Federal Form 944 is used to report federal income tax withheld and employer and employee social security and Medicare taxes on wages paid to employees.

Lines on Page 1

Employer Identification Number

How QuickBooks populates this line

  • Online: This number is pulled from the Company Federal Tax Information window.
  • Desktop: This number is pulled from the Company Information window.

To verify your EIN

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Payroll Settings > Federal Taxes.  Under Federal Tax Setup, update your EIN.
  • Desktop: To change your EIN, click on Company and then on My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Company Information tab.  Enter the correct EIN in the Federal Employer Identification Number field, and click OK.   You will have to create a new form once you've changed your company EIN.

Name (not your trade name)

How QuickBooks populates this line

  • Online: QuickBooks Online pulls this information from the data provided in the Company General Tax Information window.
  • Desktop: QuickBooks Desktop pulls this information from data provided in the Company Information window.

To verify your QuickBooks

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Payroll Settings General Tax information.  Under Company General Tax Information update your Filing Name.
  • Desktop: From the Company menu, choose My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Legal Information tabs to make any necessary corrections, and click OK. You will have to create a new form once you've change your company address.

Trade Name (if any)

How QuickBooks populates this line

  • Online: QuickBooks Online pulls this information from the data provided in the Account and Settings window.
  • Desktop: QuickBooks Desktop pulls this information from data provided in the Company Information window.

To verify your QuickBooks

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Account and SettingsSelect the Edit icon next to Company name to your DBA name.
  • Desktop: From the Company menu, choose My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Contact Information tab to make any necessary corrections, and click OK. You will have to create a new form once you've change your company address.

Address

How QuickBooks populates this line

  • Online: QuickBooks Online pulls this information from the data provided in the Company General Tax Information window.
  • Desktop: QuickBooks Desktop pulls this information from data provided in the Company Information window.

To verify your address

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Payroll Settings General Tax information.  Under Company General Tax Information update your Filing Address.
  • Desktop: From the Company menu, choose My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Contact Information and Legal Information tabs to make any necessary correction to the address, and click OK. You will have to create a new form once you've change your company address.

Line 1 - Wages, tips, and other compensation

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks calculates the total wages, tips, bonuses, overtime pay, etc., that are subject to federal income tax, and paid to the employee during the reporting year. Wages earned in the reporting year, but paid in the following year, are not included. Certain deductions that are not taxable to federal income tax such as 401(k), pre-tax medical, fringe benefits, etc., can affect this box. Click to learn about the Taxability of pay types and deductions how they affect this box.

To verify QuickBooks
Online:

  1. Select Reports and search for the Payroll Details Report.
  2. Filter by the Quarter and include All Employees, then click Run Report.
  3. Scroll to the bottom..  Review the total wages and deductions for the quarter affected, subtracting pre-tax items that are not included in Line 2 such as 401(k), pre-tax medical, fringe benefits, etc.

Desktop

  1. Run the Payroll Item Listing Report.
  2. Filter the report and, in the Columns, clear everything but the Payroll Item and Tax Tracking type.
  3. Print the report. Put a check mark next to any item that has a tax tracking type of Compensation, Reported Tips, Dependent Care FSA, Section 457 Distribution, Non-qual. Plan Distr, Fringe Benefits, Other, Moving Expenses, 401(k), 403(b), 408(k)(6)SEP, Elective 457(b), Simple IRA, Taxable Grp Trm Life, Med Care Flex Spend, Premium Only/125, SCorp Pd Med Premium.
  4. Run a Payroll Summary report for the entire calendar year.
  5. Click Customize Report.
  6. Click the Filters tab.
  7. Under Current filter choices, click Payroll Item.
  8. In the drop-down line in the middle, pick Multiple Payroll Items.
  9. Check off all the payroll items you marked earlier.
  10. Run the report and add the amount for Adjusted Gross Pay to Total Employer Taxes and Contributions. The total should equal line 1 on Form 944.

To modify tax tracking for any payroll item:

  1. Go to the Payroll Item List.
  2. Double click the payroll item in question.
  3. Click Next until you get to Tax Tracking Type.
  4. Correct the tracking type, and click Next until you reach Finish. This will correct the form, but if the taxability changed, a Payroll Checkup should be run to correct the taxable wage bases.

Line 2 - Federal income tax withheld from wages, tips, and other compensation

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks adds the total of the Federal Withholding (FIT) from the paychecks for the quarter.

How to verify your QuickBooks Desktop result.

