem, the tax year was extended to April 5 with the new one starting on April 6.”
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