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Fiscal Year: What It Is and Advantages Over Calendar Year

File Photo: Fiscal Year: What It Is and Advantages Over Calendar Year
File Photo: Fiscal Year: What It Is and Advantages Over Calendar Year File Photo: Fiscal Year: What It Is and Advantages Over Calendar Year

What Exactly Is a Fiscal Year (F.Y.)?

For financial reporting and budgeting, firms and governments utilize fiscal years. It is mainly used in accounting to create financial statements. Although budgetary years begin on January 1 and finish on December 31, not all align with the calendar year. Universities frequently start and conclude fiscal years with the academic year.

What is the importance of fiscal years?

Fiscal years last one year but may not always start at the beginning of the calendar year. Countries, corporations, and organizations create and conclude fiscal years differently based on accounting and external audit processes.

Corporations and investors need a company’s fiscal year to analyze sales and profitability year-over-year appropriately. The IRS permits firms to be either calendar-year or fiscal-year taxpayers.

The federal fiscal year is October 1–September 30. Business type determines budgetary years that differ from calendar years. Nonprofits commonly match grant awards to fiscal years.

End dates, or years, are used to designate fiscal years. You can refer to a nonprofit organization’s fiscal year as F.Y.FY 2024″ or “fiscal year ending June 30, 2024.” Government spending on November 15, 2022, would be considered an expenditure for FY 2023.

The IRS defines a fiscal year as 12 consecutive months ending on the final day of any month except De taxpayers can also use a 52- to 53-week fiscal year. For example, the fiscal year would finish on the Saturday closest to December 31 each year. The technology automatically creates 52-week and 53-week budgetary years.

Budgets often reference fiscal years, which help review a company’s or government’s financial performance.

What IRS Fiscal Year Requirements

Fiscal-year taxpayers must change forms and payment dates since the IRS system is calendar-based. Taxpayers must file by April 15 for most years, but fiscal-year taxpayers must file by the 15th day of the fourth month after the fiscal year ends. A firm with a fiscal year of June 1 to May 31 must file its tax return by September 15. Eligible US firms can adopt a fiscal year for tax reporting by submitting their first income tax return. These companies can switch to a calendar year at any time. Companies that want to go from a calendar year to a fiscal year must seek IRS approval or fulfill one of the conditions on Form 1128, Application to Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year.

Corporation Fiscal Year Examples

“What fiscal year is it?” investors ask. It varies by firm. Below are 10K reports from famous corporations with non-calendar fiscal years. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires yearly financial performance reports, known as 10-Ks.

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) fiscal year finishes on the final Saturday of September.

File Photo: Apple Fiscal Year Example.

File Photo: Apple Fiscal Year Example

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) annually concludes its fiscal year on the final day of June.

File Photo: Microsoft Fiscal Year Example.

File Photo: Microsoft Fiscal Year Example

Are fiscal years and calendar years the same?

Not necessarily. Fiscal years are 12-month periods that correlate to firm financial reporting. Sometimes, fiscal years diverge from calendar years. Accounting considers fiscal years for federal tax filings, budgeting, and financial reporting.

What Is an Example of a Fiscal Year?

The U.S. government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. Government contracting companies may finish their budgetary years in late September. Conversely, many computer businesses have significant early-year revenues, which is why their fiscal years end in late June.

Why use a fiscal year instead of a calendar?

Seasonal businesses may benefit from a fiscal year. This may better represent the company’s activities, aligning revenues and costs. Retail firms often conclude their fiscal year on January 31, following the holidays. Walmart and Target are major fiscal-year users.

Final Thought

Some corporations, governments, and organizations employ a non-Dec. 31 fiscal year. For various reasons, some organizations choose a fiscal year instead of a calendar year. Retailers may not want to end their fiscal year over the holidays, whereas schools may wish their budgetary years to match their academic years. A fiscal year may finish on the final Saturday of a month instead of the last day. In certain instances, a fiscal year might be 53 weeks. Fiscal-year entities submit taxes on the 15th of the fourth month after the year ends.


  • Company fiscal years are 12-month periods used to report financial data.
  • Company fiscal years govern financial reporting, external audits, and federal tax filings.
  • Companies may disclose financial information in a non-calendar fiscal year based on their business and revenue cycle.



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