Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Level 2

Switching from a Simple IRA to a 401K

My company has had a Simple IRA for years, but starting in January we switched to a 401K.
When I was looking at my W2 for my taxes this year, I realized it has an "S" in box 12a, and that I probably need to change something in my system to reflect that it is now a 401K.
Should I just change the tax tracking type of the IRA that's already set up? Or should I set up new payroll items? Or is there something else I should do?
And how do I change what's already been taken out of our paychecks for this year?

3 Comments 3

Switching from a Simple IRA to a 401K

I’m here to help and provide information to ensure the new retirement benefit reflect in your W2 form, Joan.

Since you’ve switched from Simple IRA to 401(k), you’ll want to update your payroll deduction item in QuickBooks. This way, correct details will reflect in your W2 forms.

You can set up a new item for 401(k). I’m glad to show you the steps.


  1. Go to the Lists menu, then choose Payroll Item List.
  2. Click New in the Payroll Item dropdown.
  3. Select Custom Setup and press Next.
  4. Select Deduction and click Next.
  5. Enter a name (401K), then Next.
  6. Select the liability account and tax tracking type.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Once done, add the new retirement item to your employees’ records. You can use this guide for complete instructions: Set up a payroll item for retirement benefits (401(K), Simple IRA, etc.). It contains related articles to learn more and ensure items are calculated on paychecks accurately.  

You can contact our payroll support to help you change your previous paychecks. Our representatives have enough tools to modify your transactions to ensure everything’s correct.

I’ve added these resources in case you need to edit your items and employees’ information in payroll:


If you have any other concerns or questions about payroll, please don’t hold back to add a comment. I’ll be here to help. Take care always!

Level 2

Switching from a Simple IRA to a 401K

Thanks,  I have set up my new payroll items for the 401K.

Unfortunately, I have already done some paychecks using the old SimpleIRA payroll item.  Can I leave this, or do I need to go back and change the paychecks so that they use the new 401K items?


Switching from a Simple IRA to a 401K

Thanks for keeping us updated, joannelj.


You'll have to edit the paycheck you've created since January and then replace the Simple IRA with the correct payroll item. This is the ensure that the data in your payroll reports are accurate. Here's how:


  1. Go to the Employees menu.
  2. Choose Payroll Center.
  3. Select the appropriate payroll from the Recent Payrolls section.
  4. Open the paycheck, and then click the Paycheck Detail button.
  5. Make the necessary changes.
  6. Click OK, then choose Yes to confirm the action.

Additionally, here's an article that you can read to help manage and track your payroll transactions in QuickBooks Desktop: Customize payroll and employee reports.


If there's anything else that I can help you with, please don't hesitate to visit the Community again. Have a good one.

Need to get in touch?

Contact us