How to Add a Discount Item to the Item List in QuickBooks 2012

By Stephen L. Nelson

A discount item subtracts either a fixed amount or a percentage from a subtotal. To set up a discount item in QuickBooks 2012, display the New Item window. Next, select the Discount entry from the Type drop-down list. When you do, QuickBooks displays the Discount version of the New Item window.


To set up your discount item, enter a name or abbreviation for the discount into the Item Name/Number box. If the discount item is a subitem, select the Subitem Of check box and then identify the parent item by using the Subitem Of text box.

Typically, you describe the discount by using the Description box. Enter the amount of the discount into the Amount or % box as either a dollar amount or as a percentage. If you do enter the discount as a percentage, be sure to include the percentage symbol. Use the Account drop-down list to specify which account gets debited for the discount.

Finally, use the Tax Code drop-down list to indicate whether the discount is applied before sales tax. (In other words, indicate whether the discount is subject to sales tax.)

If you set up a discount item that calculates the discount as a percentage, you probably also need a subtotal item. Then, on your invoices, follow the subtotal item with the discount item. In this manner, you can easily calculate the discount percentage by looking at the subtotal amount.