Need to make changes or updates to your accounts or subscriptions? Visit the Account Management Page
QuickBooks HelpQuickBooksHelpIntuit

QuickBooks Payroll Services and Features for QuickBooks Desktop

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Desktop Payroll85Updated 1 year ago


A QuickBooks Payroll Service is a subscription you activate to enable the payroll features in your QuickBooks Desktop Software. Depending on the features you need, you can choose from Basic, Enhanced or Assisted Payroll.

QuickBooks Payroll service does not work with QuickBooks Mac. Mac users use Intuit Online Payroll as their payroll add-on. As a standalone software, Intuit Online Payroll only exports transactions to QuickBooks Desktop and Quickbooks Online (without Quickbooks Online Payroll).

Note: The payroll service described in this article is intended for QuickBooks Desktop (QuickBooks Pro/Premier or Enterprise) users.

What is a QuickBooks Desktop Software?

A QuickBooks Desktop Software (Pro/Premier or Enterprise Solutions) is an accounting or financial software that you install on your desktop.  This is where you do your invoicing, bookkeeping, and billing all in one place. You can easily track sales and expenses, accept payments, scan receipts, and be ready for tax time.

If you choose not to subscribe to any of the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Services, you can set up payroll without a subscription. QuickBooks Desktop won't calculate your payroll taxes or provide payroll tax forms. You must manually calculate your payroll tax figures and enter them for each paycheck. You may use our free online Paycheck Calculator.


What payroll service do I have?

To know more about your payroll subscription details (type, renewal date, and price), see Manage your QuickBooks Desktop subscriptions and services.

QuickBooks Payroll Service Comparison Table

For QuickBooks Desktop

Payroll Services FeaturesBasicStandardEnhancedEnhanced for AccountantsAssisted
Payroll Updates1
Create Paychecks2
Direct Deposit for Employees3
Direct Deposit for 1099 Contractors4
Federal Forms6
State Forms7
E-File and E-Pay8
Intuit Workers' Comp Payment Service9
Intuit files and pays taxes for you
No penalties guaranteed10
E-mail subscription for critical notices
Free expert support11
After-the-fact payroll12
Create tax forms for clients on Standard or Basic Payroll13
Client ready payroll reports 14
Filing as a Reporting Agent 15
Auto-Fill option for Paid Preparer information 16

Note: The Standard Payroll Service is no longer available. Existing subscribers to the service will still be supported.

Is there a limit to the number of employees that I can add to QuickBooks?

The payroll subscriptions offer no limit on the number of employees that you can add to QuickBooks. However, some subscriptions may charge additional fees.

  • Basic - $2.00/ employee per month
  • Standard - no charge for adding employees
  • Enhanced - $2.00/ employee per month
  • Enhanced for Accountants - no charge for adding employees
  • Assisted - $2.00/ employee per payroll

Note: Though there is no limit to the number of employees that you can add, QuickBooks is designed to handle small businesses. You may start experiencing performance issues if you have added 800 or more employees.

QuickBooks Payroll Service Features

1Payroll Updates

These payroll updates have the most current and accurate rates and calculations for supported state and federal tax tables, payroll tax forms, and e-file and pay options. See also Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about QuickBooks payroll updates

2Create Paychecks

Create paychecks with automatic tax calculations. Print and hand them over to your employees. Note: Nominal usage fee may apply.

3Direct Deposit for Employees

You have the option to deposit your employee's payroll directly to your employee's checking or savings bank account. Note: Nominal per-transaction and per-payroll transmission fees may apply. See Direct Deposit requirements, signup, and activation

4Direct Deposit for 1099 Contractors

Direct Deposit for 1099 Contractors provides QuickBooks payroll customers the ability to send direct deposits to 1099 Independent Contractors. Note: Nominal per-check fee may apply. See Sign up and set up Direct Deposit for Independent Contractors


QuickBooks Workforce is a website ( that makes it easy for employers to give employees 24/7 online access to their own paycheck info. No more printing and mailing pay stubs every payday or replacing lost or damaged pay stubs. Employees can simply sign in to their QuickBooks Workforce account and see any current or prior pay stubs. .

6Federal Forms

With Quickbooks Payroll Standard and Enhanced Payroll, QuickBooks Desktop automatically fills in the latest W-2, 94x Forms, 1099/1096 Form and other Federal Forms. With just a few clicks, you can print the forms in QuickBooks Desktop and mail to the appropriate federal agencies.  With Quickbooks Desktop Payroll Assisted, Intuit files and pays the taxes for you.

7State Forms

With Enhanced Payroll, QuickBooks Desktop automatically fills in the latest State Tax Forms. QuickBooks Desktop will guide you in processing the forms and help you stay in compliance with your State regulations. With Assisted Payroll, Intuit files and pays the taxes for you.

8E-file and E-pay

You can set the filing method of your Federal and State forms to E-file. Instead of printing and mailing the forms, send them electronically to the appropriate agencies in QuickBooks Desktop. Also, you can set the payment method for your scheduled Federal and State tax payments to E-Pay, and conveniently pay the appropriate tax agencies in QuickBooks Desktop. This is available in Quickbooks Payroll Enhanced and to selected states only.

See also:

With Assisted Payroll, Intuit files and pays the taxes for you.

9Intuit Workers' Comp Payment Service

You estimate nothing; you pre-pay nothing. By coupling your workers' comp and payroll systems, Workers' Compensation Payment Service automatically pays your Workers' Comp premiums every pay period based on your actual payroll data. You never pay too much, too little, or a late fee for forgetting to send a payment.

Note: Worker's Compensation manual setup or feature in QuickBooks is available only to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced/Enhanced for Accountants and Assisted subscribers.

10No tax penalties guaranteed

No Penalties Guaranteed with Quickbooks Desktop Payroll Assisted: if the data you provide is accurate, on time, and your account is sufficiently funded, your payroll tax deposits and filings will be on time and accurate or we'll pay the resulting payroll tax penalty.

11Free expert support

Intuit provides the following resources to support you in running your payroll, paying your taxes and filling your forms:

Also, Intuit provides free expert support to current subscribers of the Intuit Payroll Services.

12After-the-fact payroll

QuickBooks Desktop After-the-fact payroll lets accountants efficiently enter, verify and adjust after-the fact paychecks all from a single spreadsheet-style screen.

13Create tax forms for clients on Standard or Basic payroll

Produce federal and state tax forms for clients with Basic or Standard Payroll subscriptions. See Create tax forms for Quickbooks Payroll Standard or Basic customers using Quickbooks Payroll Enhanced for accountants.

14Client ready payroll reports

Client-ready reports enable accountants to easily provide professional-looking paper records of each payroll run and to analyze a client's payroll costs at the end of financial reporting periods (month, quarter, and year).

15Filing as a Reporting Agent

QuickBooks Desktop offers the capability to file Federal forms as an authorized e-file Provider.

16Auto-Fill option for Paid Preparer information

Setup QuickBooks Desktop to automatically fill in the federal forms with the Paid Preparer's information.


Related Articles

QuickBooks Payroll for Mac
Selecting the payroll that works with your QuickBooks product
Update billing information for your QuickBooks Payroll subscription

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
QuickBooks Payroll AssistedQuickBooks Payroll BasicQuickBooks Payroll EnhancedQuickBooks Payroll Standard

Sign in for the best experience

Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of QuickBooks users.

More like this