What is the `zero` value for time.Time in Go?


In an error condition, I tried to return nil, which throws the error:

cannot use nil as type time.Time in return argument

What is the zero value for time.Time?

This question is tagged with time go null

~ Asked on 2014-04-14 04:29:54

The Best Answer is


Invoking an empty time.Time struct literal will return Go's zero date. Thus, for the following print statement:


The output is:

0001-01-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

For the sake of completeness, the official documentation explicitly states:

The zero value of type Time is January 1, year 1, 00:00:00.000000000 UTC.

~ Answered on 2014-04-14 04:33:08


You should use the Time.IsZero() function instead:

func (Time) IsZero

func (t Time) IsZero() bool
IsZero reports whether t represents the zero time instant, January 1, year 1, 00:00:00 UTC.

~ Answered on 2016-03-26 11:05:35

Most Viewed Questions: