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Accounting Profit vs. Taxable Profit: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 5, 2023
"Accounting Profit" is the net income calculated using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), while "Taxable Profit" is the income on which tax liability is determined.

Key Differences

"Accounting Profit" is the surplus remaining after deducting all explicit costs from a company's total revenue. This profit is determined according to the principles, guidelines, and rules set by accounting standards such as GAAP. On the other hand, "Taxable Profit" is the profit amount upon which an entity is required to pay tax. It's calculated by adjusting the accounting profit based on tax laws and regulations.
One primary distinction between "Accounting Profit" and "Taxable Profit" lies in the type of expenses deducted. While the former takes into account only explicit costs (like wages, rent, and materials), the latter may consider additional deductions and adjustments permissible under tax laws, which might not be recognized under standard accounting rules.
Another key difference is their purposes. "Accounting Profit" is usually reported to provide a clear picture of a company's financial health to shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders. In contrast, "Taxable Profit" is specifically used to determine a company's tax liability. It ensures that businesses pay their fair share of taxes according to the income they generate.
It's crucial for businesses to differentiate between these two profit calculations. While "Accounting Profit" serves as a barometer for a company's operational performance, "Taxable Profit" dictates its tax obligations. Both are integral to a firm's financial strategy, but each serves its distinct role.

Comparison Chart


Net income as per accounting standards.
Income on which tax is calculated.

Basis of Calculation

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Tax regulations and codes.

Deductions Included

Only explicit costs like wages, rent, materials.
All permissible deductions under tax laws, including some not in GAAP.


Reflect the company's financial health to stakeholders.
Determine the company's tax liability.


Follows accounting standards.
Incorporates specific adjustments as per tax laws.

Accounting Profit and Taxable Profit Definitions

Accounting Profit

Net income after deducting explicit costs.
The company's Accounting Profit showed a significant increase from the previous year.

Taxable Profit

Adjusted accounting profit for tax purposes.
Legal changes led to a revision in the firm's Taxable Profit calculations.

Accounting Profit

Earnings reflected in financial statements.
Investors scrutinize the Accounting Profit to gauge a company's performance.

Taxable Profit

The base for determining tax liability.
Efficient financial planning can influence a company's Taxable Profit.

Accounting Profit

Financial performance indicator for shareholders.
The annual report highlighted a robust Accounting Profit, attracting potential investors.

Taxable Profit

Income amount on which tax is calculated.
The company's Taxable Profit was lower this year due to additional tax deductions.

Accounting Profit

The difference between total revenue and explicit expenses.
Rising material costs affected the company's Accounting Profit margins.

Taxable Profit

Earnings adjusted as per tax regulations.
Eligible R&D credits significantly reduced the company's Taxable Profit.

Accounting Profit

Surplus calculated using GAAP.
Despite high sales, the firm's Accounting Profit was moderate due to increased expenses.

Taxable Profit

Profit after considering tax-specific deductions.
By investing in tax-saving instruments, the firm managed to optimize its Taxable Profit.


Can "Taxable Profit" be lower than "Accounting Profit"?

Yes, "Taxable Profit" can be lower if there are additional tax deductions not considered in "Accounting Profit."

Why might "Taxable Profit" be adjusted?

"Taxable Profit" is adjusted based on specific tax regulations and permissible deductions.

Which profit considers only explicit costs?

"Accounting Profit" considers only explicit costs.

What is the primary use of "Accounting Profit"?

"Accounting Profit" is used to depict a company's financial health to its stakeholders.

Can a loss in "Accounting Profit" result in a positive "Taxable Profit"?

Yes, due to tax-specific adjustments, a company might still have a positive "Taxable Profit" despite an "Accounting Profit" loss.

Which profit reflects operational performance?

"Accounting Profit" reflects the company's operational performance.

Is "Taxable Profit" always publicly disclosed?

Not necessarily. While tax liabilities are disclosed, detailed "Taxable Profit" calculations might remain confidential.

Is "Accounting Profit" always reported to shareholders?

Generally, "Accounting Profit" is reported to shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders.

What purpose does "Taxable Profit" serve?

"Taxable Profit" is used to determine a company's tax liability.

Is "Accounting Profit" the same as net income?

Generally, "Accounting Profit" is synonymous with net income in financial statements.

How often is "Taxable Profit" calculated?

Typically, "Taxable Profit" is calculated annually, but it might vary based on jurisdiction.

Are depreciation methods the same for both profits?

Not necessarily. Tax codes might dictate different depreciation methods than GAAP for "Taxable Profit."

Can a company have a positive "Accounting Profit" but no "Taxable Profit"?

Yes, due to various tax adjustments, a company might have no "Taxable Profit" even with positive "Accounting Profit."

Which profit might be influenced by international operations?

Both can be, but "Taxable Profit" might see more adjustments due to international tax laws.

Do companies aim for a higher "Accounting Profit"?

Yes, a higher "Accounting Profit" usually indicates better financial health and performance.

Can a company operate with a consistent negative "Accounting Profit"?

While possible, prolonged negative "Accounting Profit" can indicate financial distress.

What's the primary distinction between "Accounting Profit" and "Taxable Profit"?

"Accounting Profit" portrays financial performance, while "Taxable Profit" dictates tax obligations.

Is "Accounting Profit" affected by tax rates?

No, "Accounting Profit" is determined before considering tax rates.

Does "Taxable Profit" always lead to a tax payment?

Not always. "Taxable Profit" determines potential liability, but credits or carry-forwards can offset owed amounts.

How can a company legally reduce its "Taxable Profit"?

Through tax planning, deductions, credits, and taking advantage of tax incentives.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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