Difference between Assessment Year (AY) and Financial Year (FY)

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Hiral Vakil

Assessment Year
Due date
financial year
Last updated on April 9th, 2021

Taxpayers always get confused between the financial year (FY) and assessment year (AY) for which they are filing ITR. These terms are widely used in the context of ITR filing, TDS Return filing, and payment of income tax. Hence it is important to understand the difference between Financial Year and Assessment Year.

What is the Financial Year (FY)?

In simple terms, the financial year is the year which begins on 1st April and ends on 31st March. It is the year in which income is earned by the taxpayer. FY is a term widely used in Form 16, Salary Payslips, Loan repayment documents, etc of a taxpayer.  

What is Assessment Year (AY)?

Term Assessment year is widely used in the context of ITR filing and payment of income tax. AY is a year immediately following the financial year. The taxpayer needs to file ITR not in the year in which he/she earns the income but after the end of that year i.e, in the assessment year.  

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Difference between the Assessment Year (AY) and Financial Year (FY )

Let’s take an example to understand the difference between AY and FY better: Mr. Ajay is a fresher who started a job in a company on 7th July 2018 and has worked with the same company till 31st March 2019. In this case, Financial Year (FY) is 2018-19 for Ajay i.e, the year in which income is earned by him. And Assessment Year (AY) is 2019-20 i.e, the year in which Ajay will file his ITR.  




Financial Year(FY)

Corresponding Assessment Year(AY)

1st April 2017- 31st March 2018

FY 2017-18

AY 2018-19

1st April 2018- 31st March 2019

FY 2018-19

AY 2019-20

1st April 2019- 31st March 2020

FY 2019-20

AY 2020-21


Difference Between FY & AY


When can I file a return for FY 2018-19?

FY 2018-19 ends on 31st March 2019. Hence return for FY 2018-19 can be filed only after 31st March 2019. Taxpayers can file their ITR from April 2019, once the income tax department enables the e-filing of ITR on the income tax e-filing portal. The due date for filing ITR for FY 2018-19 is 31st July/ 30th September 2019.

When does AY 2019-20 start?

AY 2019-20 starts on 1st April 2019 and ends on 31st March 2020. AY 2019-20 means FY 2018-19 and ITR for AY 2019-20 will be filed on or before 31st July/ 30th September 2019 for income earned in FY 2018-19.

How do I check if return filing has started for the current financial year?

Generally, ITR filing starts in April month of Assessment Year. Income Tax department notifies the commencement of e-filing on its website under the News and Updates section.

Got Questions? Ask Away!

  1. Hey @TeamQuicko

    Thanks for the blog! Just one quick question - Why do we have to report a quarterly breakdown of Dividend Income under IFOS?

    Thank you!

  2. I had received dividend recently but I had noticed that TDS had been deducted. any idea as to why has it happened and is there a way I can claim this TDS?

  3. Hey @HarshitShah

    After the introduction of Budget 2020, dividend income is now taxable in the hands of the shareholder; and is also subject to TDS at 10% in excess of INR 5000 u/s 194 & 194K. Foreign Dividend is taxable at slab rates. TDS is not applicable to such dividends. The taxpayer should report such income under the head IFOS in the ITR filed on the Income Tax Website.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Hi @Maulik_Padh,

    You need to pay Income tax on the net taxable income, i.e. after subtracting deductions, expenses, etc.
    If the net taxable income is negative i.e. if there is loss, you can carry it forward when filing the ITR

    Here are some of the articles which might help

  5. Hi @ameyj

    The amount of TDS deducted shall reflect in your Form 26AS only and it will also reflect the name of the deductor.
    Using the name of the deductor you can find out on which share you have received the dividend and you can also cross-check the same in your bank statement.

    Yes, you are right, TDS is to be deducted when the dividend paid exceeds 5000 INR in a financial year. However, the 5,000 INR limit pertains to all the dividends an individual gets in a year, or the total dividend per shareholder that a company pays out in a year, is left to interpretation, and hence registrars and share transfer agents (RTA) are not taking any chances and are deducting TDS even on small amounts.

    Hope this helps :slightly_smiling_face:

  6. Hi @ameyj

    You can submit a grievance on Income Tax Portal mentioning the issue and also attach the 26AS.
    The other option is to leave it as it is and clarify it when the tax department sends the notice.

  7. Hi @TeamQuicko

    Consider that I have 10 shares each of 10 different Indian companies. Each of the 10 companies are declaring a dividend of INR 100 before the FY ends. Now I will be recieving 1000 as dividend from each company, thereby a total of 10,000.

    The 5,000 dividend limit, is it applicable to each company / total dividend recieved by me in a year. If it is applicable to each company, then I would not attract TDS of 10% for dividend.

    Also pl clarify, how would the company B know that I have got shares of Company A,C,D,E so on…

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