Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What's On The Calendar Wednesday: April 6th

Today is the first day of the new tax year in the UK. If you wonder why our tax year runs from April 6th - not the most obvious date to pick! - here is the answer:

Until the eighteenth century the New Year began on March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation or in English parlance, Lady Day (which, logically enough, falls nine months before Christmas), and this was the date on which taxes were due to be paid. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752 eleven days were skipped during September, with September 14th coming immediately after September 2nd, and the date of New Year was changed to January 1st. In order to collect a full 365 years tax, the missed eleven days were added to March 25th, moving the date for payment of tax on to April 5th, with the new tax year starting the day after on April 6th.

Archivist's note:  The change in the date of the New Year means that when describing documents from before the change they often have to be given a double old-style / new-style date. For example, February 2nd 1688 (old style) would now be written as February 2nd 1688/9 to show that it was February 2nd 1689 according to our current calendar.

Meme invented by Pamela at When Good People Get Together.

1 comment:

PixieMum said...

Thanks for that, I never realised why the tax year started later than the 'old' new year. Didn't link it back to 'Give us back our eleven days' cries from History O level.

Ian's birthday is March 25th so a date I will not forget. He shares his birthday with Elton John, they were born in the same year too. I think that's where the main similarities end.