Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Days Left in the Year.

Days Left in the Year

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 3, 2017)


Do you ever need to figure out how many days are left in the current year? Since Excel stores dates as serial numbers—making them easy to subtract—it is easy to put together a formula that will return the number of days left in the year:


This formula assumes that the date you want to analyze is in cell C12. It uses the DATE function to calculate the serial number for the last day of the year (December 31), and then subtracts the serial number for the actual date. The result is the difference—the number of days—between the two dates.

This formula returns a value that is formatted as a date. You will need to format the cell to a regular numeric value instead of a date in order to view the result correctly.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3051) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Days Left in the Year.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2016-11-18 10:59:29

Jabed: The formula will work, but ONLY if you have a date in cell C12.


2016-11-18 10:57:38

Jabed Kowsar


above function does not work for excel 2010. I got big number.

2014-03-25 10:21:07

Michael (Micky) Avidan

Anither approach to the same task:
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)

2014-03-24 10:50:00


How would you write this in VBA?

2013-10-08 09:59:41


Thanks for your usual support.
I have 5 years to complete a project with effect from 1st January 2011. What formula do I use to determine the remaining yy/mm/dd as at today?
Please help.

2012-03-28 10:21:10


YOU ROCK! This solved my problem! Thanks!

2011-11-01 10:53:37

Stephe Ellis

You could, of course, also substitute TODAY() for each occurence of C12, and this might be useful.

Also this can be adapted to count down towards the end of the month/quarter/financial_year, etc., but that would obviously be slightly more complex, although it might possibly prove instructive for people fairly new to formulas.

2011-10-29 16:36:43


To do a business days function you would use the Networkdays function. Like this: =NETWORKDAYS(C12,DATE(YEAR(C12),12,31),holidays) where holidays is a named range that houses all the holidays for the year.

2011-10-29 05:47:30


More interesting is the number of remaining business days.

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