How to Use a Subtotal Item on Sales Forms-QuickBooks


  • The Subtotal Item is used on Sales Forms (Invoices, Sales Receipts and Estimates), to total all items above it, up to the last subtotal.
  • To create a new Subtotal type item go to Lists > Item List. In the Item List, click on the item button at the bottom left hand corner and select New from the drop down list to open a new item setup window.
  • There is not much of information required to be filled, when setting up a Subtotal type of item. Once new item setup window is open, the very first option is to select the Type of the item you want to setup.
  • Choose Subtotal as type to setup a Subtotal item. The next field is for the name of the item you are setting up and it is labelled as Item Name/Number.
  • Enter the description of the item, click on OK button to save the changes and your new item is ready to be used.


A Subtotal item can be used for the following situations



  • For example, if your sales form includes different types of items such as products and services, group items of similar types together on the form and then add the Subtotal item under each group.
  • This is a great way to summarize the charges for your customers.
  • In the screenshot mentioned below, I have used Subtotal item to get a total of the computer parts and training items separately.


Apply Discounts:-

Because QuickBooks calculates percentages only on the line above, you must subtotal the items before entering a Discount item that calculates on a percentage basis. In the screenshot mentioned below I have used a Subtotal item to apply 10% discount on multiple items together.
Apply Discounts Pic

Apply different Sales Tax Rates:-

  • If different items have different sales tax rates, use the Subtotal item for each group of items with similar sales tax rates.
  • Just like with the Discount item, the Sales Tax Item, when placed under the subtotal, will always apply the appropriate Sales Tax to the group of items above the Subtotal.
  • In the example mentioned below I have two different tax rates to charge to my customer for Sales Tax, for training items 2% and for Laptop 7.5%.

Apply different Sales Tax Rates

Add up multiple Subtotals:-

If you use more than one Subtotal in a sales form, add an additional Subtotal Item which will add up all the previous Subtotals. Mentioned below is the screenshot of an invoice on which I have used Subtotal item to total certain type of items and then used an additional Subtotal item which added up all the previous subtotals.
Add up multiple Subtotals

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