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How to change the federal withholding flat rate for bonus check.

My employee will be receiving a bonus and needs a higher federal withholding than normal.  She is requesting a 35% flat rate.  Desktop qb supporting is saying this can't be done.  


Has anyone accomplished this before?  If so, can you explain how.

1 Comment 1
QuickBooks Team

How to change the federal withholding flat rate for bonus check.

Good day, @PamDean. Thanks for sharing your concern in QuickBooks Community.


The option to set up a flat rate for a bonus is unavailable in QuickBooks Desktop. However, you can still pay it as either gross pay or net pay. This means that you will need to manually calculate the bonus amount when entering paychecks.


If you would like to pay a bonus-only paycheck, here are the steps to follow:


  1. Go to Employees and select Pay Employees.
  2. Click Unscheduled Payroll.
  3. Verify the pay period end date, and the check date, then choose the employee you want to pay.
  4. Select Open Paycheck Detail.
  5. Remove the Earnings and Other Payroll Items as needed.
  6. In Earnings, enter the Bonus item.
  7. In the Rate column, enter the gross amount of the bonus.
  8. Adjust federal and/or state withholding taxes as needed.
  9. Click Save and Close.


Please take note that QuickBooks will gross this up and you’ll pay the employee part of taxes. Since your employee needs a higher federal withholding than normal, you'll have to create a liability adjustment to correct his year-to-date or quarter-to-date info in the system.


To help with your calculations and ensure that your payroll records are accurate, I'd suggest getting in touch with your accountant. They can provide you with further guidance to make sure you're doing the right steps. 


For additional reference, you can check out this article: How to pay an employee bonus using QuickBooks Payroll.

There are also several payroll reports you can use to view useful info about your business and employees. You can view them here: Run payroll reports.


Please don't hesitate to get back if you need more assistance with QuickBooks Payroll. I'd be more than happy to lend a hand. Have a great day.

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