To help make state tax filings easy, QuickBooks Desktop Payroll releases updated tax forms per state. QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced subscribers are given access to the updated state forms as soon as they are available.

Important:

To locate and process your state tax forms

  1. Choose Employees > Payroll Tax Forms & W-2s > Process Payroll Forms.
  2. Select the State form and choose Create Form.
  3. Confirm that the correct period is entered under Select Filing Period.
    Note: Select Auto-Fill Contact Info button at the top right to populate your form, if desired. You can also change this information on the tax form when you view it.
  4. Select OK, then QuickBooks Desktop enters the payroll data automatically into the fields on the form.
    Note: If you need assistance completing your state form, choose View details about this form or View filing and printing instructions at the bottom.
  5. Select Check for Errors to look for possible errors (double-click the error to go to it on the form), then correct the errors, if necessary.
  6. If necessary, compare the form to the Payroll Summary or Employee State Taxes Detail report. Choose Reports > Employees & Payroll > Employee State Taxes Detail.
    Note: To modify a number that QuickBooks Desktop filled in automatically, right-click the field and choose Override. If you cannot override a number for a few cents (usually due to rounding), you must create a liability adjustment for the amount.
  7. Select Save as PDF to save a copy of the file. You can later open the file by going to the Saved Filings.
  8. At this point, you can either print the form or submit it for electronic filing if you are enrolled to e-file services.

Note: Many QuickBooks Desktop forms look different from the versions that the states publish. QuickBooks Desktop forms comply with the state's requirements, have been approved, and can still be filed with your state. Some state forms, including those for Oregon and Texas, look like they are printing without any formatting, boxes, or instructions (just dollar amounts). These forms are still correct and can be filed on blank paper.

To locate and process federal tax forms

  1. Choose Employees> Payroll Center > Process Payroll Forms.
  2. Select Create Form after selecting the form.
  3. Confirm that the correct period is entered under Select Filing Period.
    Note: Select Auto-Fill Contact Info button at the top right to populate your form, if desired. You can also change this information on the tax form when you view it.
  4. Select OK. If you need assistance completing your federal form, select View details about this form or View filing and printing instructions at the bottom.
  5. Select Check for Errors to look for possible errors (double-click on the error to go to it on the form.) then correct errors, if necessary.
  6. If necessary, compare the form to the Payroll Summary.
    Note: To modify a number that QuickBooks Desktop filled in automatically, right-click the field and choose Override. If you cannot override a number for a few cents (usually due to rounding), you must create a liability adjustment for the amount.
  7. Select Save as PDF to save a copy of the file.
  8. At this point you can either print the form or submit it for electronic filing if you are enrolled to e-file services.

To print tax forms

Note: We recently changed our method of printing tax forms in QuickBooks Desktop to utilize PDF viewers. Navigate to the FAQ section to find out more details about this.

  1. In the form, select Print button.
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  2. Select the items that you need to print. You can pick among the following:User-added image
    • Tax form(s) only
    • Tax form(s) and filing instructions
    • Specific form(s)

    Note: You may see the options below if you are printing forms that have not been switched yet to the new printing method.

    • Choose number of copies
    • Printer Setup
  3. Select Print PDF button. This will open the default PDF viewer installed in your computer. You may get prompted to choose which program to use to open the PDF if you haven't selected a default one yet. Once you have selected a program for opening the PDF, QuickBooks Desktop will remember it and will not ask again.
    Note: If you are using Windows 10, make sure that the default program to open a PDF file is set to Adobe and not a web browser (e.g. Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, or etc.) Make Acrobat or Reader the default owner of PDF files on Windows 10.
  4. Once the PDF reader successfully opens the form, you may go ahead and print it.NOTE: The steps when printing from the PDF reader may vary depending on the program that you are using. We recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader as this program works well with QuickBooks Desktop.
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    For Adobe Acrobat users: Print a PDF from Adobe Acrobat reader

To save changes to a form and come back later:

  1. Select Save and close to save your changes and come back later.
  2. Select Open Draft to open the copy of the form you saved. Note that it will not incorporate any changes you may have made to your payroll; will be exactly as it was when you originally saved it.
  3. If you want to incorporate changes you made in QuickBooks Desktop, select Start New Form. You will be presented with a blank form and must fill it out again.

Note: If you select Save and Close and then create a backup copy of the company file, the restored copy of the company file will not have the saved information in it. The Save and Close option, DOES NOT populate the form in the Saved Filings area.

To open your Saved Filings

When you open a payroll tax form to begin the filing process, there is an option to "Automatically create an archive when I e-file or print" at the bottom part. An "archive" is saved in PDF format in your computer when the option is checked and you select on "submit form" and then either prints or e-files the form. This is what causes the saved filings to appear.

Possible reasons when the form does not show in the Saved Filings:

  • If the "Automatically create an archive when I e-file or print" is not selected when you e-file or print the form.
  • If you choose to "Save as PDF" but does not save the form in the same folder the archived filings are saved.
    Note: You should be careful of using "Save as PDF" if you are not finished creating the form because you might save an incomplete PDF version of the form. This runs a risk of filing the wrong information.

Below are the steps to open your Saved Filings:

  1. Select Employees > Payroll Center.
  2. Select File Forms tab.
  3. Under Filing History, select Saved Filings tab.
  4. A table of all your saved Tax Forms in PDF format is displayed. You can select the PDF file on the link under the SAVED PDF column to open it.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Form printing service for Payroll Forms

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll has now introduced a change in the way Payroll forms are printed – First, the forms are printed to a PDF format using QuickBooks and the user can then print the PDF, using a local or network printer. This change is applicable when the user wants to print Federal forms such as W2 as well as State tax forms.

Why was this change implemented?

  • The new print method is designed to incorporate technology changes introduced by the Federal and State agencies when form changes are published going forward.
  • This new print method enables QuickBooks Desktop Payroll to bring the new Form changes, specified by the Federal and State agencies, much faster into the product.
  • This new print method additionally lets the employer save a local PDF copy of the form, either for electronic filing or for emailing to employees – a greener, more environmentally friendly solution. As an Employer, you can now view the form in PDF before it is sent for printing. To view the form, you will need a PDF reader and we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

How do I change alignment for pre-printed forms?

In the new print method, the alignment options for pre-printed forms are available as in the old print method. Hence, the employers can continue to modify the alignment based on their specific printer settings.

How does the new print method work with file sharing or third party e-filing services?

The customers using any file sharing service or third party e-filing services can continue with their existing process of e-filing or file sharing. You, as an employer, can save the PDF form directly at the specific location on the local drive. Then you can map that location as the source location for the third party software. For more instructions or support, please contact your third party software user manual or customer support.

What tax forms require a PDF viewer for printing?

Currently, all of the tax forms in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll already require a PDF viewer when printing.

Can I use preprinted forms sold by vendors aside from Intuit in printing from QuickBooks Desktop?

The preprinted formset in QuickBooks Desktop are designed to work perfectly with Intuit Supplied Papers from our Checks & Supplies. Non-Intuit papers are not guaranteed to fit perfectly, thus you may have to manually adjust the alignment of the form.

Payroll Tax form displays in a different language

This can occur if the Windows regional settings is not set to the United States locale. QuickBooks Desktop requires the English (United States) regional setting in order to function properly. Change regional settings in Windows to resolve this issue.