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Level 1

Manually Calculate Payroll Taxes



I have a Canadian version QuickBooks Desktop 2019. Can I setup my Company File to do Manual  Payroll Tax Calculations (without a subscription to QuickBooks)? I'm not living in Canada or USA, and I want to use the Payroll Option, but without the Payroll Subscription. I have a US version of QuickBooks where I am able to do the Payroll Tax Calculation Manually, but for the Canadian version I'm not able to do so.


Please help me with this issue.

3 Comments 3
QuickBooks Team

Manually Calculate Payroll Taxes

Hello DB26,


Thanks for being a part of the QuickBooks family in so many ways! It sounds like you might be helping a few businesses manage their books, and when you're using various regional versions of the program, it's important to familiarize yourself with the feature differences between them. I'll let you know how you can enter payroll using Canadian QuickBooks Desktop without a payroll subscription.


With the Canadian version of QuickBooks Desktop, entering payroll without a payroll subscription means doing calculations outside of the program and then entering those transactions in QuickBooks. We have a great in-product article that goes through the steps of this process, which you can bring up by following these steps.

  1. Select Help in the top menu and choose QuickBooks Desktop Help (or press F1 as a shortcut).
  2. Click the Help tab.
  3. Choose Search.
  4. Enter keywords such as "manual payroll" into the search bar and hit enter.
  5. Click the article Process payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll).

That should get you on your way with this process. Please note that unlike the US version, the Canadian version of QuickBooks Desktop cannot do calculations in the program without a payroll subscription. You can use tools such as the CRA Payroll Deductions Online Calculator to assist with making sure your numbers are accurate before entering them into your books. An accountant or payroll professional would also be a great asset in this case. If you don't have an accountant, QuickBooks can help you find one with the Find an Accountant feature on our website.


Feel free to leave us your thoughts and comments about manual payroll for QuickBooks Desktop Canada by following these steps in your Canadian program.

  1. Click Help.
  2. Choose Send Feedback Online.

Feedback submitted through that feature goes to our product development team. It's a great way to share what we can do to enhance what QuickBooks can do for your business.


Let me know if you have more questions about that. I'm here to help make sure you're on the right path.

Level 1

Manually Calculate Payroll Taxes

I just got off the phone with a representative that said that you can not enter manually payroll. When I do these instructions I still can not access any previous payroll or anything that I have done in the past that I have paid for.  Why would you lock us out of even viewing our payroll in case of an audit or not let us manually enter it.  I am looking into a new provider after 28 years of using quick books as you lock me into paying for a subscription when I don’t want one. 

QuickBooks Team

Manually Calculate Payroll Taxes

Hi there TaraR27,


I absolutely appreciate how important it is to have a program that meets your needs and has the features you'd like to use. I'm glad you were able to have a conversation with support, and I'd like to clarify the instructions I gave in my original response as well as what happens to your payroll when you cancel a payroll subscription for QuickBooks Desktop.


The steps I highlighted last time for finding the Process payroll manually (without a subscription to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll) article in product should bring you to a document that lets you know how you can enter payroll transactions using an alternative method. In this case, it wouldn't be using the payroll service simply without a subscription, but rather it means manually setting up accounts, creating cheques, and other such tasks. With these steps, you can still track payroll information. The calculations and process for entering the transactions into the books would just be manual in this instance.


At QuickBooks, we know having your payroll information as a part of your books is vital. Although you lose access to the Payroll Centre and payroll reports when cancelling a payroll subscription, the transaction records are still available for you in your books through the chart of accounts in the payroll accounts and if you search through cheque transactions using a feature like the Cheque register. That way, you can ensure your books are still balancing and you have access to that past data in case of audit or for any other reason you might need them, such as filing year-end forms.


The subscription to the Payroll add-on gives you the built-in structure to create pay runs and follow payroll details through reporting more easily, but there are alternative methods for recording these transactions that don't jeopardize the integrity of your books.


If you have more questions about that, I'd be happy to go into more detail about finding the transactions. Overall, I encourage you to make the best decision for your business moving forward with this.


Wishing you the best!

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