Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Income Tax Payable


Income tax payable refers to the amount of money an individual or a company owes to the government as a result of their taxable income. It is calculated based on the tax rates set forth by the jurisdiction where the income was earned. In essence, it represents a liability on the financial statements, as it is an obligation to be settled within a specified period, usually one year.


“Income Tax Payable” in phonetics (IPA) is: ˈɪnkʌm tæks ˈpeɪəbəl

Key Takeaways

  1. Income Tax Payable is a liability: Income Tax Payable represents the amount of money a company or individual owes to the government, usually based on their taxable income. It is recorded as a liability on the balance sheet, as it is a legal obligation that must be fulfilled.
  2. Calculation and determination of taxable income: To determine the Income Tax Payable, one must first calculate their taxable income, which may differ from their actual income. Taxable income is determined by applying adjustments, deductions, and exemptions as per the applicable tax laws. This results in an adjusted gross income (AGI) upon which the tax payable is calculated.
  3. Payments and due dates: The payment frequency and due dates for Income Tax Payable depend on the tax laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction. Individuals and businesses may be required to make estimated tax payments throughout the year to avoid interest and penalties. In most cases, the final Income Tax Payable amount is due at the end of the fiscal year, with any overpayment being eligible for a refund.


Income Tax Payable is a crucial term in the business/finance realm, as it signifies the amount of tax liability owed by a company or individual to government authorities within a specified period, which directly impacts their financial health. It forms an essential component of financial statements, ensuring legal compliance, maintaining transparency, and facilitating smarter decision-making for management and investors alike. Properly managing and accounting for Income Tax Payable helps an organization maintain its reputation, prevent penalties for non-compliance, and optimize financial resources for growth and stability.


Income tax payable serves a significant purpose within the realm of business and individual financial management. Essentially, it is an amount owed to the government, representing an entity’s financial obligation derived from their earnings. The fundamental objective of income tax payable is to contribute to the nation’s revenue, which in turn is utilized to fund various public services and programs, thereby contributing to the nation’s growth and development. The taxation process also aims to maintain a fair distribution of income, playing a vital role in mitigating income disparities among different socioeconomic classes. In practice, income tax payable is calculated based on a particular taxation system and often follows a progressive structure, where higher-income earners pay increased tax rates. Businesses utilize income tax payable to plan and manage their financial activities prudently. By accurately estimating their taxable liabilities, businesses can optimize cash flow, comply with tax obligations, and avoid potential penalties arising from underpayment or late payment of taxes. Furthermore, income tax payable assists investors and stakeholders in evaluating a company’s financial health and performance. A transparent and consistent taxation system aids in sustaining public trust and promotes a healthy business environment, ultimately fostering economic stability.


Income Tax Payable refers to the amount of income tax that a company or individual owes to the government authorities within a specified accounting period. Here are three real-world examples: Example 1: Small Business OwnerA small business owner operates a local restaurant. The business records a net income of $200,000 for the fiscal year. Assuming a tax rate of 25%, the income tax payable for the owner would be $50,000 ($200,000 x 0.25). The business owner needs to pay this amount to the government within the specified deadline. Example 2: FreelancerAn individual works as a freelance graphic designer and reports a taxable income of $80,000 for the year. In their tax bracket and location, the applicable tax rate is 22%. The income tax payable for the freelancer would be $17,600 ($80,000 x 0.22). The freelancer must pay this tax amount to the government by the due date. Example 3: CorporationA mid-size corporation has a taxable income of $1,500,000 for the financial year. The corporate income tax rate in the jurisdiction is 30%. Thus, the income tax payable for the corporation would be $450,000 ($1,500,000 x 0.3). The corporation must pay this tax amount to the government authorities within the specified period.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Income Tax Payable?
Income Tax Payable refers to the amount of tax liability that an individual or a business owes to the government based on their taxable income for a particular period. It is calculated using the applicable tax rates and is reported as a liability on the balance sheet until it is paid.
How does Income Tax Payable differ from Income Tax Expense?
Income Tax Expense represents the total tax payments charged on an individual’s or a business’s taxable income for a specific period, while Income Tax Payable refers to the actual outstanding amount owed to the tax authority. Income Tax Expense is recorded in the income statement, while Income Tax Payable is categorized as a liability on the balance sheet.
When is Income Tax Payable due?
The due date for Income Tax Payable varies depending on the tax jurisdiction and filing requirements of the individual or business. Usually, the tax payment deadlines are annual or quarterly, depending on the requirements set forth by the tax authorities.
How is Income Tax Payable calculated?
Income Tax Payable is calculated by multiplying the taxable income by the applicable tax rate(s). The taxable income is determined by deducting the allowable deductions, exemptions, and credits from the total income.
What happens if Income Tax Payable is not paid on time?
Failure to pay Income Tax Payable by the due date may result in penalties, interest charges, and legal actions taken by the tax authorities. It is essential to ensure timely tax payments to avoid such consequences.
Can Income Tax Payable be reduced?
Yes, Income Tax Payable can potentially be reduced by utilizing available tax deductions, exemptions, and credits provided by the tax laws. It is crucial to consult with a tax advisor or accountant to maximize tax saving opportunities available in your specific situation.
In which financial statement is Income Tax Payable reported?
Income Tax Payable is reported as a liability in the balance sheet of a business or individual. It represents the amount that is owed to the tax authorities and remains a liability until the tax obligation is paid in full.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More