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Manage sales tax payments

Learn how to record, adjust and delete sales tax payments in the Sales Tax Center.

There's a lot you can do in the Sales Tax Center.

  • View a report about your sales tax liability.
  • Record, edit or delete your sales tax payments.
  • Adjust your accounting basis (cash or accrual).
  • View your sales tax owed by either month, quarter, or year.

In this article, we'll explain how to view, change, and delete sales tax payments from within the Sales Tax Center, view reports, and troubleshoot common issues.

Note: If you don't see the features mentioned below, you may be using the Auto Sales Tax feature. Check out Set up and use Automated Sales Tax for more information.

View, record, adjust or delete your sales tax payments

  1. From the left menu, select Taxes.
  2. Select View Report. (Note: The report shows each agency, the taxable amount of sales, and the tax owed.)

  1. From the left menu, select Taxes.
  2. Under Recent Sales Tax Payments, choose View All. (Note: You'll be taken to a transaction report that lists all your sales tax payments. You can adjust the date range or select Customize to further narrow this report for your needs.)

To record a tax payment, follow these steps.

  1. From the left menu, select Taxes.
  2. Select the tax agency you're recording the payment for in the Sales Tax Owed list.
  3. Choose Record Tax Payment at the bottom of the list.
  4. Enter the following specific information:
    • The bank account you're making the payment from.
    • The payment date.
    • The ending date for the tax period.
    • The amount of the tax you're paying.
    • To make an adjustment to the amount, select Make Adjustment and enter information about the adjustment.
    • Any notes about the payment you want to make.
  5. If you don't need to print the sales tax check, select Record Tax Payment.
  6. If you need to print a check for the payment, check "Print a Check"and choose Record Payment and Print Check. This sends the check to your Print Checks queue where you can then select the check and print it.

Make an Adjustment

The Make Adjustment Option is used to decrease or increase the amount of Sales Tax owed. For example: credits, discounts, fines, interest, penalties, and corrections for rounding errors all count as adjustments.

When entering the Adjustment, you'll need to fill in:

  • The dollar amount — either positive or negative.
  • A reason for the adjustment (optional).
  • The account used to categorize the adjustment. However, don't use the Sales Tax Payable account. The adjustment won't post correctly. Instead, use the following:
    • Credit or need to apply a discount: Choose an income account, such as Other Income.
    • Fine, penalty, or interest due: Choose an expense account.
    • Rounding error: Choose an income account for negative errors, or an expense account for positive ones.
Note: Any questions about your Sales Tax situation should be directed to your accountant or tax agency.


  1. From the left menu, select Taxes.
  2. Under Recent Sales Tax Payments, highlight the payment in question.
  3. Select Delete Payment.
  4. Select Yes on the confirmation screen.

Things to know

  • After a successful deletion this page doesn't refresh.
  • Don't try to delete the payment again as this will display an error message saying that it cannot be deleted because it’s already deleted!
  • To confirm that the payment has been successfully deleted, exit and then return to the Sales Tax Center.

Troubleshooting Sales Tax Payment Issues

Error messages

  • An error occurs while deleting the transaction: "We're sorry, we can't delete filed tax right now. Please try again later."
  • 'We're sorry, we can't deactivate the sales tax you selected. Please try again later. Contact support if waiting and trying again doesn't resolve the issue."

These issue are caused by either the books being closed for the period the transaction is dated. Or it happens when the Sales Tax Payment has been matched to a banking transaction.

To resolve:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙️.
  2. Under Your Company, select Account Settings.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Select the pencil icon.
  5. Uncheck the box Close the books.
  6. Select Save and then Done.
  7. If the transaction was not matched to a banking download, attempt to delete the tax payment again.

Error: The transaction was matched to a banking download

To resolve: 

  1. From the left menu, select Banking then Banking.
  2. Select the account that was used to pay for the sales tax payment.
  3. Select the In QuickBooks tab, then find the transaction with the correct date and amount for the payment.
  4. Once the matched payment has been found, select Undo on the right.
  5. Attempt to delete the tax payment again.

Error message
"This sales tax was recorded in the old sales tax system. Write a check to record a payment for this sales tax. Payments recorded via Write Check will not appear in the recent sales tax payments table below."

Resolve the issue

  1. Edit each transaction that is part of "Original Sales Tax Payable" amount.
  2. For each transaction you'll need to:
    1. Remove the current sales tax Line item
    2. Select the replacing sales tax item at the bottom of the invoice
    3. Select Save.

    3. Once transactions are re-associated the customer needs to do a journal entry to move the liability from the new current sales tax liability to the original sales tax liability account.

Things to know

  • If you've been using QuickBooks Online and paying sales tax using an earlier method: You may need to record sales tax payments using both the earlier method and the Sales Tax Center for a time.
  • For existing transactions using the earlier sales tax method: Record sales tax payments as you have in the past (using Write Check, for example). You can record sales tax payments in the Sales Tax Center for new transactions that charge the new rates you set up.

More information

On-demand assistance.

Set up a live video appointment or message your QuickBooks-certified bookkeeper whenever you need help with sales tax payments. Learn more about QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.

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