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Negative numbers are not allowed on W-2 forms

If QuickBooks warns you that negative numbers appear in one of the boxes on a Form W-2, there must be an error in the calculations, usually due to how your payroll was set up.


  1. Note the number of the box(es) in the error message.

  2. Click the Help about this form link at the bottom of the Form W-2 to learn more about the data in the box(es) and possible troubleshooting options.

    If you still need more help:

  3. Run a payroll item listing report and review the tax tracking type associated with the payroll item(s) that feed into the box.

Possible causes and solutions

If this is the cause

This is the solution

Incorrect tax tracking type assigned to the payroll item

Edit the payroll item and change the tax tracking type.

Calculated total for a box resulted in a negative amount

  1. Run a payroll item detail report.

  2. Enter a payroll liability adjustment to fix the problem.

11/24/2017 4:54:28 AM
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