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Level 3

Payroll tax reporting

I'm using QuickBooks Enterprise 2018 Nonprofit.  My company uses QuickBooks to file and pay payroll taxes to the state and federal government (i.e., the amounts are automatically deducted from our bank account and remitted to the tax authority).


I've noticed that when we run our payroll, the amount of payroll tax that is remitted differs from the amount we accrue.  To put it another way, the Payroll Transaction shows one amount, and the Liability Check (the payment to, for example, the US Treasury) shows a different amount.  I would like to understand better what drives these differences.


I can see how the Payroll Transaction is calculated because the journal has a line for each employee and each type of tax, and I can go back to the Employee Center and recalculate these items.  But I have no idea how to see the Liability Check amount in any greater detail than by Payroll Item, and I have no idea how the amounts have been calculated.


I assume that most companies reconcile the amounts they record as payroll tax expense to the amounts they pay to each authority.  Can someone please show me how to run the necessary reports to do this in QuickBooks?

3 Comments 3

Payroll tax reporting

Hello there, ajm01998,


You can run the Payroll Detail Review to check the payroll journal.

  1. Click Reports on the menu.
  2. Select Employees & Payroll, then Payroll Detail Review.

Then, let's track the incorrect calculation by pulling up a payroll item detail report.:

  1. Go to Reports menu and select Employees & Payroll.
  2. Choose Payroll Liability Balances.
  3. Click the Customize Report tab at the top of the report.
  4. Click the Filters tab.
  5. Select Payroll Item from the list of filters.
  6. Click the Payroll Item drop-down list and choose This Calendar Year.
  7. On the report, double-click an amount to display a list of all transactions that affect the amount.
  8. If you find that your liabilities are not correct, you can adjust them.

Here's how to adjust your liability balance:

  1. Go to the Employees menu, choose Payroll Taxes and Liabilities, and then click Adjust Payroll Liabilities.
  2. In the Date field, enter the date for which you are making the adjustment.
  3. In the Effective Date field, enter the date that you want this adjustment to affect your liability balance.

Keep me posted if you have any other QuickBooks concerns. I'll be here to help.

Level 3

Payroll tax reporting

Thank you for the quick reply, I appreciate your help and the information you shared.


A couple of comments:


1. This Calendar Year is not an option to select from the Payroll Item drop-down list, so I was not able to perform that step in running the report.  Nevertheless, I think the unfiltered report had the same information that I need for this purpose.


2. I have not yet tried to adjust the liability balance (only one user can access payroll/employee information at a time, and another employee is doing something), but I feel like an important piece of information is missing.  Namely, why is it that the amount remitted (and I'm guessing the payroll tax return filed with the IRS) does not match the payroll journal?  We submitted the payroll to QuickBooks, shouldn't the system generate a payroll transaction and a payment transaction that are consistent with each other?  Or if they are not consistent with each other, shouldn't there be a clear trail to identify the nature of the differences (e.g., which employees were different, how the calculations differed, etc.) in addition to the amount of the differences?

QuickBooks Team

Payroll tax reporting

Thank you for following up with us, @ajm01998.


I love to check this further and review your payroll transactions. But for the security of your account and information, I would suggest reaching out to our QuickBooks Desktop Support. This way, a representative can look into payroll entries and check the differences. If necessary, they can also help you with any adjustments.


To contact support:


  1. Open QuickBooks.
  2. Go to Help, then select QuickBooks Desktop Help.
  3. Select Contact Us.
  4. Give a brief description of your issue, then select Let's talk.
  5. Choose a way to connect with support.


For more resources, while processing payroll in QuickBooks Desktop, I recommend checking out the topics from this link: Help on common payroll topics.


Please let me know if you need further assistance with this. I've got your back and am always happy to help. Thanks for reaching out, wishing you and your business all the best.

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