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Understanding the E-File and E-Pay services

Learn about the QuickBooks Desktop E-File and E-Pay services and get answers to frequently asked questions.

With QuickBooks Desktop E-File and E-Pay services, you don't need to print and mail your payroll forms or checks to pay your payroll liabilities. With a few clicks in QuickBooks Desktop, you can send your forms and payments electronically to the appropriate agencies.

Set up federal forms 940, 941, and 944

Set up the e-file service for federal Forms 940, 941, and 944:

  1. Change the filing method of the form to e-file in QuickBooks Desktop.For detailed information about changing the filing method, see Set up your Federal Forms 940, 941 and 944 for e-file in QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Enroll in the IRS E-File program.QuickBooks Desktop walks you through the IRS e-file program enrollment when you change your filing method.

If you are already enrolled and have e-filed your Federal Forms 940, 941, and 944 before, you can skip the enrollment and begin e-filing your forms in QuickBooks Desktop.

For more information, see E-file 940, 941, and/or 944 Federal Forms in QuickBooks Desktop.

Note Each December, the IRS stops accepting e-filed forms as they prepare for the new year. Any forms you e-file at that time are held, and sent once the IRS comes back online.

Federal payments for 940 and 941/944

Set up payments for federal Forms 940 and 941/944:

  1. Enroll in the federal Electronic Tax Payment System (EFTPS).For the detailed steps to enroll, see Electronic Tax Payment System (EFTPS) Enrollment.
  2. Set up E-Pay for Forms 940 and 941/944 tax payments in QuickBooks Desktop. For step-by-step assistance in setting up these payments, see E-Pay 940 and 941/944 in QuickBooks Desktop.

If you have made e-payments for Forms 940 and 941/944 before, either using the EFTPS website, EFTPS phone system, or through other channels, you don't have to re-enroll.

Federal Forms W-2 and W-3

Setting up E-File for federal Forms W-2 and W-3 lets you conveniently e-file these forms in QuickBooks Desktop rather than printing Copy A of your W-2s and submitting the printouts to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

E-filing is easy and doesn't require you to enroll through SSA.

For more information about setting up E-File for Forms W-2 and W-3 and e-filing these forms, see E-file W-2 and W-3 in QuickBooks Desktop.

Supported State Taxes and Forms

To set up E-File and E-Pay for supported state taxes and forms:

  1. Find out if you have to enroll with your state tax agency.Each state has different requirements, so, depending on your State, you may be required to enroll with a State Tax Agency. When you enroll, you'll get login requirements to e-file or e-pay your state forms and taxes in QuickBooks Desktop.For more information, see State enrollment to e-file State forms and e-pay State taxes.
  2. Change the filing and payment method of your state forms and taxes in QuickBooks Desktop.

Once you set up E-File and E-Pay for your state forms and taxes, e-filing and e-payment requirements depend on the state.

You can e-file tax forms and make e-payments together for the following state taxes:

  • Connecticut Unemployment Insurance
  • Florida Unemployment Insurance
  • Indiana Withholding
  • Mississippi Withholding
  • Nebraska Unemployment Insurance
  • Ohio Unemployment Insurance
  • Utah Unemployment Insurance
  • Virginia Unemployment Insurance

To e-file these state tax forms and e-pay these state tax liabilities together, see the detailed steps in E-file State tax form and e-pay State tax liability together in QuickBooks Desktop.

For all other state taxes, you must e-file state forms and e-pay state taxes separately. For more information, see E-file State forms & E-pay State taxes separately in QuickBooks Desktop.

Questions and answers about the E-File and E-Pay services

Review the following sections for answers to frequently asked questions about the E-File and E-Pay services.

E-File and E-Pay are free, and are only available to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced subscribers.

To participate in E-File and E-Pay, you must have:

  • Supported version of QuickBooks Desktop
  • Active Quickbooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced Service subscription
  • Login credentials required by the receiving agency of the form or liability

In addition, the tax form or payment liability you plan to submit through E-File or E-Pay must be supported in QuickBooks Desktop.

E-File and E-Pay are supported for the following forms and liabilities in QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Federal Forms 940, 941, and 944
  • Federal 940 and 941/944 Payments
  • Federal Forms W-2 and W-3
  • Selected State Taxes and Forms

No. When a liability is due, you must submit your e-payment in QuickBooks Desktop.

You will get an email to confirm the submission of your e-payment.

To ensure that the payment or form is submitted to the agency in a timely manner, it's important to check the status of the e-payment or e-filed form after it's submitted.

That way, you'll have time to handle any issues that may come up.

Processing times vary from agency to agency.

Some tax agencies can take from 24 to 48 hours or longer to process electronic forms or payments, while others process e-payments immediately.

No, QuickBooks Desktop does not allow you to create an unscheduled electronic tax payment.

However, you can create an unscheduled Liability Check to record a payment not made through E-Pay.

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