Difference between tax and accounting profit.

There are two most important financial indicators of an enterprise's economic activity - tax and accounting profit. What are their features?

Facts about tax profit

Under tax profit it is customary to understand the difference between income and expenses, which forms the taxable base - if the company applies such systems for calculating fees as, for example, the STS on the scheme "income minus expenses" or OCH. All those financial indicators that are subject to taxation constitute tax profit.

It may differ, in particular, from economic profit, which is the difference between actual income and expenses, reduced in some cases by the amount of opportunity costs.

It can be noted that in cases where the company's expenses exceed revenues (and, accordingly, the tax cannot be calculated based on the results of commercial activities), the financial specialists of the organization record a negative tax profit, or tax loss.

Facts about accounting profit

Under accounting profit is understood the difference between income and expenses, determined in accordance with accounting methods, which are usually fixed by law. Most often, such methods mean the exclusion from the calculation of those incomes and expenses that are not documented. The same opportunity costs (taken into account, as we noted above, when determining economic profit) can be attributed to them.

As a rule, when calculating accounting profit, the main expenses are recognized:

  • costs on production lines;
  • costs associated with the purchase of raw materials and supplies;
  • interest costs;
  • marketing costs of manufactured products.


The main difference between tax and accounting profit is in the methodology and purposes of their calculation. The actual value of both can be the same. Tax profit is determined according to the criteria that are fixed in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and are applied in order to calculate the correct amount of fees that must be paid by the company to the budget. Accounting profit is calculated in accordance with the accounting rules based on documented transactions. In both cases, the opportunity cost of the company is not taken into account.

In principle, there are many more similarities than differences between tax and accounting profits. They can be calculated on the basis of the same documents - invoices, statements, acts, etc. Accounting profit, like tax profit, is negative.

It should be noted that under some taxation systems, accounting profit can be calculated, but there is no need to determine the tax profit, since the amount of fees that a company must pay to the budget is determined based on other criteria. This is possible if, for example, the company pays taxes according to the STS “income” scheme, UTII or the patent taxation system.

These schemes for making settlements with the state do not imply accounting for expenses, and in the case of a patent and UTII, the amount of income is also irrelevant. But accounting profit, as well as economic profit, in firms operating under the STS “income”, UTII or PSN, can be calculated - especially if the company is obliged to maintain accounting records by law, and also report to investors.

Having determined what is the difference between tax and accounting profit, let us fix the conclusions in the table.


Tax profit Accounting profit
What do they have in common?
May be the same in size
Do not imply taking into account opportunity costs - in contrast to economic profit
Can be calculated on the basis of the same documents
What is the difference between them?
Calculated in order to determine the taxable base of the enterprise according to the criteria of the Tax Code of the Russian FederationCalculated in order to comply with the requirements of the legislation in the field of accounting or at the request of the investor
Determined only under those taxation systems in which the tax is calculated taking into account income and expensesCalculated under any taxation systems