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Level 1

W2- Box 1 and 16 calculation issues

We have one employee with long term calculation issues when it comes to Payroll.  In early 2018, we discovered it was taking his Oregon withholding and doubling it, even though it was setup just once in his Payroll record.  I remedied this by (if memory serves me correctly), having to remove his withholding info, save his record, then re-enter all that info.


We run reports and reconcile monthly, and also quarterly.  What I didn't know until running his W2 for 2018, is that for payroll checks ran January -May of 2018, it took his Wage Base for each check and doubled it.  This is not visible in his payroll history nor in any reports we routinely use.  I found this by running the Payroll Summary report for 2018 and drilling down into the transaction data.


So, for his 2018 W2, his box 16 is $21,810.82 higher than box 1.  This is the sum of the duplicate Wage base for the first 9 payroll checks of 2018.


I don't know what's causing this to just one employee out of 50, nor how to remedy it.

4 Comments 4
QuickBooks Team

W2- Box 1 and 16 calculation issues

Thanks for joining the QuickBooks Community, lbacutting.

I appreciate the details provided since it gives a quick overview on what happened to your payroll. I’m here to clarify why the amount in Box 16 of your W-2 is higher than Box 1.

This can happen if the tax tracking types on your deductions/additions are incorrect. The category used on your items determines how they will affect your taxes and forms.

You’ll have to review the deductions and check the tax type. Let me walk you through the steps.

Here’s how:


  1. Go to List at the top menu bar.
  2. Select Payroll Item List.
  3. Open the deduction you’re working on.
  4. Right-click your mouse and select Edit Payroll Item.
  5. Click on Next twice.
  6. On the Tax tracking type window, check if you’re using the correct type.
  7. If it’s incorrect, select the appropriate classification that matches your plan type
  8. Click on Next.
  9. Review the tax setup, then click on Next until you reach the Finish button.

However, if you’re unsure which tax tracking type to use for each deduction item, I suggest consulting with your accountant or tax advisor for recommendations.

To give more insights about this, check out the following articles:



If you have any clarifications about payroll, leave me a comment or mention my name. I’m always ready to answer them. Wishing you the best.


lba cutting
Level 2

W2- Box 1 and 16 calculation issues

It turned out to be that particular employee's record was corrupt.  Quickbooks support logged on remote and ran some testing, which produced three error codes, so they rebuilt and fixed our data.

lba cutting
Level 2

W2- Box 1 and 16 calculation issues

It turned out to be corrupted data.  Quickbooks logged on remotely, tested and found three error codes, so fixed it for us.  Then, we made an adjustment to his earnings record, retro'd to 2018.


W2- Box 1 and 16 calculation issues

Hi there, lba cutting.


I appreciate you for reaching back to us and letting us know about the result here in the Community.


I'm glad to know that the Verify/Rebuild data feature helps you with the corrupted employee records in QuickBooks Desktop. By posting a response about what works for you, other users will be able to try the troubleshooting.


Please be sure to let me know if you need any assistance in the future. The Community is always available to help.

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