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Fiscal year

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Fiscal year is a 12-month period used for calculating annual or "yearly" financial reports in a small business. The term is used because in many jurisdictions, regulatory laws regarding accounting require reports once per twelve months, but do not require that the twelve months constitute a calendar year. For example, certain retailers prefer a fiscal year that does not match the calendar year in order to include the effect of returns of holiday-related purchases that take place in January.

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