Financial Year in UK: Key Dates and What You Need to Know

Navigating the financial year in the UK, which spans from 6th April to 5th April of the following year, is crucial for both individuals and businesses engaged in budgeting and assessing their financial health 1. This period is not only pivotal for tax and accounting purposes but also serves as a fundamental timeline for companies to align with the government’s fiscal policies, particularly tax deadlines 1.

Understanding the significance of the UK financial year and its implications on tax collection and financial reporting furthers the ease of managing financial affairs for sole traders, partnerships, and those employed within companies 2. This structured approach aids in the simplification of financial documentation and tax submissions, ensuring businesses and individuals remain compliant and well-prepared 2.

Key Dates and Deadlines in the UK Financial Year

Navigating the myriad of deadlines within the UK financial year is crucial for compliance and optimal financial planning. Here is a concise breakdown of key dates and deadlines:

  • Self-Employed and Self Assessment Deadlines:
    • 5 October, 2024: Registration for self-assessment if newly self-employed 3.
    • 31 October, 2024: Paper tax returns submission 3.
    • 31 January, 2025: Online tax returns and payment deadline for Self Assessment 3.
  • Employers and Companies:
    • 4 April: PAYE registration 1.
    • 31 May: Deadline for issuing P60 documents 1.
    • 6 July: Deadline for reporting employee benefits (P11D submission) 1.
    • 31 December: Deadline for reporting capital gains 1.
    • 31 January: Deadline for submitting Self Assessment tax returns and Capital Gains Tax payments 1.
  • Companies House and HMRC Reporting for Companies:
    • 21 months after registration: Deadline for first accounts with Companies House for newly registered companies 4.
    • 9 months post-financial year-end: Annual accounts submission to Companies House 4.
    • 9 months and 1 day post-financial year-end: Corporation Tax payment 4.
    • 12 months post-financial year-end: Company Tax Return filing 4.

How Does the Start of the New Financial Year Affect You?

The start of the new financial year in the UK marks a significant period for both the government and individuals, characterized by the implementation of new tax rates and regulations. This section outlines key aspects of the commencement of the financial year:

  • Historical Background: The UK financial year begins on the 6th of April each year, a tradition rooted in historical adjustments between the Julian and Gregorian calendars 1.
  • Significance of April 6th:
    • April 6, 2024, signifies the start of the 2024/25 tax year, introducing any revised tax rates and rules 36910.
    • This date is crucial for individuals and the government, marking the transition to new fiscal policies 1.
  • Company Considerations: While the financial year for companies may not precisely align with the standard UK financial year, it’s essential for them to be mindful of the government’s fiscal year, particularly concerning tax deadlines. This ensures compliance and optimal financial planning 1.

Understanding these elements is crucial for effective financial planning and compliance with the UK’s fiscal policies.

What Are the Implications of the End of the Financial Year?

As the financial year in the UK draws to a close, there are several critical steps and considerations for businesses and individuals to ensure they remain compliant and well-prepared for the upcoming fiscal period:

  1. Year-End Financial Review:
    • Internal accountants and auditors rigorously analyze financial statements to assess the company’s performance and financial standing over the year 11.
    • This involves ensuring all invoices, expenses, and receipts are accurately recorded, filed, and settled within the correct tax year 3.
    • The finance team collects, evaluates, and reconciles the company’s financial data, culminating in the year-end financial statement for potential external audit 1.
  2. Tax Responsibilities:
    • The UK tax year, significant for determining tax responsibilities, ends between April 6th and April 5th of the following year 11.
    • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assesses individual and business tax liabilities, ensuring accurate tax collection 11.
    • Key tax rates for the 2023/24 tax year include a tax-free personal allowance of £12,570, with various tax thresholds for different income levels 13.
  3. Preparation and Planning:
    • Utilize a Year-end accounting checklist and automated processes for a smoother financial close 1.
    • Review and finalize all financial statements, ensuring any discrepancies are addressed to avoid legal consequences 4.
    • Set a budget for the new financial year, incorporating strategic planning based on the review of financial statements and business objectives 16.

Why Does the April Start Date Matter?

The transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar significantly influenced the establishment of the UK’s financial year start date:

  • Historical Calendar Shift: The shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 introduced a discrepancy of 11 days, necessitating adjustments to the financial calendar to maintain alignment with the rest of Europe 18.
  • Adjustments and Theories:
    • Initially, the financial year commenced on March 25th, aligning with the historical fiscal start. To compensate for the 11-day calendar discrepancy, it was adjusted to April 5th 19.
    • Various theories exist regarding the April start date, including avoiding the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season and aligning with the Hindu New Year during the East India Company’s operations in Bengal 19.
  • Leap Year Adjustment: The start date was further adjusted to April 6th in 1800, a correction made to account for the year 1800 not being a leap year in the Gregorian calendar, ensuring consistency in the financial year’s length 20.

