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Intuit

Set up and pay scheduled or custom (unscheduled) liabilities

Learn how to set up payroll liabilities, set reminders, and pay scheduled or custom unscheduled liabilities in QuickBooks Desktop.

In QuickBooks Desktop, you can set up a scheduled payment or liability, set reminder notices, and then pay it as it’s due. You can also set up and pay an unscheduled liability anytime. Here’s how.

Notes:

  • You need to be using the latest QuickBooks Desktop release.
  • Make sure you have the latest payroll tax table.
  • You need to be in Single-user Mode.
  • You can set up a schedule for payroll liabilities that are calculated on your employees' paychecks and are regularly paid in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • For QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted Service, Intuit debits and pays your payroll tax liabilities directly to the agencies. For taxes paid by Intuit on your behalf, see Assisted Quick Tax Guide. Note that Intuit doesn't pay your liabilities for employee benefits.

Set up reminder notices

You can set up calendar notices to ensure you are reminded of upcoming payroll tax and liability payments. You have two options:

Option 1: Add a reminder to your calendar.

  1. Go to the Employee Center, then select the Payroll tab.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. Check the liabilities you want to add reminders for (you can select multiple items).
  4. Select theSet payment reminder dropdown, and then select Add Reminder to Calendar.
  5. Select OK to add the displayed reminders to your calendar.
  6. A list of calendar apps will be displayed, select the desired calendar app.
  7. Edit the reminder notice as desired and select Save.

Option 2: Export reminder in the calendar file

  1. Go to the Employee Center , then select the Payroll tab.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. Check the liabilities you want to add reminders for (you can select multiple items).
  4. From the Set payment reminder dropdown, select Export Reminder in Calendar File.
  5. Select OK on the notice to download.
  6. Select where you want to save the download and choose Save.
  7. Locate the downloaded file and right-click to open.
  8. Choose Open with and select the desired app.
  9. Edit the reminder notice as desired and select Save.

Before you can pay your payroll taxes and other liabilities, you need to have a payee name associated with each liability. Usually the payees are tax agencies, but they can also be a bank or an insurance company.

To assign a payee name:

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Payroll Item List.
  2. Double-click the payroll item.
  3. Select Next until you reach the Agency for company-paid liability window.
  4. From the Enter name of agency to which liability is paid drop-down, choose the agency (payee).
  5. Select Finish.

If you need to assign a payee name to additional liabilities, repeat steps 2 to 5.

E-pay is available for certain agencies in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced. See E-pay your tax liability payments in QuickBooks Desktop to know how to e-pay your payroll tax liabilities.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. Under Other Activities, select Change Payment Method.
  4. Go to Schedule payments, then select the tax liability you want to edit or schedule a payment for.
  5. Select Edit, then enter the information.
  6. For QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced users:
    • If the payment frequency option you need isn’t available in the drop-down list, select the Let me use a different payment frequency checkbox. Select Next, then set up a custom payment schedule.
    • The IRS doesn't offer a weekly liability payment schedule. If you're required to make a payment several days after running payroll, the IRS considers it a semiweekly basis. Choose After Each Payroll from the Payment frequency drop-down to set it up.
  7. Select Finish, then Finish Later.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. Under Other Activities, select Change Payment Method.
  4. Go to Benefit & Other payment, select Schedule Payments, then select the other liability you want to edit or schedule a payment for.
  5. Select Edit, then enter the information and the payment frequency. Note: you may want to check with each provider to see if they have a standard payment frequency.

Once you’ve finished setting up your liability schedule, you can now see all your upcoming, due, and overdue liabilities. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.

