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Intuit
15 helpful votes

Pay A Bonus On Separate Paychecks In QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

In QuickBooks Desktop, you can pay a bonus to an employee on a separate paycheck.

By including the bonus on a separate paycheck:

  • The bonus will be on a separate paycheck without the regular wages included.
  • Additional fees may apply if you have Direct Deposit or Assisted Payroll service.
  • You can use the Enter net/Calculate gross feature of the paycheck to gross-up the paycheck. See Gross up a paycheck for more information on grossing up.
  • Regular deductions (retirement, health insurance, child support) may apply to the bonus amount. Consult your tax/financial advisor or the plan advisor for information about these deferrals on bonus paychecks.

QuickBooks Desktop will calculate withholding taxes according to the Filing Status and Allowances in the Employee Profile. You must consider the taxability of bonuses. The net pay on a bonus check can drastically change based upon the selection and disbursal of taxes. For options on changing the tax disbursal on the bonus, see Create a bonus paycheck.

If you do not have a bonus payroll item created, see How do I set up a payroll item for a bonus?

To create a separate bonus paycheck:

  1. Select Employees on the top menu bar. Choose Pay Employees.
  2. Select Unscheduled Payroll from the list.
  3. Check mark the name of employee(s) you want to create a bonus check, then select the Open Paycheck Detail button.
  4. In the Earnings box of the Preview Paycheck window, select in the Item Name column to get a drop-down menu, select a bonus item. Reminder: All earnings items and information besides the bonus item should be removed from the paycheck detail as needed.
  5. In the Rate column, enter the gross amount of the bonus.
  6. Adjust federal and/or state withholding taxes as needed.
  7. Select Save and Close or Save and Next to continue creating additional bonus paychecks.

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