Difference between accounting and tax accounting.

There are 2 main types of financial and economic accounting - accounting and tax. What is their specificity?

What is accounting?

Under this term in Russia it is customary to understand:

  • preparation of documents that reflect information about the finances and other economic resources of the organization in the manner prescribed by the provisions of the Federal Law No. 402;
  • formation on the basis of relevant sources of financial statements.

Work in the indicated areas is carried out in order to reflect the real financial performance of the firm, analyze the effectiveness of its business model.

The practical application of accounting data can be the broadest. For example, a bank considering an organization's application for a corporate loan is likely to be interested in its accounting records. An investor investing in the authorized capital of a company or intending to do so will also first of all look at the relevant documents. A firm owner evaluating the performance of his hired managers will primarily examine his company's accounting records.

In most cases, the accounting of income in accounting is carried out on an accrual basis - that is, in the period when the company has the right to receive them (even if financial settlements with counterparties have not been completed by that time).

Only legal entities should maintain accounting records in the Russian Federation. Individual entrepreneurs and citizens are not required to perform this work. In addition, there are separate accounting rules for commercial and budget organizations.

It can be noted that in accounting there is no classification of enterprise costs into direct and indirect. Such a division, in principle, is not very informative from the point of view of the reflection in the reporting documents of information about the financial position of the company.

What is tax accounting?

Under tax accounting in Russia is meant the preparation of documents that are provided by the company in accordance with the established schedule to the Federal Tax Service. These sources are needed by the Federal Tax Service in order to control whether the company complies with the requirements of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation in terms of transferring the necessary payments to the budget.

Consequently, tax reporting is prepared primarily by virtue of the requirements of the law. However, information from the relevant documents can be useful both to the same bank that is considering an application for a corporate loan, and to an investor or owner of a company who is evaluating the effectiveness of an enterprise's business model for their own purposes. Data from tax accounting are thus able to complement those presented in the framework of accounting.

The fixation of income in tax accounting is often carried out not only on an accrual basis, but also on a cash basis - when the revenue is recognized as received after the financial settlements of the company with the counterparty are made.

Tax accounting in the Russian Federation should be kept not only by legal entities, but also by individual entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. At the same time, employers, who in this case perform the function of tax agents, can submit reporting to the Federal Tax Service for individuals who are not engaged in business. The jurisdiction of the provisions of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation applies to all types of organizations - budgetary, commercial.

In tax accounting, in contrast to accounting, it is assumed the classification of enterprise costs into direct and indirect. This is necessary to determine the firm's eligibility to offset costs by reducing the tax base. For direct and indirect costs, the points of this calculation are different. As a rule, organizations are interested in offsetting the costs in the same accounting period in which the income was received - this allows you to reduce the tax base.


The main difference between accounting and tax is the purpose of compilation. In the first case, the work on the formation of reporting is carried out so that the management of the company or stakeholders have the opportunity to assess the financial condition of the company. Tax accounting, in turn, is needed to submit the relevant documents to the Federal Tax Service, which monitors companies' compliance with the requirements of tax legislation.

The goals of compiling accounting and tax accounting predetermine the remaining differences between them, which we have fixed above, related to the recognition of income, classification of expenses, features of legislative regulation of accounting, types of reporting entities, etc.

Having studied what the difference between accounting and tax accounting can be traced most clearly, we will fix its key criteria in the table.


Accounting Tax accounting
Regulated by the provisions of the Federal Law No. 402Regulated by the provisions of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation
Conducted only by legal entitiesConducted by legal entities, individual entrepreneurs, citizens
Conducted in different ways by budgetary and commercial organizations, based on different legal actsConducted by budgetary and commercial organizations on the basis of the same legislative norms prescribed in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation
Compiled for the purpose of generating data sources on the financial condition of the companyCompiled in order to provide the FTS with documents confirming that the company has complied with the requirements of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation
Allows the determination of income only by the accrual methodAllows the determination of income not only by the accrual method, but also by the cash method
Assignment of expenses for direct and indirectIn cases provided for by law, requires the company that prepares the reporting, the division of income into direct and indirect