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QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted - Year End Checklist

Your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted Year End Checklist:

Turn on Automatic Updates for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

The best way to make sure you have the latest QuickBooks Desktop and payroll updates is to turn on the automatic software update feature, which tells QuickBooks Desktop to check for new payroll updates automatically. Automatic Updates is the easiest way to stay on track with updates.

If you don't turn on Automatic Updates, make sure to check for new updates every time QuickBooks Desktop prompts you to do so. QuickBooks Desktop Payroll releases payroll updates as many as 12 times in a year and sometimes more because federal and state governments make changes to their tax laws, rates, and forms at any time during the year.

Since the actual number and dates of payroll updates vary depending on federal and state actions, we highly recommend that you connect to the payroll service each time you pay your employees (or at least every 45 days) to ensure that you have the most current tax table and forms available. For instructions about updating your software and enabling or disabling Automatic Updates, see the QuickBooks Desktop Product Updates page. If your QuickBooks Desktop product is not selected, click the Change link at the top.

Install the latest payroll updates

To determine whether you have installed the latest payroll update:

  1. From the Employees menu, choose Get Payroll Updates.
  2. The tax table (payroll update) version number is located at the top of the window.
  3. If not on the current payroll update, click Download Entire Payroll Update and click the Update button to the right.

Confirm names and Social Security numbers match the SSA records

Filing incorrect or incomplete employee information creates problems for both employers and employees. Incorrect information can lead to employees not receiving proper credit for earnings, which can affect future eligibility and/or amounts paid through Social Security programs. In an effort to prevent the problems created by incorrect reporting, the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have begun a campaign to eliminate mismatched names and Social Security numbers reported on W-2 forms. The SSA will send letters to companies that have a large number of mismatches. If you receive such a letter, please contact a payroll service representative for further assistance.

To minimize errors, employers can verify that an employee's name and Social Security number match the SSA's records. To do this, employers can take advantage of the SSA's Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). This service allows employers to verify an employee's name and Social Security number with the SSA. You can verify up to 10 names and SSNs (per screen) online and receive immediate results.

Visit the Social Security Administration's NVS website for more information about SSNVS.

Check all data that appear on employees W-2s are correct by using the W-2 preview feature

For instructions on how to use the W-2 preview, see Assisted Payroll: How do I use Preview W-2?

Check the following information:

Names and Addresses

If the name and/or address on the W-2 are incorrect, you can fix it in QuickBooks Desktop. To change employee information in QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Go to the Employee Center.
  2. Click the Employees tab.
  3. Double-click on the name of the employee to access the Personal Info tab.
  4. Edit the name, or address, as appropriate.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

Social Security Numbers

If the Social Security number and/or payroll amounts on the W-2 are incorrect, you can request a correction or amendment. If necessary, request a correction or amendment to change employee information prior to the current year by calling QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted at 888-712-9702 to begin the amendment process.  Corrections to W-2 data should be submitted no later than December 31, 2018.

Company Legal Information

Company legal information changes generally require a signature from the primary principal of your company. Notify the Payroll Support team that they can expect to receive one of the following forms from you:

Review tax forms, annual tax form delivery, etc.

The Payroll Tax Center is your one-stop shop for all of the forms QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted is filing for you. On January 10, you can log in to view your employee W-2s; on February 5 your quarterly returns and annual 940 will be available for download, emailing, or printing; and by March 5 your annual state reconciliation returns will be available for download, emailing, and printing.

To log into the Payroll Tax Center:

  1. From the Employees menu, select Payroll Center.
  2. Click the File Forms tab then the View/Print Forms & W-2s link.
  3. Enter your payroll PIN when prompted.


Update your State Unemployment and State Disability Insurance rates

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll subscribers must update their State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) rates themselves. The QuickBooks Desktop Payroll tax table does not include updates to these rates, because states assign each employer a unique rate based on their employment history.

Employers located in states that have state disability insurance (SDI) may also need to update their SDI rates themselves. For some states, however, the state disability insurance rate is supplied by the tax table, and you cannot edit it. If the rate changes, check to see if you have the current tax table.

Note: Assisted Payroll does not, however, debit, pay, or file SDI in the states of HI, NY, or PR.

QuickBooks Desktop allows you to enter next year's SUI tax rates prior to the start of a new year (when your computer system date falls between July 1 and December 31 of the current year). This feature requires the most recent release update in QuickBooks Desktop.

See Change SUI rate for Assisted Payroll

You can also edit the rate of a user-defined other tax payroll item:

  1. Click Lists on the top menu bar and then Payroll Item List.
  2. Click the Payroll Item button and select Edit.
  3. Click Next in the Payroll Item Setup wizard until you see the Default Rate and Limit window.
  4. Enter the new rate and/or the limit.
  5. Click Next until you can click Finish.
  6. Click Finish.

Verify and confirm yearly limits to your retirement plan

Remember that retirement accounts have limits that can change every year. So make sure you verify the limits of your plan and that all withholdings are accurate and within the limits.

Please consult your accountant, state agency, federal agency, or plan administrator for more information concerning the annual limits for this year and how they affect your specific retirement plan.

For more information about limits and contribution deadlines, visit

Important Dates

For important Year End dates see Deadlines and important quarter and year end dates for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted customers


For information about holidays and how it affects your payroll processing see How will Veterans Day and other federal holidays affect my payroll processing?

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