Note: If you're using QuickBooks Desktop 2018 or later, a reminder will appear on the home screen under Pay Liabilities.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. In the Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities section, mark the liabilities you want to pay, then select View/Pay. (Note: If you select multiple payroll items, the items paid to the same agency are combined into one liability check. Items paid to separate agencies produce multiple liability checks. Make sure the check amount and item list under Payroll Liabilities are accurate.)
  4. Make sure the date and amounts are correct. Select Print if you want to print the check. If you used a different payment method, leave this clear.
    Note: Liabilities are accrued on the date the paycheck is issued, not on the pay period of the check.
  5. Go to the Expenses tab if you want to enter expenses/penalties on the liability check.
  6. From the Account field drop-down, select the expense account you use to track payroll expenses and penalties, then enter the amount in the Amount column.
  7. Select Recalculate. Make sure the amount on the liability check now includes the expense or penalty.
  8. Select To be printed if you want to print the check. If you used a handwritten check, enter the check number or other reference in the NO. field. If you pay liabilities by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), clear the To Be Printed checkbox and type EFT in the No. field of the liability check.
  9. Select Save & Next or Save & Close.
  10. You’ll see your Payroll Liability Payment Summary and can then review the payments you scheduled, print a copy of the summary, and print checks.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. Under Other Activities, select Create Custom Payments.
  4. In the Select Date Range for Liabilities window, select a date range, then OK.
    Note: Liabilities are accrued on the date the paycheck is issued, not on the pay period of the check.
  5. Select To be printed if you want to print the liability check. If you paid using a handwritten check, leave this clear.
  6. Select the bank account and the date you want to appear on the liability check.
  7. Choose either Review your liability check to enter expenses/penalties or Create a liability check without reviewing.
  8. Select the payroll item you want to pay, then select Create. Note that if you select multiple payroll items, the items paid to the same agency are combined into one liability check while items paid to separate agencies produce multiple liability checks. Make sure the check amount and item list under Payroll Liabilities are accurate.
  9. If you choose Review your liability check to enter expenses/penalties, a liability check appears. If you didn’t, you can view the liability check in the check register.
  10. Make sure the date and amounts are correct, then select Print if you want to print the check. If you used a handwritten check, enter the check number or other reference in the NO. field. If you pay liabilities by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), clear the To Be Printed checkbox and type EFT in the NO. field of the liability check.
  11. Go to the Expenses tab if you want to enter expenses/penalties on the liability check.
  12. From the Account field drop-down, select the expense account you use to track payroll expenses and penalties, then enter the amount in the Amount column.
  13. Select Recalculate. Make sure the amount on the liability check includes the expense or penalty.
  14. Select Save & Close.

Common errors

  • Scheduled liabilities show as overdue or in red.
  • QuickBooks Desktop might not respond after selecting View/Pay for a payroll liability check. This can happen if the Payroll Liability Check window is open but not visible due to the position of the window — out of the viewable area of the display which can be caused by dragging the window there by accident. To fix this:
    1. Close, then reopen QuickBooks Desktop.
    2. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll Center.
    3. Go to the Payroll Liabilities tab, then highlight the liability.
    4. Press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard, then select View/Pay. You can now see the Payroll Liability Check window.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll 2020 R5 and newer will include the ability to add payroll liability payment reminders to the customer’s online calendar (Outlook, Google Calendar, Windows Calendar, iCalendar, and others).

Before setting calendar reminders, scheduled payments must first be set in QuickBooks.

 

To save a liability payment reminder to a calendar program:

  1. Navigate to the Payroll Center and click on the Pay Liabilities Tab
  2. Place a checkmark next to the liability payment(s) for which a reminder is needed
  3. Click the Set payment reminder dropdown
  4. Select either “Add Reminder to Calendar” or “Export Reminder in Calendar File”
    1. Add Reminder to Calendar will open the default calendar program on the user’s computer.
    2. Export Reminder in Calendar File will create a calendar reminder file that can either be opened on the user’s computer, or that can be sent to other users to be added to their calendar program.

Pay

NOTE:  Basic and Enhanced Payroll users will be able to set payment reminders for payroll tax payments as well as other payroll liabilities like garnishments or benefits payments.  Assisted Payroll users will only have the option to set payment reminders for other payroll liabilities, since Intuit already pays the Federal and State taxes for Assisted Payroll customers.

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