Posted by Guohua Huang and Holger van Eden
What is the best fiscal year from an economic and public management perspective? It’s a question not often asked, as it seems a topic that has been resolved by history, tradition and common sense. However, in fact governments around the world have adopted different fiscal years (FYs). The Gregorian calendar year is used by about 70 percent of IMF member countries; the end dates of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters of the calendar year are used by most other countries. A few use a religious calendar. Examples include:
- 1 January – 31 December. All Latin American countries, Francophone Africa, most European countries and many South East Asian countries.
- 1 April – 31 March. Many countries with historical ties to the United Kingdom follow this calendar, including Brunei, Canada, India, Singapore, South Africa, as well as the U.K. itself.
- 1 July – 30 June. Australia, Egypt, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Tanzania, and many countries from the southern hemisphere.
- 1 October – 30 September. United States (federal government), Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Laos.
- Religious New Years. Countries such as Iran and Afghanistan use 21 March – 20 March.