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Level 3

What's a good way to handle a non-cash fringe benefit, such as use of a company car?

[This is a question about handling an aspect of payroll recording, but we outsource our payroll and do not use Quickbooks Online Payroll. So to be useful, any answer should be in terms of Quickbooks Online alone.]


Suppose I have a gross annual salary of $100,000. I then decide to lease a car through my company, and let's say my use pattern is such that for tax purposes it is regarded just as if I had received an additional $10,000 year in gross salary. But suppose further that I don't want to increase my total remuneration, and so I compensate for having use of the car by reducing my gross salary by $10K, down to $90,000.


And I tell all of this to my payroll company. I tell them to reduce my gross to $90K, but since I want them to continue to tax me fully, I tell them that I'm now receiving $10K's worth of "car use" per year. So although my cash amount goes down, that is balanced by my "car use" going up by the same amount. So my total remuneration is essentially the same as before, and the tax I pay via withholding remains the same as before too.


How should I record that in Quickbooks?





1 Comment 1
QuickBooks Team

What's a good way to handle a non-cash fringe benefit, such as use of a company car?

Hi there, ThomasK.


To start recording the transactions, you'll need to use a Journal Entry to manually create a payroll. Before dong doing that, you'll have to create manual tracking accounts to track your payroll liabilities and expenses.


Here's how to create expense accounts:


  1. Click the Gear icon at the upper right corner.
  2. Choose Chart of Accounts. Then, click the New button.
  3. From Account Type, choose Expense.
  4. Choose detail Type.
  5. Fill in the Name field and Description.


I attached a screenshot below for visual reference.




For liability accounts, Select Liabilities as the account type:


  • Payroll Liabilities: Federal Taxes (941/944)
  • Payroll Liabilities: Federal Unemployment (940)
  • Payroll Liabilities: [State] SUI/ETT
  • Payroll Liabilities: [State] PIT/SDI


Please note that these accounts cover the most common payroll tax situations. You'll need to create additional accounts for taxes specific to your state or locality.


Once done, you can now create a journal entry. While doing this, I'd recommend consulting an accountant to help you with which specific accounts to use in recording the transaction.


Here's how:


  1. Go to the Plus icon.
  2. Under Other, select Journal Entry.
  3. Choose the date of the paycheck.
  4. Enter the number for the journal entry. You can choose any number for the journal entry, as this is simply for reference purposes and doesn’t affect the actual entry.
  5. Enter the appropriate debit and credits for the account.
  6. Hit Save.


For additional information, you can check this article: Manually enter payroll paychecks in QuickBooks Online. This provides details on how to finish the process.


Please refer to this article to see steps on you can reverse or delete a journal entry to update and correct it, or delete it if it shouldn't be recorded at all: Reverse or delete a journal entry. This to ensure your records are accurate.


Please know that you're always welcome to post if you have any other concerns.

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