THE TAX YEAR
The new Tax Year is now well under way. Those of you that are employed will be receiving your first payslip of the new tax year and will also shortly have a P60. For those that are self-employed, many will now be starting to collate information for the tax year that has now ended, ready for submission of your self assessment accounts to HMRC.
I’m often, ok, sometimes… asked why does that tax year begin on 6th April rather than 1st January. This is a good example of “recency bias” in assuming that things have always been as they are now. In practice it wasn’t until 1751 that England adopted 1st January as the opening day of the new year. The Scottish were considerably ahead adopting 1st January from about 1600. It would not surprise most Scottish that they have been out-partying the English on new years eve.
Why? well as is often the case, our calendar and practices stem from religious beliefs and events. England, being Protestant didn’t adopt the Gregorian calendar when it was introduced in 1582 by the Pope. You may recall that the 16th century had somewhat sanguine relationships with Rome and the Catholic Church, so following the lead from Vatican City about when to set the date wasn’t likely to hold a great sense of importance. The Scottish naturally took a rather different approach.