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Process payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Payroll)

What we recommend

We strongly recommend that you sign up for QuickBooks Payroll to make sure that you have the most current tax tables available. In addition to providing current tax tables, QuickBooks Payroll provides additional features that take the worry out of doing your payroll.

If you prefer to process your payroll manually

  1. Set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting.

    Important: When your company file is set up for manual payroll calculations, QuickBooks inserts a "zero" amount for each payroll item associated with a tax.

    • What does this mean?

      Each pay period you must replace the "zero" amounts with the appropriate tax for each paycheck.

      Payroll tax information for the federal, state, and local agencies can change at various times throughout the tax year. To avoid penalties, be sure to consult your tax agencies often for any change.

    • What will happen in QuickBooks if I choose manual calculations?

      If you are not a QuickBooks Payroll customer, QuickBooks won't calculate your payroll taxes or provide payroll tax forms. You must manually calculate your payroll tax figures and enter them for each paycheck.

      If you want to reinstate payroll tax calculations in QuickBooks, you must sign up for QuickBooks Payroll.

  2. Set up your payroll using the Payroll Setup interview.

    Go to the Employees menu and click Payroll Setup.
  3. Go onlineContact the IRS, your state and local tax agencies, and your professional tax advisor to get the most recent payroll tax information, such as:

    • Tax tables, including mid-year tax changes that can affect your payroll

    • Wage base limits on taxes such as FUTA

    • The frequency with which you pay your payroll taxes. (The frequency can change from year to year, depending on certain conditions in your company.)

  4. Then, each pay period use the information you gather in Step 3 to calculate the current and year-to-date federal, state, and local tax information for each employee.

  5. Go to the Employees menu and click Pay Employees. On the Enter Payroll Information screen select the employees to pay, open the Paycheck Detail for each employee, and replace the "zero" amounts with the appropriate tax amounts for each paycheck.

  6. Pay your payroll tax liabilities using the tax schedules provided by the IRS and your state or local tax agency.

See also

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