Income TAx provision accounting entries

Income TAx provision accounting entries

provision for income taxes

For example, a company that earned net income for the year knows it will have to pay corporate income taxes. Because the tax liability applies to the current year, it must also reflect an expense for the same period. But the tax will not actually be paid until the next calendar year. In order to rectify the accrual/cash timing difference is to record the tax as a deferred tax liability.

So your company’s income tax expense may be higher than its actual tax bill this year, but at some point in the future, the tax bill will be higher than the tax expense. Hence everybody is focused on finalisation of their books of accounts. The actual taxation entries are most important things as they clear the Balance sheet picture and gives real result.

Provision for Income Tax :

Therefore, although you may pay taxes annually or quarterly, you should do an adjusting entry during each period for which you produce an income statement. The entry to income tax expense will be a debit because you are increasing the expense account. Typically, income tax expense is shown right after the total of income before tax and just before net income or loss. We discussed the idea of calculating deferred tax expense in the overview section above.

Companies first need to calculate their current income taxes payable or receivable, then figure out their deferred tax assets and liabilities. The calculation of deferred tax assets and liabilities should be based on enacted tax law, not future expectations/assumptions. Finally, deferred tax assets (like any other asset) need to be assessed for recoverability. Any amounts not deemed to be recoverable should be written off through expense. The current income tax payable or receivable is recorded with the offset to the P&L (current tax expense).

Generally speaking, temporary differences can be divided into future taxable amounts and future deductible amounts. Deferred tax expense or benefit generally represents the change in the sum of the deferred tax assets, net of any valuation allowance, and deferred tax liabilities during the year. Paying in advance to create deferred tax assets can aid a business looking to decrease their tax liability in a future period. When a company overpays for a particular tax period, this can be marked as a deferred tax asset on the balance sheet.

If taxes are overpaid or paid in advance, then the amount of overpayment can be considered an asset and illustrates that the business should receive some tax break in the next filing. An important concept to explain in relation to deferred tax is that of taxable temporary differences. This occurs when a business has an asset with a liability value that does not match with the current taxable value of the asset. This can happen when the accounting approach and tax laws differ in how the depreciation of an asset is handled. Both will appear as entries on a balance sheet and represent the negative and positive amounts of tax owed.

What is the entry for provision of income tax?

We all know the general formula for the income tax provision: current tax expense or benefit + deferred tax expense or benefit = total income tax expense or benefit as reported in the financial statements. Let’s take a look at each of these components: Current tax expense or benefit.


The deferral comes from the difference in timing between when the tax is accrued and when the tax is paid. A deferred tax liability records the fact the company will, in the future, pay more income tax because of a transaction that took place during the current period, such as an installment sale receivable. Income tax expense is an income statement account that you use to record federal and state income tax costs. The accrual method of accounting requires you to show expenses in the period that the expense is incurred, rather than in the period that the expense is paid.

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By saying it has underpaid doesn’t necessarily mean that it hasn’t fulfilled its tax obligations, rather it is recognizing that the obligation is paid on a different timetable. Because the depreciation method chosen by Company XYZ would result in at first a larger deduction than the method used by tax authorities, their income would be higher than what would be considered the taxable income.

Is provision for income taxes an expense?

A provision for income taxes is the estimated amount that a business or individual taxpayer expects to pay in income taxes for the current year. The amount of this provision is derived by adjusting the reported net income of a business with a variety of permanent differences and temporary differences.

Current liabilities are financial obligations of a business entity that are due and payable within a year. A liability occurs when a company has undergone a transaction that has generated an expectation for a future outflow of cash or other economic resources. The differences in financial and tax accounting are supposed to even out over time. With depreciation, to use the previous example, the two systems eventually depreciate the same amount of value; the difference is just in the timing.

In this case, the temporary difference would be added as a liability to the balance sheet. In financial reporting, provisions are recorded as a current liability on the balance sheet and then matched to the appropriate expense account on the income statement.

  • U.S. GAAP, specifically ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes, requires income taxes to be accounted for by the asset/liability method.
  • The amount of income tax expense recognized for a period is the amount of income taxes currently payable or refundable, plus or minus the change in aggregate deferred tax assets and liabilities.

The effective tax rate is a ratio between your provisions, or income tax expense, and your pre-tax income. You may use the calculation for any application, either for your own personal income, or the income of the company. If you wish to calculate the effective tax rate for a company, the process is relatively simple, provided you have all the necessary information gathered from the company’s quarterly or annual financial reports. A simple way to define the deferred tax liability is the amount of taxes a company has “underpaid”—which will (eventually) be made up in the future.

