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Community Leader

Payroll Filing and Deadlines

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Payroll tax filing deadlines are just around the corner, and the following is a slightly edited transcript of our recent Twitter Spaces chat about quarterly payroll forms and what you can expect from your QuickBooks Payroll subscription when it comes to handling these filings and payments.

You can follow our QBCares Twitter account to learn about the next Twitter Spaces event, or just keep up with all things QuickBooks.

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The form we are focusing on today is Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. You’ll need to file this form if you paid wages subject to employment taxes with the IRS for each quarter by the last day of the month that follows the end of the quarter. In this case, the taxes will be related to the January through March quarter, and the upcoming due date is April 30th. Employers use Form 941 to report income taxes, Social Security tax, or Medicare tax withheld from employee's paychecks. They also use this form to pay the employer's portion of Social Security or Medicare tax.

With this form coming due soon, it’s important to understand what steps you need to take, or what steps Intuit handles on your behalf, when it comes to filing.

With QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, and Elite, your account default will be to have your payroll taxes automatically filed for you. If you want to double check that your account is set for automatic filing, or if you would like to turn automatic filing off, you can check the Automate Taxes and Forms checkbox by going to settings and choosing the Payroll settings tab. QuickBooks Desktop Assisted Payroll will also default to automatic filing. However, QuickBooks Desktop Enhanced Payroll does require that you handle your filing manually.

You may be wondering, aside from the 941 Form, what other taxes are handled automatically?

After you’ve completed your payroll setup, the automatic filing process is applicable to almost all federal, state and local payroll taxes. The one exception to this rule being that the local taxes aren't automated in QuickBooks Online Payroll Core. If having local taxes handled automatically is an important feature, then it may be worth learning about the options for upgrading your payroll service from the Core subscription.

For customers who are using a manual filing system, those individuals who opt into the manual filing route will still get reminders and to-do events in their account that will help them stay on top of the upcoming deadlines. When they follow these to-do notifications, they’ll receive step-by-step instructions that will walk them through the process of filing and paying their quarterly taxes.

If a tax payment or form filing is made outside of QuickBooks and directly through the IRS or States website, the filing can be archived/saved. The payment can still be recorded in QuickBooks by going to Taxes, Payroll Tax, then locating the payment notification under Payments and marking it as Paid. For processing updates, or to track the external electronic payment or form filing, they'll need to log back into the IRS or States website directly.

While having automatic payments turned on definitely helps to eliminate any extra steps, QuickBooks still keeps the manual filing process very simple and streamlined. I also want to point out that, aside from the month of January, you can opt out of the automatic filing process at any time.

When you go to file, there is a way that you can double check the tax payment amount that QuickBooks shows is due - you can confirm the amount of taxes in a payroll details report using your tax liability period as the date range. To do this, you can:

Select Reports, then scroll down to Payroll.
Select Payroll Details.
On the date range, select Custom.
Enter the dates to match your liability period.
Once you’ve run the report, you can review it to make sure all paychecks are there, and confirm each employee and employer tax amounts.


And once the filing process is complete, you can someone view the status of the filing, or access the filed version of the form in the Payroll Tax Center. The expected day that the filed forms will be available is typically a few days after the filing occurs. For the upcoming April 30th deadline, the forms should be available in the Payroll Tax Center by May 5th.

To check the status of e-filed forms, you can go to the Taxes section, then choose the Payroll Tax option. Here you should see Payments and be able to select Tax Payment History. From there you will see the status showing as one of four options. Not transmitted means that it has been submitted but not yet transmitted to the receiving agency. Transmitted means it has been passed on to the receiving agency, but they have yet to process the form. And after the transmission stage is complete, the status will change to either Accepted or Rejected, depending on the receiving agency’s response to the form.

It’s definitely important to be on top of the tax deadlines, even if you have your filings handled automatically, as you’ll always want to make sure your information is accurate and your bank account has enough funds available to cover the tax payments. I know we’ve been focused on the upcoming 941 filing, but you may be wondering what are the other dates that payroll managers should keep in mind in regards to tax filing deadlines?

The main dates that should be kept in mind when it comes to tax filings are the Quarterly deadlines for the 941 form, which are April 30th, July 31st, October 31st, and January 31st of the next year. There are also the annual payroll tax forms. Form 944, 940, W-2s and W-3s are all due on January 31st of the following year, and the Annual Reconciliation Report is due on February 28th of the following year.

It is important to ensure the funds to cover your payroll taxes are available when you submit the payment. The IRS directly withdraws the funds from your bank account on the payment date. However, for state payments, processing times may vary state to state. For most states, you must approve e-payments by 5 pm PT, two banking days before the payment date. Others require approval three or five banking days before the payment date, so make sure to check directly with your state’s requirements when planning your payments.

Next, we will walk you through the process of deleting tax payments.
Typically, this won’t be necessary, but if you end up needing to delete a tax payment, there are a few things to keep in mind.

You can usually delete the payment IF:
The tax payment is manually recorded OR the electronic payment has not been processed yet.

However, you can't delete a payment if:
The tax payment is in process or already processed electronically, the form along with the payment was already transmitted or accepted by the agency, or if the payment was rejected due to insufficient funds.

As far as timing goes, you can delete Federal tax payment two business days prior to the payment date, before 5 pm PST. States have different lead times for processing tax payments. Some states may take up to five business days so, if this is the case for your state, you’d need to delete the payment five business days prior to the payment date, before 5 pm PST.

If you handle your taxes manually, then you may be able to delete the payment yourself, but the steps will vary depending on the product you use. Any payments related to automatic filings will need to be handled by our team directly.

And finally, to wrap us up, let's talk a bit about rejected payments and tax notices.

If your payment is rejected, or if you receive a tax notice, there’s no need to panic. For a payment rejection regarding a filing handled by Intuit, you’ll want to reach out to us so that we can take a look at what’s going on and help you get lined out for the next steps.

If you receive a tax notice, you’ll want to first evaluate what kind of notice it is. Notices for other business taxes, such as sales tax, corporate income tax, and franchise tax, should be directed to your accountant or tax advisor. QuickBooks Payroll handles IRS forms 941, 944, 940, W-2, state unemployment insurance, state withholding tax, and local withholding taxes where applicable, so if the notice is regarding one of these forms and is related to the timeline in which Intuit has been handling your Payroll, then you’ll want to send us your tax notice. Once received and verified, we will provide the required proof of payment, filing, or correction on your behalf.


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