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Set up your payroll service in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 6 months ago

Payroll setup checklist

You'll need the following information to set up your desktop payroll. You can find the information from your previous payroll provider, in your own records, from your accountant, or from federal and provincial agencies.

Compensation and benefits

  • Types of employee benefits: Such as hourly wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and tips.
  • Types of employee compensation: Such as health and dental insurance, employee savings plans, retirement plans, and vacation/sick leave.
  • Other additions and deductions: Such as cash advances, mileage and travel reimbursements, and union dues.


  • Completed TD1 form for each employee.
  • Pay rate: Hourly, salary, commission, etc.
  • Paycheque deductions: Employee contributions to health insurance, retirement plans, or savings plans.
  • Pay schedule: Weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly and monthly.
  • Sick/vacation allowance and balance: if applicable.
  • Hire and termination dates.

Tax information

Prior payrolls

NOTE: If you've already paid employees this calendar year, you need to know the amounts to accurately calculate new paycheques and complete your tax forms.

  • For the current quarter: Payroll details from each paycheque.
  • For each prior quarter of this calendar year: Summary by employee and summary for all employees (total company payroll).
  • Year to date totals for each employee: Summary by employee
  • Year to date totals for each employee as of the last paycheque in the previous quarter: Summary by employee

Liability information

  • For the current quarter: Copies of all payroll liability cheques.
  • For each prior quarter of this year: Summary of payroll liability payments.

Entering a tax exemption for an employee in QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Select Employee Centre under the Employees menu.
  2. Select the employee you want to exempt from taxes.
  3. Select the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Select Taxes and TD1.
  5. Uncheck any boxes where the employee needs to be exempted.
  6. Select OK.

Once you've entered the tax exemption information for the employee, QuickBooks will no longer withhold taxes from their paycheques.

Note: You should consult with a tax professional to determine whether an employee is eligible for tax exemption and to ensure that you are complying with all relevant tax laws and regulations.

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