What is Taxation in Accounting? A Simple Guide for Beginners

What is Taxation in Accounting? A Simple Guide for Beginners


Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Qusai Ahmad

Introduction to What is Taxation in Accounting?

Taxation in Accounting is the process of imposing and collecting taxes from individuals, businesses, or other entities by the government or its authorized agencies. Taxes are compulsory payments that fund public services, such as education, health care, defense, infrastructure, and social welfare.

In accounting, taxation is a crucial topic that impacts the financial statements, cash flows, and profitability of an entity. Accounting for taxation involves recording, measuring, reporting, and disclosing the tax consequences of transactions and events during business operations.

There are various types of taxes an entity may be subject to, including income tax, sales tax, value-added tax, property tax, payroll tax, excise tax, customs duty, etc. Each type of tax has its own rules, rates, and regulations, varying by jurisdiction, industry, and the nature of the entity.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on the most common and significant type of tax for most entities: income tax. Income tax is levied on the net income or profit of an entity for a given period, usually a year, and can be categorized into corporate income tax and personal income tax.

Corporate Income Tax

Corporate income tax is imposed on the income of a corporation, a legal entity separate from its owners. The tax rate and base may differ depending on the jurisdiction. Corporate income tax accounting involves calculating current and deferred tax liabilities and assets, reporting them in the balance sheet and income statement.

Key steps in corporate income tax accounting:

  1. Determine taxable income and current tax expense/benefit for the period using applicable tax laws and rates.
  2. Identify temporary differences between carrying amounts and tax bases of assets/liabilities, and tax losses/credits.
  3. Measure deferred tax liabilities/assets for each temporary difference or tax loss/credit.
  4. Recognize current and deferred tax liabilities/assets in the balance sheet and income statement.

Personal Income Tax

Personal income tax is imposed on an individual’s income from various sources. Individuals are generally subject to tax on worldwide income, with rates and bases varying based on filing status, income level, type of income, and eligible deductions/credits. Personal income tax accounting involves calculating taxable income and tax liability or refund, reporting them in tax returns and financial statements.

Key steps in personal income tax accounting:

  1. Determine gross income from all sources and classify into different categories.
  2. Identify allowed/available deductions and credits, calculating their amounts.
  3. Compute taxable income and tax liability or refund using applicable tax tables, schedules, and forms.
  4. Prepare and file the tax return with the tax authority, paying the balance due or receiving the refund.
  5. Recognize the tax liability or refund in the financial statements, if applicable, and disclose significant accounting policies and estimates used.


Taxation is a complex and dynamic subject with a significant impact on the financial and economic activities of individuals and businesses. Accounting for taxation requires a thorough understanding of tax laws, regulations, accounting standards, and principles. By following best practices and guidelines in taxation and accounting, one can ensure compliance, accuracy, and transparency in tax affairs and financial statements.

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