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Experienced Member

Payroll issues social taxes calculating wrong

I set up our first payroll. So I tested the payroll and when i put in hours it calculated social security wrong. It is like 3 times the right amount. tried it on another employee same thing. the calculated tax is like 27%. I can't find an error.

What is going on??


QuickBooks Team

Re: Payroll issues social taxes calculating wrong

Hi there, fbmarion.


Good to see you here in the Community. I'm here to help in determining why your Social Security isn't calculating correctly.


QuickBooks calculates the taxes based on your employee's Pay Frequency, Marital Status, Allowances, and Gross Pay. If one of them is wrong, that would result in incorrect taxes in show up on their paychecks.


That being said, it would be a good idea to review your employee's payroll information and make sure they're set up correctly. The steps below will guide you on how to do it:

  1. Go to the Employees tab.
  2. Select the employee's name.
  3. In the Taxes & Exemptions section, click the Edit button. 
  4. Make the necessary changes, then hit OK.
  5. In the Pay section, click Edit.
  6. Make sure the right Pay Rate and Schedule are selected.
  7. Click OK twice.

That should do it. I'm confident that your employer and employee taxes will be correct moving forward. In the meantime, I'd recommend that you get in touch with the Online Payroll Support Team.


They can pull up your account in a safe environment and help you make the payroll corrections for your current tax liabilities. Here's how you can contact them:


Contact Intuit Online Payroll Support

  1. Click Help at the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Contact us.
  3. You'll be routed to a webpage where you can get their number if you want to call or start a chat session with our specialist.

Keep me posted with the result, I want to make sure this is taken care of. Thanks again for dropping by, I'll be standing by for your response.

Experienced Member

Re: Payroll issues social taxes calculating wrong

This is not online payroll. But i have looked at that information and it is correct. What else is the issue.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Payroll issues social taxes calculating wrong

Jumping in to share another resolution, fbmarion.


If you're using Desktop Payroll, it's possible that there's a YTD entry for  Social Security that is smaller than the correct amount. QuickBooks might be auto-correcting the calculation to make sure that the YTD amount is exactly 6.2% of the taxable amount.


Let's run a report to check what's causing the discrepancy. Here's how: 


  1. Go to the Reports menu and select Employees and Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Detail Review.
  3. Change the Report Period to This Calendar Year
  4. Look for Social Security Employee and check if there's any entry prior to the paycheck that you're creating.
  5. Look under the Amount, Calculated Amount, and Amount Difference columns.
  6. The number in the Amount column is the amount that was manually entered or edited, while the number in the Calculated Amount column is the correct one. 
  7. Double-click on the transaction to open it and edit it accordingly. 
  8. Create another test paycheck to see if the amount is correct.

You can also see this article for more possible reasons why cases like this can happen: QuickBooks Desktop Calculates Wages And/or Payroll Taxes Incorrectly


Please let me know if you have follow-up questions. I'll get back here to help you again.