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This post addresses recording sales tax journal entries.

Sales taxes should be recognized when the underlying event takes place.

A state requires ''large'' merchants (i.e., those with sales over a specified dollar amount) to report and remit their sales taxes within fifteen days of the end of each month. It requires ''small'' merchants to report and remit their taxes within fifteen days of the end of each quarter.
In January 2012, large merchants remitted sales taxes of $400 million owing to sales of December 2011. In February 2012, they remitted $280 million of sales taxes
owing to sales of January 2012. In January small merchants remitted sales taxes of $150 million owing to sales of the fourth quarter of 2011.

1. Prepare an appropriate journal entry to indicate the impact of the transactions on the state's fund financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2011.

2. Suppose, instead, that 10 percent of the taxes received by the state were collected on behalf of a city within the state. It is the policy of the state to remit the taxes to the city 30 days after it receives them. Prepare an appropriate journal entry to indicate the impact of the transactions on the city's fund financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2011.

Solution Preview

Here is the 1st set of entries: (the small and large merchants have to be recognized separately under GASB because their remittance terms are different.)

Sales tax ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides the sales tax journal entries needed to show the impact on the state's financial statements, and shows the proper journal entry for the sales tax remittance with a 10% collection.

$2.19