U.S. GAAP, specifically ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes, requires income taxes to be accounted for by the asset/liability method. The asset and liability method places emphasis on the valuation of current and deferred tax assets and liabilities. The amount of income tax expense recognized for a period is the amount of income taxes currently payable or refundable, plus or minus the change in aggregate deferred tax assets and liabilities. Under this method, which focuses on the balance sheet, the amount of deferred income tax expense is determined by changes to deferred tax assets and liabilities. A common source of deferred tax liability is the difference in depreciation expense treatment by tax laws and accounting rules.

However, that liability would not be recognized for tax purposes (i.e. a “zero tax basis”), because the expense related to the product warranty would not be deductible on the income tax return until it was paid. Therefore, the expense and associated liability are recognized for financial reporting purposes before they are recognized for tax purposes. Since GAAP is based on the accrual method of accounting, an asset or liability should be recognized for these differences that have future tax consequences. The company recognizes the deferred tax liability on the differential between its accounting earnings before taxes and taxable income.

This creates a temporary positive difference between the company’s accounting earnings and taxable income, as well as a deferred tax liability. In financial accounting, a provision is an account which records a present liability of an entity. The recording of the liability in the entity’s balance sheet is matched to an appropriate expense account in the entity’s income statement.


The income statement records the revenues and expenses of the business and shows the net income or loss for the reporting period. The balance sheet shows the business’s assets, liabilities and owners’ or stockholders’ equity as of a certain date. Basically, income tax expense is the company’s calculation of how much it actually pays in taxes during a given accounting period. It usually appears on the next to last line of the income statement, right before the net income calculation.

“Income tax payable” is the actual amount that your company owes in taxes, based on the rules of the tax code. Income tax payable appears on the balance sheet as a liability until your company pays the tax bill. Another common source of deferred tax liability is an installment sale, which is the revenue recognized when a company sells its products on credit to be paid off in equal amounts in the future. Under accounting rules, the company is allowed to recognize full income from the installment sale of general merchandise, while tax laws require companies to recognize the income when installment payments are made.

The depreciation expense for long-lived assets for financial statements purposes is typically calculated using a straight-line method, while tax regulations allow companies to use an accelerated depreciation method. Since the straight-line method produces lower depreciation when compared to that of the under accelerated method, a company’s accounting income is temporarily higher than its taxable income. A deferred tax liability occurs when a business has a certain amount of income for an accounting period and that amount is different from the taxable amount on their tax return. When the amount is less than the estimated tax, an entry is placed on the balance sheet in the form of a liability.

Therefore, today I am covering some of the most important accounting entries and concepts related to income tax provision, TDS and advance tax. After the “amount owed to the government” (current tax payable) is calculated we must then determine whether any other income taxes have to be recognized for financial reporting purposes. This depends on whether there are any temporary differences between the amounts reported for tax purposes and those reported for book purposes. This deals with allocating tax expense to an appropriate year, irrespective of when it is actually paid. A company might adopt those accounting policies that management perceives will best satisfy the objectives of the financial statement users and preparers.

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are normally recorded with the offsetting entry to the P&L (deferred tax expense). A temporary difference is the difference between the asset or liability provided on the tax return (tax basis) and its carrying (book) amount in the financial statements.

This difference will result in a taxable or deductible amount in the future. For book purposes, a company would record a liability related to a product warranty.

Provisions in Accounting are an amount set aside to cover a probable future expense, or reduction in the value of an asset. On the other hand, say your company calculates its income tax expense at $10,000, but its actual tax bill is $12,000. Your company reports the expense of $10,000 and denotes $12,000 as tax payable. It adds future economic value to your company, making it an asset. “Income tax expense” is what you’ve calculated that our company owes in taxes based on standard business accounting rules.

The process for actually calculating estimated income taxes can be quite complex, and require a team of accountants. The GAAP accounting rules that dictate how a company should report its financials to investors vary from the tax accounting rules required to calculate taxable income. Deferred tax liability is a tax that is assessed or is due for the current period but has not yet been paid.

Journal Entry of Provision for Income Tax

Note that there can be one without the other – a company can have only deferred tax liability or deferred tax assets. Two common financial statements used by most businesses are the income statement and the balance sheet.