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Pay and file payroll taxes and forms manually in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks3Updated May 16, 2022

Learn how to prepare and print your payroll tax payments and forms in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll so you can file them manually with the IRS and state agencies.

If you can’t e-pay or e-file, you can still prepare your Federal 941/944, 940, or state tax payments and forms in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Basic, Standard or Enhanced to send to the tax agencies. 

For some states, you can create a State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) file in QuickBooks to upload directly to the state agency website. 

If you use QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted, we pay and file your federal and state taxes for you.

Let's get started creating your tax payments and forms.

Create and print your payroll tax payment

Step 1: Set up a scheduled payment

Scheduled payments in QuickBooks help you keep track of when your payroll taxes are due so you don’t miss a payment. You can set up scheduled payments even if you can’t use e-payments in QuickBooks.

  1. Select Employees, select Payroll Taxes and Liabilities, and select Edit Payment Due Dates/Methods
  2. Select Schedule payments
  3. Select the state tax you want to schedule first, and select Edit
  4. From Payment method, select Check
  5. Enter your state account number. 
  6. Select your Payment Frequency provided to you from the state agency. 
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for each state tax. When finished, select Continue.
  8. Select the bank account you’ll use to track payments in QuickBooks, then select Edit. This should match the bank account you used to register with the IRS and state agencies. 
  9. When you’re done, select Finish

Check out this video on how to set up scheduled tax payments.

Step 2: Create and print your tax payment

For Federal tax payments, you can record the payment in QuickBooks.  You’ll send the payment electronically through the IRS web site. 

For state tax payments, you can create and print the check to send to the state agencies. 

  1. Select Employees, then Payroll Taxes and Liabilities, and select Pay Scheduled Liabilities.
  2. Select the tax you want to pay from the list, then select View/Pay. You can review the taxes and amounts due. 
  3. Select Save & Close
  4. Select Print Checks.

Prepare and print your payroll tax forms

Step 1: Pay or record all tax payments

Before you prepare your tax form, make sure you pay all taxes related to the form in QuickBooks, otherwise you’ll see amounts due on the form.  See Create your tax payment and print the check above. 

Step 2: Prepare and print or save your payroll tax form

  1. Select Employees, then Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s, and select Process Payroll Forms.
  2. Select the federal or state form you want to create from the list.
  3. Select Create Form.
  4. Select the Filing Period from the drop down, and then select OK.
  5. Complete the Interview for your form.  Fill in any sections highlighted in green and review any pre-filled info on the form.
  6. Select Next and review all pages of the form. 
  7. When finished, select Check for Errors. QuickBooks will identify any errors on the form.  You’ll need to fix these before you print and save the form.
  8. If you’re ready to print and save your form, select Save as PDF or Print for your Records.  If you need to come back to the form later, select Save and Close.

Step 3: Send the form to the tax agency

Once you’ve printed your forms, review the instructions page for where to send your tax form.  If you need additional info for state agencies, see Payroll Tax Compliance Links.

Create an SUI file

You can create an SUI file in QuickBooks in lieu of the quarterly tax form and upload it to these state agencies: 

Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont

To create a file in QuickBooks Desktop to upload to your state:

  1. Select Employees, then Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s, and select Create State SUI E-file.
  2. Select Continue twice.
  3. From the Select State drop-down list, select your state.
  4. Select Get QuickBooks Data, then select OK
  5. Correct any errors or add missing information into the file.
  6. On the Add-Ins tab, locate the QuickBooks Payroll State SUI E-file drop-down, and select Start Interview.
  7. Select the I understand that I must review my data and answer the following questions option, and select Next.
  8. Note the file name and location. This is the file you’ll send to the state. Select Next.
  9. Answer the questions and verify all info.
  10. Select Next until you reach the End of Interview window, and select Create State File.
  11. Select OK.
  12. Select Yes to save the Excel workbook for your records. This isn’t the file you’ll send to the state.
  13. Locate the file QuickBooks saved for you in Step 8 and go to your state agency web site to upload the file.

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