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Enter federal Form W-4 in QuickBooks Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks12133Updated January 22, 2024

Learn about the federal W-4 forms, how to print a blank W-4 form from QuickBooks for your employees if needed, and how to add or change the info in your employee profiles.

There are two versions of the federal W-4 form: the 2020 and later, and before 2020. It’s important for you to have your employees fill out a W-4 and enter the info in QuickBooks.  The W-4 is a vital part of the Federal Income Tax calculations on your employees’ paychecks. 

Note: Some changes to the 2020 and later form can impact your employee’s Federal Withholding on paychecks.  It can also impact the amount of their refund or taxes owed when filing their personal tax return. Get more info

Important info about filling out a W-4 

  • Your employees can use either of the federal W-4 form: 2020 or newer, or before 2020.  
  • All of your employees should fill out a W-4.  Per IRS guidelines, if you don't receive a completed W-4 from an employee, withhold their tax as if they’re single.
  • If your employee switches to the 2020 or later W-4 form, they’ll likely notice a difference in Federal Withholding on their paychecks. And, the amount of tax owed or refunded when they file their personal tax return. Get more info.
  • If your employee needs help understanding the W-4, or needs guidance for their tax situation. They should speak with a tax advisor or financial planner.  Intuit and employers legally can’t provide W-4 advice.
Note: Not sure which payroll service you have? Here's how to find your payroll service.

There are two options on how to add your employee’s W-4 in QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Option 1: Invite your employees to enter their own W-4 info

If QuickBooks Workforce is turned on, you can invite your new employees to enter their own W-4 info.

If your existing employees need to change their choices on their W-4, they can edit it through QuickBooks Workforce and it will upload a new W-4.

Option 2: Enter your employee’s W-4 in QuickBooks

Step 1: Print a W-4 form

You have 2 ways to Print a W-4, first, you can print a blank one:

  1. Go to Payroll, then Employees.
  2. Select your employee.
  3. From Tax withholding, select Edit.
  4. Under Federal withholding, select the link Need a blank W-4 form, then print the form.
    The federal withholding window where you click Need a blank W-4 form.

You can also print a W-4 pre-filled with the info in your employee's profile

  1. Go to Taxes, then select Payroll tax (Take me there).
  2. In the Payroll Tax Center, select Filings.
  3. Scroll down to the Filing Resources section, and select All filing resources.
  4. Select Setup forms.
  5. Select Employee.
  6. Under the Employee dropdown▼, choose the employee's name.
  7. Select W-4.
  8. Select View, then print the form.

Step 2: Have your employee fill out the W-4 form

Your employees should fill out a W-4 form when you hire them, or when they have changes in their tax status. 

Step 3: Enter your employee’s W-4 info in QuickBooks

  1. Go to Payroll, then Employees (Take me there).
  2. Select your employee.
  3. From Tax withholding, select Edit.
  4. In the Federal Withholding section, fill in the applicable info from your employee’s W-4.  If they claim exempt on their W-4, in the Filing Status dropdown▼, select Exempt.
  5. When finished, select Save.

Step 1: Print a blank W-4 form

  1. Go to Employees, and then select Employee Forms.
  2. Choose the appropriate W-4 for your employee. You can select either Federal W-4 2019 and Prior or Federal W-4 2020 and Later.
  3. A PDF file will open, select File, then Print.

Step 2: Have your employee fill out the W-4 form

Your employees should fill out a W-4 form when you hire them, or when they have changes in their tax status. 

Step 3: Enter your employee’s W-4 info in QuickBooks

  1. Go to Employees, then Employee Center.
  2. Select the name of the employee. 
  3. Select Payroll Info, then Taxes.
  4. On the Federal tab, in the W-4 Form ▼ dropdown, select the applicable form.
  5. Enter the employee's W-4 info.  If they claim exempt on their W-4, in the Filing Status dropdown▼, select Exempt
  6. Select OK to save.

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