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Write a bonus check

bonus checks

Unscheduled Payroll

Use Unscheduled Payroll to give your employees occasional bonuses that aren't part of their regular paychecks. What does this mean?

  • If you're paying a bonus at each pay period as an earning item, include the bonus payroll item in the regular paycheck. Set up a bonus payroll item in the employee's paycheck or set up a bonus wage item in the Employee record.

  • If you give bonuses occasionally at your discretion for special occasions (for example, at the end of the year), use the following procedure to create a bonus check for this special circumstance using Unscheduled Payroll (otherwise the bonus payroll item will keep appearing in the employee's regular paychecks).

Note: If you haven't set up payroll schedules, the Unscheduled Payroll button appears as Pay Employees. You can click Pay Employees to run regular paychecks if you don't want to use payroll schedules.

To do this task

Open the window and select the employees to pay

  1. Open the Enter Payroll Information for Unscheduled Payroll window.

  2. Select the employee you're giving the bonus to.

Enter Payroll Information

  1. Clear any earnings or benefits for the checked employee by clicking in each field that has a rate or number and pressing the Backspace or Delete key.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If there's a Bonus payroll item column and it is editable (not grayed out) for the employee, type the bonus amount in the field.

    • If there isn't a Bonus payroll item column or it is grayed out for the employee, click the employee's name or click Open Paycheck Detailto open the Preview Paycheck window for the first selected employee. Click Save & Next to go through the stack. Add the bonus payroll item in the employee's paycheck.

  3. Calculate the federal and state withholding amounts, and enter them manually.

    1. In the Employee Summary section, place your cursor in the Amount column in the same row as the Federal Withholding Item Name and clear the amount.

    2. Type the bonus amount, press the * key on your keyboard, type the tax rate percentage decimal, and then press the = key on your keyboard. QuickBooks calculates the amount that should be withheld.

    3. Follow the same steps for the State Withholding amount.

    Important: QuickBooks calculates tax withholdings at the rate you specified when you set up the employee record and does not calculate withholdings for supplemental wages, such as an employee bonus. For information about the latest federal withholding requirements and rates for supplemental wages, Go onlinecontact the IRS or refer to the Go onlineIRS Publication 15 (Circular E). For information about your state withholding requirements and rates for supplemental wages, contact your state agency.

  4. Click the employee's name or click Open Paycheck Detail to open the Preview Paycheck window for the first checked employee. Click Save & Next to go through the stack. Click to check the Do not accrue sick/vac checkbox.

  5. If you want to give the employee the entire bonus amount, click to check the Enter net/Calculate gross checkbox.

    Although QuickBooks calculates and deducts the appropriate taxes, checking Enter net/Calculate gross allows you to give employees the entire bonus amount as their net pay. This feature is available only to subscribers of the QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll service.

  6. Click Save & Close to close the Preview Paycheck window.

  7. Make sure that the information that appears in the Payroll Information section is accurate.

  8. Click Continue.

    Note: Alternatively, you can click Finish Later if you haven't completed all your changes and need to come back to finish paychecks later. Any changes you have made to selected paychecks are saved. You can resume work on them by selecting the Unscheduled Payroll button. If you don't complete creating an employee's saved paycheck before the next scheduled payroll in which the employee appears, the saved paycheck appears in the scheduled payroll.

Review the paycheck summary and create paychecks

  1. Review the information in the Review and Create Paychecks window.

  2. Click Create Paychecks.

Print and distribute paychecks

The Confirmation and Next Steps window opens from where you can complete your payroll run.

Note: If you need to print paychecks and pay stubs at later time, after the window closes, you can do so from within QuickBooks. How?

Assisted Payroll only: You can also send your payroll information at a later time (as long as you send it two business days before the paycheck date), after the window closes.

Go to the File menu and then click Send Forms. Using the Select Forms to Send window.

See also

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