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Level 1

State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Iowa now requires that W-2's are electronically filed.  I am using QuickBooks Online Essentials and only see electronic W-2 filing with the SSA.  Two questions:

 

1. Will QuickBooks update their service to include Iowa electronic filing?

 

2.  If not, is there a way to download the W-2 file in the required .txt format in order to upload to the Iowa Department of Revenue website?  I have found help topics for creating this file in Desktop version but not the Online version.

 

Thanks!

Solved
Best answer 01-14-2019

Accepted Solutions
Moderator

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Hello cjhayes83,

 

Electronic Services is offered to all QuickBooks Online Payroll users regardless of any versions. As long as it is turned on, you can e-file some of the State W-2 forms. Nonetheless, e-filing of this form won't be available.

 

For now, QuickBooks Online can only print the form in a PDF format. You can try to convert it to a .txt format using a third-party app. While we're still working on getting this e-filed directly to the state agency, we recommend sending feedback to our developers about it. Please click on the Gear icon and select Feedback.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know. Thank you! 

 

 

View solution in original post

10 Comments
Moderator

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Hello cjhayes83,

 

Electronic Services is offered to all QuickBooks Online Payroll users regardless of any versions. As long as it is turned on, you can e-file some of the State W-2 forms. Nonetheless, e-filing of this form won't be available.

 

For now, QuickBooks Online can only print the form in a PDF format. You can try to convert it to a .txt format using a third-party app. While we're still working on getting this e-filed directly to the state agency, we recommend sending feedback to our developers about it. Please click on the Gear icon and select Feedback.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know. Thank you! 

 

 

View solution in original post

Level 1

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Just another reason to NOT recommend online Quickbooks!  Not being able to create the necessary file to e-file the Iowa W-2s is negligence.  This requirement isn't a new rule, the Iowa Department of Revenue started the process of phasing it in 3 years ago!  People extra pay for the payroll system - it should provide ALL the services they need to be compliant with payroll reporting.

QuickBooks Team

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Hello, rassue.

 

We appreciate you for sharing your thoughts on how we can improve our product and services.

 

Please know that we value every feedback you provide. Since I want to make sure your suggestion to have an e-file option for Iowa W-2s in QuickBooks Online get's to our product developers, I encourage to send this product suggestion straight to them. 

 

I'll be sure to do my part in raising this concern to our Developers so this will be taken care of.

 

Also, you can submit feature requests through this link: http://feedback.qbo.intuit.com/forums/168199

 

You might want to have this article handy for future reference about Iowa Payroll Tax Compliance.


You're request will be reviewed by our dedicated engineers and you can encourage other people to vote on your feedback as well. I'm looking forward to see this feature soon on our next update.

 

Let me know if you have other questions. I'm always around in the Community to help you out.

Level 2

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Converting a Quickbooks PDF to a .txt file will NOT be accepted by the Iowa Department of Revenue. I've tried multiple ways. The only way to do this is to buy more software from someone else, which means now we're all shopping for other payroll vendors since Quickbooks doesn't support our state's idiotic new system for reporting.

Moderator

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Hi 2Xpress,

 

I appreciate you for trying to convert the W-2 PDF file into .txt. I want to help you e-file the W-2 form.

 

Since you're getting an error when trying to e-file the W-2 form, I suggest contacting your state agency. They have the resources that can help you solve the error and submit the form.

 

The complete details for Iowa payroll tax regulations can be found in this article: Iowa Payroll Tax Compliance.

 

Please let me know how it goes. I'm right here if you need any assistance. Have a good one.

Level 2

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Actually, they do *not* have anything to help except a list of other vendors.

 

The person who *DID* help was an Intuit support person. I know how to do this now, and it was all a problem of EXCEL being open when Quickbooks tried to create the state W-2 for e-filing.

 

I'm going to detail how to do this in a separate post for other Iowegians who are struggling.

Level 2

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

YOU *CAN* DO THIS THROUGH QUICKBOOKS (if you have payroll subscription and Excel software).

 

You need to be a payroll subscriber of some flavor. Assisted *not* required. I have the simple desktop payroll subscription, and it worked fine for me.

 

You need to have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer.

 

If you don't have both of those things, the following won't help you, and I don't know enough to help you further.

 

If you *do* have both of those things, CONGRATULATIONS! You can get a working .txt file to upload to the Iowa Department of Revenue web site!

 

Have the following information ready (you'll need it to complete the interview portion of the .txt file creation process):

  • Federal EIN
  • State-issued ID number (for me, it's my EIN plus a few digits)
  • BEN number (from the Iowa DOR web site login)
  • Business name (legal) and mailing address

 

(1) Make sure Excel is CLOSED. Quit. Completely. Nothing Excel sitting there open. If you don't do this, poor Quickbooks will try to do what you want it to do and fail, but it won't tell you that it failed or why it failed. And you'll get frustrated... Don't get frustrated. Quit Excel first.

(2) Go to the EMPLOYEES menu and choose "Payroll Tax Forms & W2s"

(3) From there, choose "Create State W-2 E-file." This is where, if you don't have Excel or don't have it closed, you'll run into a problem.

