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Are sales discounts reported as an expense?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Sales Discounts

Sales discounts are also known as cash discounts or early payment discounts. Sales discounts (along with sales returns and allowances) are deducted from gross sales to arrive at the company’s net sales. Hence, the general ledger account Sales Discounts is a contra revenue account. Sales discounts are not reported as an expense.

Example of Sales Discounts

A company offers its business customer sales discounts of 1/10, net 30. For the recent year, the company had gross sales of $510,000 and had sales discounts of $4,000 and sales returns and allowance of $5,000. As a result, the company reported net sales of $501,000.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

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