These historical adjustments and considerations underscore the complexity and significance of establishing the UK’s financial year start date, reflecting a blend of practical necessity and historical context 7218192021.

Preparations for the Financial Year End

To ensure businesses are well-prepared for the financial year-end, a structured approach to closing and reporting is essential. This involves a series of critical steps and documentation requirements:

  1. Year-End Closing Checklist:
    • Prepare a Closing Schedule: Map out all tasks with deadlines 23.
    • Chase Unpaid Invoices: Ensure all payments are received 23.
    • Complete a Full Stock Inventory Review: Account for all physical assets 23.
    • Get Expenses in Order: Review and categorize all outgoings 23.
    • Organize and File Paperwork: Ensure all financial documents are in order 23.
    • Review Asset Accounts: Update records to reflect current values 23.
    • Check Employee Data: Verify all payroll information is accurate 23.
    • Close Out and Accrue Accounts: Make necessary adjustments for revenues and expenses 23.
  2. Financial Reporting and Submission Deadlines:
    • Final Financial Statement: Prepared for external audit within six months of the financial year-end 4.
    • Annual Accounts Submission: Due at Companies House 9 months after the financial year-end 4.
    • Corporation Tax and Company Tax Return: Payable and to be filed with HMRC 9 months and 1 day, and 12 months after the accounting period ends, respectively 4.
    • Penalties: Late submissions to both Companies House and HMRC incur penalties 4.
  3. Documentation Requirements:
    • Company Tax Return: Details the company’s turnover, expenses, tax allowances, and profit 25.
    • Statutory Accounts: Includes an Income Statement, Statement of Financial Position, Director’s report, and Footnotes. These documents provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s financial activity and are required for submission to HMRC and Companies House 25.

By adhering to these preparatory steps and understanding the documentation requirements, businesses can navigate the financial year-end with clarity and compliance, ensuring all financial affairs are in order for the transition into the new fiscal period.

These timelines underscore the importance of diligent financial administration to avoid penalties, ensuring businesses and individuals remain in good standing with regulatory bodies.

Tips for Preparing for the Financial Year End

To optimize financial readiness for the year-end, businesses and individuals in the UK should consider the following strategic actions:

  • Maximize Allowances and Reliefs:
    • Tax-Deductible Expenses: Keep receipts to claim deductions on allowable expenses 3.
    • R&D Tax Relief and More: Assess eligibility for Research and Development tax relief, charitable donation reliefs, business rates discounts, Corporation Tax relief, and VAT reclaim 3.
  • Payroll and Pensions:
    • Ensure payroll records are accurate and up-to-date 3.
    • Review employee benefits for tax-efficiency, such as Cycle to Work Scheme, childcare vouchers, and private healthcare 3.
    • Consider the impact of personal and employee pension contributions on tax liabilities. Deducting pension contributions from business profits before calculating corporation tax can lead to significant savings 3.
  • National Insurance Contributions:
    • Implement strategies to save on National Insurance for both employers and employees, enhancing overall financial health 3.

These steps, grounded in the fiscal requirements of the UK financial year, enable businesses and individuals to manage their finances effectively, ensuring compliance and optimizing tax liabilities 21122.


Throughout this exploration of the UK financial year, we’ve unveiled the complexity and necessity of understanding the key dates, significant deadlines, and structured approaches vital for individuals and businesses to maintain financial compliance and optimize planning. From the historical roots of the April start date to the intricacies of year-end preparations and tax responsibilities, the article provided a comprehensive guide to navigate the fiscal landscape – ensuring readers are well-informed and prepared for the financial year ahead.

The significance of adhering to deadlines, maximizing allowances, and executing diligent financial management cannot be overstated. As we reflect on the importance of these elements, let’s also acknowledge the broader implications these practices have on financial health and regulatory compliance. With the fiscal year end approaching, individuals and businesses are encouraged to review their financial strategies, implement the outlined tips for preparation, and consider the potential areas for further research or action to enhance their financial readiness and success.


What are the important dates within the UK financial year? The UK financial year commences on 6 April, marking the start of new government and individual fiscal responsibilities, including updated tax rates and regulations. Additionally, by 31 May, companies are required to issue a P60 to their employees, which is a summary of their annual pay and deductions.

How is the fiscal year defined in Britain? Britain’s fiscal year spans from 6 April to 5 April of the following year. This period was established to align with the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

In the UK, which tax year are we currently in? The UK tax year extends from 6 April to 5 April of the subsequent year. For instance, the tax year for 2023/24 begins on 6 April 2023 and concludes on 5 April 2024. There are crucial deadlines throughout the year for those who must file self-assessment tax returns.

Why does the UK financial year commence in April? The UK financial year starts in April due to historical adjustments made when transitioning from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. The Roman Catholic Church shifted to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 to correct the timing of Easter. England adopted this change in 1752, which required dropping 11 days from September to realign the calendar.


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