  • Online: Run a Payroll Details Report.  Look for the FIT amount and compare the numbers.
  • Desktop: Run the Payroll Summary report for the calendar year. The total of the Federal Withholding will be line 2.
    • If you have DIY payroll: If an employee's federal withholding is incorrect, a liability adjustment for that employee will need to be entered. The amount of the adjustment may then need to be collected from or refunded to the employee.

To prevent this from occurring in the future, obtain an updated W-4 from your employee, and:
Online

  1. Click Workers Employees tab and click the employee name to access their Employee details.
  2. Click Edit Employee to update the employee information.
  3. Scroll to Step 4, withholding and click the Edit icon.
  4. Update the withholding information as needed.

Desktop

  1. Go to the Employee Center and click the Employees tab.
  2. Double-click the employee's name.
  3. Click the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Click the Taxes button.
  5. Correct the filing status and allowances as necessary.

Line 3 - If no wage, tips, and other compensation are subject to social security or Medicare tax

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks does not check this box for you.

Line 4a - Taxable social security wages

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks pulls column 1 from the wage base of the Social Security payroll item minus the wage base tips. Column 2 is a calculated amount.

To verify your QuickBooks
Online:

  1. Select Reports and search for Payroll Details Report.
  2. Next to Date Range select a quarter, then click Run Report.
  3. Under Total view the wage totals and subtract the tips totals.   The result should match column 1 in Line 4a.

Desktop

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Employees & Payroll, and then Payroll Summary.
  2. Click the Customize Report button.
  3. Click the Display tab and then select the calendar year from the Dates drop-down list.
  4. In the Display columns by drop-down list, select Total Only, and clear the Hours and Rate checkboxes.
  5. Click the Filters tab.
  6. Choose Payroll Item in the Filter drop-down list, and then choose Multiple payroll items in the Payroll Item drop-down list.
  7. In the Payroll Item window, select Federal Withholding, Medicare Company, Medicare Employee, Social Security Company, and Social Security Employee.
  8. Clear any other selected items, and click OK.
  9. Click OK to return to the Payroll Summary report.
  10. Double-click the Social Security Employee Total amount to display the Transactions by Payroll Item report. The Wage Base column total minus the Wage Base (Tips) column total should equal the line 4a, Column 1, amount.

To correct line 4a, column 1:
The wage base amount uses each paycheck and year-to-date adjustment entered into QuickBooks Desktop for the quarter. If the wage base amount is incorrect, your payroll items may be set up incorrectly. Verify the setup of all payroll items used in the calendar year by choosing Payroll Item List from the Lists menu, and then double-click each payroll item to review or correct it.

To locate and fix any incorrect employee wage bases, choose Run Payroll Checkup from the Employees menu. Once the wage bases for the employees are fixed, QuickBooks Desktop will adjust social security and Medicare by the correct amounts on the next paycheck, if still in the same calendar year. If the calendar year has passed or amended 944 forms need to be filed, contact your accountant.

Enter in any liability adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that adjusted amounts may need to be collected from or refunded to the employee.

Report
QuickBooks Desktop pulls column 1 from the wage base of the Social Security payroll item minus the wage base tips. Column 2 is a calculated amount.

Line 4b - Taxable social security tips

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks pulls amounts for column 1 from the wage base tips of the Social Security payroll item. Column 2 is a calculated amount.

To verify your QuickBooks
Online:

  1. Select Reports and search for Payroll Details Report.
  2. Next to Date Range select a quarter, then click Run Report.
  3. Under Total, view the tips totals

Desktop

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Employees & Payroll, and then Payroll Summary.
  2. Click the Customize Report button.
  3. Click the Display tab and then select the calendar year from the Dates drop-down list.
  4. In the Display columns by drop-down list, select Total Only, and clear the Hours and Rate checkboxes.
  5. Click the Filters tab.
  6. Choose Payroll Item in the Filter drop-down list, and then choose Multiple payroll items in the Payroll Item drop-down list.
  7. In the Payroll Item window, select Federal Withholding, Medicare Company, Medicare Employee, Social Security Company, and Social Security Employee.
  8. Clear any other selected items and click OK.
  9. Click OK to return to the Payroll Summary report.
  10. Double-click the Social Security Employee Total amount to display the Transactions by Payroll Item report. The Wage Base column total minus the Wage Base (Tips) column total should equal the line 4a, Column 1 amount.

To correct, line 4b, column 1:
The wage base amount uses each paycheck and year-to-date adjustment entered into QuickBooks Desktop for the quarter. If the wage base amount is incorrect, your payroll items may be set up incorrectly. Verify the setup of all payroll items used in the calendar year by choosing Payroll Item List from the Lists menu, and then double-click each payroll item to review or correct it.