(4) Quickbooks will open Excel, and ask if you'll allow it to use Macros - say YES! Give it whatever permissions it wants! It will also ask you other questions (including what state this is for) - just follow the on-screen prompts and answer the questions. The last thing you'll do is "Get Quickbooks Data."

(5) Give it a few moments - it will process your W2 information into an Excel spreadsheet. Be patient.

(6) Review that spreadsheet. Make sure it's all good (if you've already filed your federal stuff, it's fine - you've already done this part, so move on).

(7) Along the top of the Excel window, there's a drop-down option for ADD-INS. Choose that.

(8) In the upper left corner, a small drop-down menu will appear that says "Quickbooks Payroll State W2" - click on the arrow next to that to open the menu.

(9) Choose START INTERVIEW.

(10) Fill in all of the information applicable to your business - it isn't much, and pretty easy. Make sure you fill in your BEN.

(11) The next screen will give you a path for your file. You can tell it to save somewhere else (it goes to your Documents folder by default), but DO NOT CHANGE THE FILENAME. This is crazy, but the filename Quickbooks assigns is *different* (slightly) than what the Iowa DOR web site directs you to do, AND IT WORKS, so don't change it!

(12) It will ask you a few more (simple) questions, and then you'll blissfully reach the END OF INTERVIEW screen. You'll click "Create W-2 File," and it will save it in the folder you chose (or the Documents folder as a default).
(13) Go to the Iowa Department of Revenue site for e-File and Pay, go in to your Withholding account, choose "W-2 Wage Statement" (under "Select a report to submit") and follow the directions from there.

 

GOOD LUCK! This worked for me. I really and truly hope this helps at least one other Iowan who has been struggling to get this done!

 

Level 2

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

YOU *CAN* DO THIS THROUGH QUICKBOOKS (if you have payroll subscription and Excel software).

 

You need to be a payroll subscriber of some flavor. Assisted *not* required. I have the simple desktop payroll subscription, and it worked fine for me.

 

You need to have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer.

 

If you don't have both of those things, the following won't help you, and I don't know enough to help you further.

 

If you *do* have both of those things, CONGRATULATIONS! You can get a working .txt file to upload to the Iowa Department of Revenue web site!

 

Have the following information ready (you'll need it to complete the interview portion of the .txt file creation process):

  • Federal EIN
  • State-issued ID number (for me, it's my EIN plus a few digits)
  • BEN number (from the Iowa DOR web site login)
  • Business name (legal) and mailing address

 

(1) Make sure Excel is CLOSED. Quit. Completely. Nothing Excel sitting there open. If you don't do this, poor Quickbooks will try to do what you want it to do and fail, but it won't tell you that it failed or why it failed. And you'll get frustrated... Don't get frustrated. Quit Excel first.

(2) Go to the EMPLOYEES menu and choose "Payroll Tax Forms & W2s"

(3) From there, choose "Create State W-2 E-file." This is where, if you don't have Excel or don't have it closed, you'll run into a problem.

(4) Quickbooks will open Excel, and ask if you'll allow it to use Macros - say YES! Give it whatever permissions it wants! It will also ask you other questions (including what state this is for) - just follow the on-screen prompts and answer the questions. The last thing you'll do is "Get Quickbooks Data."

(5) Give it a few moments - it will process your W2 information into an Excel spreadsheet. Be patient.

(6) Review that spreadsheet. Make sure it's all good (if you've already filed your federal stuff, it's fine - you've already done this part, so move on).

(7) Along the top of the Excel window, there's a drop-down option for ADD-INS. Choose that.

(8) In the upper left corner, a small drop-down menu will appear that says "Quickbooks Payroll State W2" - click on the arrow next to that to open the menu.

(9) Choose START INTERVIEW.

(10) Fill in all of the information applicable to your business - it isn't much, and pretty easy. Make sure you fill in your BEN.

(11) The next screen will give you a path for your file. You can tell it to save somewhere else (it goes to your Documents folder by default), but DO NOT CHANGE THE FILENAME. This is crazy, but the filename Quickbooks assigns is *different* (slightly) than what the Iowa DOR web site directs you to do, AND IT WORKS, so don't change it!

(12) It will ask you a few more (simple) questions, and then you'll blissfully reach the END OF INTERVIEW screen. You'll click "Create W-2 File," and it will save it in the folder you chose (or the Documents folder as a default).
(13) Go to the Iowa Department of Revenue site for e-File and Pay, go in to your Withholding account, choose "W-2 Wage Statement" (under "Select a report to submit") and follow the directions from there.

 

GOOD LUCK! This worked for me. I really and truly hope this helps at least one other Iowan who has been struggling to get this done!

QuickBooks Team

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Hi there, @2Xpress.


Thank you for providing the steps that work for you. Other users who might have the same problem will definitely find this solution helpful.


We really appreciate your efforts sharing it here.

 

Should you need anything else, don’t hesitate to let us know. The Community is here to help. Wishing you and your business continued success!

Moderator

Re: State of Iowa electronic reporting of W-2

Thanks for joining this thread, @2Xpress.

 

I appreciate you sharing the steps you've done to get this working.

 

Posting your experience here in the Community will help other customers to use this as an additional solution if they get the same issue.

 

Thanks for being a part of our QuickBooks family. Don't hesitate to post again or leave a comment below should you have any other concerns. Cheers!

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