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What is an Assessment Year (AY) and Financial Year (FY)? - Difference Between AY and FY

Updated on: 20 May, 2024 05:12 PM

Assessment Year (AY) and Financial Year (FY) are two important terms in income tax and financial planning. They are used to determine the taxation of an individual or entity's income.

No communication will be made correctly if the assessment or financial year has been wrongly referred to. Many assessees/taxpayers tend to presume both terms as the same thing & this leads to several problems while filing income tax returns. To help file the income tax return in a smooth & hassle-free manner, we will explain and solve all the queries of our readers related to the assessment year and financial year.

What is Financial Year?

The financial year is the year in which you have earned the income. It starts on the 1st of April of the calendar year & ends on the 31st of March of the next calendar year. The term “Financial Year” is also commonly referred to as F.Y. For example, the financial year 2023-24 started on April 1st, 2023, and will end on March 31, 2024.

An assessee is required to calculate and plan taxes for the financial year, but an income tax return is to be filed in the next year or Assessment Year. For instance,

  • The income you earned from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023 is the income earned in the current Financial Year (FY) 2022-23. Also,
  • Any income earned by you for the period starting from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023 can be simply stated as income earned in Financial Year (FY) 2022-23.

What is Assessment Year?

Assessment year means the year (from 1st April to 31st March) in which income you earn in a particular financial year is taxed. You are required to file your income tax return in the relevant assessment year. The assessment year is the year just succeeding the Financial Year. E.g.,

  • Income earned in the current Financial Year 2022-23 (i.e., from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023) will become taxable in Assessment Year 2023-24 (i.e., from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 ).
  • Income earned in Financial Year 2021-22 (i.e., from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022 ) will become taxable in Assessment Year 2022-23 (i.e., from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023 ).

Assessment and Financial Year in India for the Recent Years

Period Financial Year Previous Year Assessment Year
1 April 2018 to 31st March 2019 2018-19 2018-19 2019-20
1 April 2019 to 31st March 2020 2019-20 2019-20 2020-21
1 April 2020 to 31st March 2021 2020-21 2020-21 2021-22
1 April 2021 to 31st March 2022 2021-22 2021-22 2022-23
1 April 2022 to 31st March 2023 2022-23 2022-23 2023-24

What is the difference between Assessment Year and Financial Year?

From the tax perspective, a Financial year is a year in which a person earns an income. On the other hand, The assessment year is the year followed by the financial year in which the previous year’s income is evaluated, tax is paid on the same, and an Income tax Return (ITR) is filed.

For instance, if we consider the financial year from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, it is known to be the Financial year 2022-23. The assessment year begins after the financial year ends, so the assessment year of FY 2022-23 would be AY 2023-24.


Why does an ITR form have an Assessment Year?

Income tax forms have an assessment year because the income for any financial year is evaluated and taxed in the following year, i.e., the assessment year. Income cannot be taxed before it is earned. Adverse situations can come up either at the beginning, middle, or end of a financial year. Hence, it is made mandatory to select the Assessment year while filing income tax returns.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q- What is the full form of AY?

In general, most taxpayers use the term AY instead of the full form which is Assessment Year.


Q- What is the full form of FY?

In general, most taxpayers use the term FY instead of the full form which is Financial Year.


Q- What is the relevant Assessment Year for the Financial Year 2022-23?

For Financial Year (FY) 2022-23, the Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24 will be applicable.


Q- Are the Financial Year and Previous Year the same?

Yes, for ITR filing, the financial year and previous year mean the same. E.g., the Financial Year 2022-23 also means the Previous Year 2022-23.


Q- Financial Year ends in which month every year in India?

In the case of FY 2022-23, it is 31st March 2023. That means in India, the Financial Year ends on the 31st of March every year, and the new financial year starts on the 1st of April.


Q- What is the duration of the Financial Year 2022?

Financial Year 2022 or FY 2022-23 started on the 1st of April 2022 and will end on the 31st of March 2023. The assessment year 2023 or AY 2023-24 shall be relevant to the taxpayers earning income in this financial year 2022-23.


Q- What is the Current Assessment Year?

The current assessment year (AY) is 2023-24 and is relevant for the financial year (FY) 2022-23.


CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.