To locate and fix any incorrect employee wage bases, choose Run Payroll Checkup from the Employees menu. Once the wage bases for the employees are fixed, QuickBooks Desktop will adjust social security and Medicare by the correct amounts on the next paycheck, if still in the same calendar year. If the calendar year has passed or amended 944 forms need to be filed, contact your accountant.

Enter in any liability adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that adjusted amounts may need to be collected from or refunded to the employee.

Report
Run a payroll summary for the entire calendar year. Double-click either the total of Social Security Employee or Social Security Company.

Line 4c - Taxable Medicare wages and tips

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks supplies the number for column 1 from the wage base of the Medicare payroll item. Column 2 is a calculated amount.

To verify your QuickBooks
Online:

  1. Select Reports and search for the Payroll Tax and Wage Summary Report.
  2. Next to Date Range select a quarter, then click Run Report.
  3. Under Federal Taxes (941/944), view the taxable wages for Medicare.

Desktop

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Employees & Payroll, and then Payroll Summary.
  2. Click the Customize Report button.
  3. Click the Display tab and then select the calendar year from the Dates drop-down list.
  4. In the Display columns by drop-down list, select Total Only, and clear the Hours and Rate checkboxes.
  5. Click the Filters tab.
  6. Choose Payroll Item in the Filter drop-down list, and then choose Multiple payroll items in the Payroll Item drop-down list.
  7. In the Payroll Item window, Medicare Company and Medicare Employee.
  8. Clear any other selected items and click OK.
  9. Click OK to return to the Payroll Summary report.
  10. Double-click the Medicare Employee Total amount to display the Transactions by Payroll Item report. The Wage Base column total should equal the line 4c, Column 1 amount.

To correct line 4c, column 1:
The wage base amount uses each paycheck and year-to-date adjustment entered into QuickBooks Desktop for the quarter. If the wage base amount is incorrect, your payroll items may be set up incorrectly. Verify the setup of all payroll items used in the calendar year by choosing Payroll Item List from the Lists menu, and then double-click each payroll item to review or correct it.

To locate and fix any incorrect employee wage bases, choose Run Payroll Checkup from the Employees menu. Once the wage bases for the employees are fixed, QuickBooks Desktop will adjust Social Security and Medicare by the correct amounts on the next paycheck, if still in the same calendar year. If the calendar year has passed or amended 944 forms need to be filed, contact your accountant.

Enter in any liability adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that adjusted amounts may need to be collected from or refunded to the employee.

Line 4d - Taxable wages and tips subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks supplies the number for column 1 from the wage base for the Medicare Employee Addl Tax payroll item. Column 2 is a calculated amount, but it should match the amount of tax withheld as calculated by QuickBooks Desktop (within a few cents rounding difference).

To verify your QuickBooks
Online:

  1. Select Reports and search for Payroll Details Report.
  2. Next to Date Range select a quarter, then click Run Report.
  3. Find employees that grossed over $200,000 for the year.  The difference between the total and $200,000 is what will appear in Line 5d column 1.  (Example: Employee One made $250,000. $50,000 will be in box 5d column 1).

Desktop

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Employees & Payroll, and then Payroll Summary.
  2. Click the Customize Report button.
  3. Click the Display tab and then select the calendar year from the Dates drop-down list.
  4. In the Display columns by drop-down list, select Total Only, and clear the Hours and Rate checkboxes.
  5. Click the Filters tab.
  6. Choose Payroll Item in the Filter drop-down list, and then choose Multiple payroll items in the Payroll Item drop-down list.
  7. In the Payroll Item window, select Medicare Employee Addl Tax.
  8. Clear any other selected items, and click OK.
  9. Click OK to return to the Payroll Summary report.
  10. Double-click the Medicare Employee Addl Tax Total amount to display the Transactions by Payroll Item report. The Wage Base column total should equal the line 4d, Column 1 amount. The Amount column total should equal line 4d, column 2 (within a few cents rounding difference).

To correct line 4d, column 1:
The wage base amount for Medicare Employee Addl Tax uses each paycheck and year-to-date adjustment entered into QuickBooks Desktop for the year once the employee's wages exceed $200,000 as long as the payroll item was on the employee's record before the employee was paid $200,000. If the wage base amount is incorrect, your payroll item may be set up incorrectly, or you may not have had the Medicare Employee Addl Tax payroll item added to the employee's record before the employee was paid $200,000. Verify the setup of the Medicare Employee Addl Tax payroll item.

