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A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is a period used for calculating annual ("yearly") financial statements in businesses and other organizations. In many jurisdictions, regulatory laws regarding accounting and taxation require such reports once per twelve months, but do not require that the period reported on constitutes a calendar year (i.e. January through December). Fiscal years vary between businesses and countries.
In the United Kingdom, the term fiscal year is sometimes used to refer to the tax year, the year used by statute for tax reporting by individuals, and is not commonly used for accounting years used by companies. The equivalent of fiscal year applied to companies is the accounting reference period (required under the Companies Acts), which usually forms the basis of the accounting period used for tax purposes.