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Why is my previous QuickBooks GST/HST ‘File Sales Tax’ journal entry incorrect?

ISSUE: the journal entry that QuickBooks automatically creates when filing sales tax is not entered correctly. The most common problem is missing tax items. You may also see missing information on the memo line, and you may even see the tax items switched around.

This happened to one of my clients this week. He noticed an ‘unassigned tax amount’ when attempting to ‘file sales tax.’ He clicked on the amount and it took him back the journal entry that QuickBooks had created for the previous sales tax filing. We then started to uncover some strange errors…

Here’s a screenshot of what a normal FILE SALES TAX journal entry should look like:

Correct JE for File Sales Tax

And here are two screenshots of the incorrect FILE SALES TAX journal entries discovered in my client’s file:

Incorrect JEIncorrect JE #2This is a known issue. QuickBooks senior tech support tells me it’s essentially random. It started with the 2012 R12 update and the 2013 R4 update. It’s considered a critical issue with moderate severity and high impact. The engineers are working on completely removing this issue. 

SOLUTION: Go back to the incorrect journal entries that QuickBooks created and manually correct them. Review previous, current, and future tax filings carefully.

My advice until Intuit works on eliminating this potential problem is to keep current with your updates and CHECK YOUR ‘FILE SALE TAX’ WINDOW CAREFULLY BEFORE FILING! Watch out for unassigned tax amounts. If you have any, drill down on the amount. If you end up in a previous ‘File Sales Tax’ journal entry, and you spot something wrong, you’ve likely encountered the ‘File Sales Tax’ bug! You will need to correct the journal entry by entering the correct tax items. If you discover information missing from the memo line, correct that as well. You can refer to previous filings for missing information.

NOTE: these errors carry over to the next sales tax return. If you discover more than just the last “File Sales Tax’ journal entry incorrect, your previous filings with the CRA could have errors.

Other tips for spotting errors in the File Sales Tax window: Manually multiply line 101 by the tax rate in your province for a ballpark figure of what line 103 should be. Drill down on line 103. Look for a balance leading into the period. This will be zero if you have not made changes to your sales after your last filing. Drill down on line 106. Again, look for a balance leading into the quarter. This will also be zero if you haven’t made any changes to your purchases after your last filing.

Be careful when troubleshooting your sales tax, and always make a backup of your file before making any changes.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve run into this particular bug!

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