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Level 1

Child Support / Wage Garnishment

How do you set up a wage garnishment / child support where you have gross wages less taxes and pre tax deductions and must leave $217.50 in the check?

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QuickBooks Team

Child Support / Wage Garnishment

I've got your back, @THD.


Let's first set up a Garnishment Deduction Item then, assigned it to your employee. Just a heads-up, make sure to create a separate payroll item for each employee. The liability agencies require a case number to distinguish how much is paid for each particular employee.


Here's how:

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then scroll down to the Payroll Item List.
  2. Click the Payroll Item button, and select New.
  3. Choose either EZ Setup or Custom Setup, and click Next
  4. Select the Deduction option, and click Next.
  5. Type a name for the payroll deduction, such as Child Support Smith for employee Bob Smith, and click Next.
  6. Enter the name of the agency in which the liability is paid then, click Next.
  7. Pick the Tax Tracking Type drop-down arrow then, click Next.
  8. From the Default Taxes window click Next.
    • In the Calculate Based on Quantity window, be sure Neither is selected, and click Next.
    • In the Gross vs. Net window, choose Net to calculate the amount after taxes. If you choose Gross, it will calculate the deduction of the amount before taxes.
  9. Enter a Default Rate and Limit (if there is one).
    • If it's a percentage, add the percentage sign.
    • If it's a dollar, add the decimal.
  10. Click Finish.

Now, you can assign each garnishment item to each employee. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Employees drop-down menu.
  2. Select the Employee Center.
  3. Double-click on the Employee's name.
  4. Choose the Payroll Info tab.
  5. From the Additions, Deductions, and Company Contributions section, click in a blank area under Item Name0.
  6. Pick your employee's new garnishments item.
  7. In the Amount column, enter the amount to be deducted every paycheck.
  8. Click OK.

Once you create a payroll check, you can generate and customize the Payroll Liabilities Balance report. It displays the payroll items assigned to the liability account, most deductions, and most company contributions.  


Know that you're always welcome to post again if you have other questions about managing your employees' payroll in QuickBooks. The Community team will always here to help. 

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