What is a calendar year?

Definition of Calendar Year

A calendar year is the 12 consecutive months from January through December. In other words, it is the 365 days (366 days in a leap year) beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31.

Example of Calendar Years

In the U.S., individuals file their personal income tax returns based on the calendar year of January 1 through December 31. Many U.S. corporations also have accounting and income tax years that coincide with the calendar year of January 1 through December 31. However, U.S. corporations may have an accounting year and income tax year that is not a calendar year.

Examples of Non-calendar Years

If a U.S. corporation has a non-calendar accounting year, it is referred to as a fiscal year.

An example is a U.S. retailer whose financial statements report the amounts for the fiscal year covering the 52-week period of Sunday, February 2, 2020 through Saturday, January 30, 2021.

Often educational institutions have fiscal years that begin on July 1 and end on the following June 30.

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