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Add a discount to an invoice or sales receipt in QuickBooks Online

Learn how to discount invoices and sales receipts.

Want to give your favorite customer a discount? You can easily discount a percentage of an invoice or sales receipt. And if you have set discounts with fixed prices, we'll also show you how to add them as a line item on your form. We’ll show you how to set up and apply discounts in QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks estimates and invoices are improving! Your workflow for estimates and invoices will look different depending on whether you have the old or the new version of estimates and invoices.

Learn more about the new estimates and invoices.

How you set up and apply discounts will vary depending on which version of estimates and invoices you have.

To see which version of estimates and invoices you have: 

  1. Select + New
  2. Select Invoice or Estimate
  3. At the top left of the form, if you see “New” by the form title, then you’re currently using the new version.

Now that you understand if you have the old or new version of estimates and invoices, here’s how to add discounts to your forms.

Step 1: Turn on the discount setting

When you turn on the discount setting, QuickBooks automatically creates a Discounts given account in your chart of accounts to track any discounts you give to customers. If you haven’t already, turn on the discount setting.

  1. Select Settings ⚙ and then Account and Settings.
  2. Select the Sales tab.
  3. In the Sales form content section, select the pencil ✏ icon.
  4. Turn on the Discount setting.
  5. Select Save and then Done.

With this setting on, the optional discount field displays in the subtotal of your sales forms, but your customer will only see it if you add the discount to the field.

Step 2: Set up and apply discounts

There are two different options for adding a discount to your sales forms. You can add a discount to the subtotal of your invoice as a percentage or dollar amount. Or, you can add a discount to your invoice as a line item where you can include a description about what the discount is for.

Here’s how to set up both options.

Add a discount to the subtotal on your sales forms

After you’ve turned on the discount setting, you’ll see the discount field on the subtotal of estimates, invoices, and sales receipts. Here’s how to apply a discount on a sales form:

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Invoice, Estimate, or Sales receipt.
  3. Fill out the fields you need like Customer, Sales Receipt date, Payment method, or Deposit to.
  4. Add your products or services in the Product/Service column.
  5. To record a discount, select Discount percent to enter the discount as a percentage. Or select Discount value to enter the discount as a specific dollar amount.
  6. Enter the percentage or amount you want to discount in the discount field.
  7. If you want to apply the discount to the total before sales tax is calculated, select the double arrow icon next to the discount field. This switches the order of the tax and discount fields. 
  8. When you're finished, select Save and send or Save and close.

Give

Add a discount as a line item on your sales forms

If you offer specific or repeating discounts, you can add a discount to your invoice, estimate, or sales receipt as a line item that includes a description. For example, if you have a Labor Day sale and offer a $50 discount, you can add that discount and description as a line item to the receipt or invoice so your customer knows what the discount is for. Note: You can only use this method for whole dollar amounts, not percentages.

Here’s how to set up and add the discount.

Step 1: Create a discount item

  1. Select Settings ⚙ and then Products and Services.
  2. Select New.
  3. Select Non-inventory or Service for the type.
  4. Enter the name “Discount” in the Name field. If you want to create multiple discount items, give each discount a unique name so they're easy to tell apart.
  5. In the Sales price/rate field, enter the discount as a negative amount. Keep in mind, this is a dollar amount and not a percentage.
  6. From the Income account dropdown menu, select the Discounts given account that QuickBooks created when you turn on the discount setting.
  7. From the Sales tax category drop-down menu, select Nontaxable.
  8. When you’re done, select Save and close.

Step 2: Add the discount item to your sales form

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Invoice, Estimate, or Sales receipt.
  3. Add your products or services in the Product/Service column. 
  4. Then, add the discount item you just created in the Product/Service column. You can adjust the discount if you need to, just make sure it's a negative amount.
  5. Fill out the rest of the form. 
  6. When you’re ready, select Save and send or Save and close.

With the new version of estimates and invoices, you can turn the discount setting on or off directly on your estimate or invoice. But, if you want to add a discount to a sales receipt, the process is a little different. Here’s how to do both.

Add a discount to the subtotal on an invoice or estimate

  1. Select the Sales or Invoicing tab.
  2. Select the Invoices or Estimates tab.
  3. Select Create invoice or Create estimate
  4. To add a discount to the invoice or estimate, select ⚙ Manage.
  5. Select Invoice settings or Estimate settings
  6. Select the Totals ▼ dropdown. Then turn on the Discount setting, which adds the discount field to your invoice or estimate. 
  7. Finish your invoice or estimate.
  8. Select Save.

Set up and add discounts to sales receipts

You can turn the discount field on or off right in your invoice or estimate, but for sales receipts, you’ll need to make sure the discount setting is turned on. If you already added a discount to an invoice or estimate, then it should already be on. But if you haven’t created any invoices or estimates, or you turned the setting off directly on an invoice or estimate, you’ll need to turn the setting on.

Step 1: Turn on the discounts setting

  1. Select Settings ⚙ and then Account and settings.
  2. Select the Sales or Invoicing tab.
  3. In the Sales form content section, select the pencil ✏ icon to edit it.
  4. Turn on the Discount setting.
  5. Select Save and then Done.

This adds the discount field to your sales receipts. Keep in mind that if you turn off the discount field on your invoices or estimates later, it turns it off again on your sales receipt too. 

Step 2: Apply a discount to a sales receipt

After you’ve turned on the discount setting, you can apply a discount as a percentage or as a dollar amount on a sales receipt. This discount is applied in the subtotal of the form.

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Sales receipt.
  3. Fill out the fields you need like Customer, Sales Receipt date, Payment method, or Deposit to.
  4. Add your products or services in the Product/Service column.
  5. To record a discount, select Discount percent to enter the discount as a percentage. Or select Discount value to enter the discount as a specific dollar amount.
  6. Enter the percentage or amount you want to discount in the discount field.
  7. If you want to apply the discount to the total before sales tax is calculated, select the arrow icon next to the discount field. This switches the order of the tax and discount fields. 
  8. When you're finished, select Save and send or Save and close.

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