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Fiscal Year vs Financial Year vs Tax Year vs Calendar Year

Synonyms

The following terms are synonyms of each other, meaning there is no significant differences between them.

• Fiscal year
• Financial year
• Tax year
• Accounting year

Meaning

From the point of view of a company or any other entity, the terms - fiscal year, financial year, tax year and accounting year are one and the same because in all these terms:

• the period consists of consecutive 12 months;
• the books of accounts are prepared and segregated from year to year on the basis of these 12 months accounting period;
• the tax on income of the entities is assessed/calculated and paid for these 12 months;
• the reporting to government authorities are done and due dates are calculated on the basis of the relevant year.


One Difference

The only difference between these terms i.e. fiscal year, financial year, tax year and accounting year is:
• under the tax or company law of different countries the start and end date may differ;
• In the UK, the tax year starts from April 6 to April 5;
• In the USA, the fiscal year starts from Oct 1 to Sep 30 (Jul 1 to Jun 30 for non-profit organisations);
• In India, the financial year starts from 1st April 1 and ends on 31st March.

Calendar Year

Calendar year is different from the fiscal year, financial year, tax year and accounting year.

Calendar year is the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the solar calendar. It is also called as English calendar. It starts from 1st January and ends on 31st January.

Though many countries also have their own traditional method of calculating a year in addition to following the above calendar year.

The yearly turnover/revenue calculation may be done on a calendar year basis.


Analysis

For the purpose of research and analysis, an entity may not use the same terms as explained above.

Example: For competitive analysis, it may assume a year starting from Feb to Jan and do the comparison or showcase the chart and presentations etc.

An entity may segregate the period and term it as it deems fit for such purposes.

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