As long as you have at least one transaction with the Medicare Employee Addl Tax payroll item on the employee record, you can locate and fix any incorrect employee wage bases by choosing My Payroll Service > Run Payroll Checkup from the Employees menu. If any wage bases require correction, QuickBooks Desktop will post a liability adjustment to the employee if still in the same calendar year.

Enter in any liability adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that adjusted amounts may need to be collected from or refunded to the employee. If the calendar year has passed or amended 944 forms need to be filed, contact your accountant.

If you didn't set up the Medicare Employee Addl Tax payroll item and didn't withhold this tax from employee's wages over $200,000, you'll need to report this to the IRS following the instructions here. (If you're a QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted user, you need to contact Assisted Payroll support at 888.712.9702 for assistance.)

Line 4e - Total social security and Medicare taxes

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks adds column 2 of lines 4a, 4b, 4c, and 4d.

To verify your QuickBooks
Use the verification steps for lines 4a, 4b, 4c, and 4d.

Line 5 - Total taxes before adjustments

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks calculates the amount by adding lines 2 and 4e.

Line 6 - Current year's adjustments

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks automatically calculates fractions of cents.

  • Online
  • Desktop: You must manually enter the number to add any sick pay or adjustments to tips and group-term life insurance.

Line 7 - Total taxes after adjustments

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks calculates this amount by adding lines 5 and 6.

Line 8 - Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities. Attach Form 8974.

How QuickBooks populates this line
Check back for additional information soon.

Line 9 - Total taxes after adjustments and credits

How QuickBooks populates this line
Check back for additional information soon.

Line 10 - Total deposits for this year

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks adds all the deposits for Federal Withholding, Medicare Employee, Medicare Employee Addl Tax, Medicare Company, Social Security Employee, and Social Security Company with a paid through date that falls within the year the 944 is reporting.

  • Desktop: If you need to include a prior quarter's overpayment, right click and override the amount listed to add the overpayment.
  • Online: Online is not able to edit the boxes within the forms.  You will need to update the payments to pull the overpayment to the report.

To verify your QuickBooks 
Online

  1. Select Reports and search for Payroll Tax Payments.
  2. Next to Date Range select the year, then click Run Report.
  3. View the tax payments made.  If line 13 does not match, then the payments need to be verified and updated.

Desktop

  1. Run the Payroll Liability Balances report for the year the 944 is reporting.
  2. Click Customize Report.
  3. Change the Display columns by option to Total only.
  4. Click the Filters tab
  5. Click Payroll Item under Current Filter Choices. In the middle, click the drop-down next to Payroll Item and pick Multiple Payroll Items. Check off only Federal Withholding, Medicare Employee, Medicare Employee Addl Tax, Medicare Company, Social Security Employee, and Social Security Company, and click OK.
  6. Click the Transaction Type under Choose Filter on the left. In the middle, click the drop-down next to Transaction type and choose Payroll Liability Check. Click OK.
  7. The total balance should equal the amount of line 8. This can be double-clicked to see the transactions that contribute to the total. Double check that all deposits have been recorded.

If you know you've made a deposit but don't see it, expand your date range to see if the deposit appears. If it does, double-click that deposit and change the Paid Through date so that it falls within the quarter it's supposed to.

If the number on line 8 doesn't match the report that was made, then a liability adjustment has been entered or a payment was entered incorrectly. To find a liability adjustment:

  1. Click Customize Report and Filters.
  2. Under Transaction Type, click Multiple Transaction Types and from the list that pops up pick Liability Adjustment. This will show you any liability adjustments made within the quarter in addition to your payments. Double check that the liability adjustment is actually needed.

If you know you're recorded the deposit in your QuickBooks Desktop, find the deposit and check that the type is specifically LIAB CHK and not just CHK.

If the transaction has not been reconciled then you can delete it and record it as a payroll liability check.

Line 11 - Balance due

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks takes the difference between line 8 and line 7. If line 7 is greater than line 8, the amount is entered on line 11.

Line 12 - Overpayment

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks takes the difference between line 8 and line 7. If line 8 is greater than line 7, the amount is entered on line 12.

Lines on Page 2

Name (not your trade name)

How QuickBooks  populates this line

  • Online: QuickBooks Online pulls this information from the data provided in the Company General Tax Information window.
  • Desktop: QuickBooks Desktop pulls this information from data provided in the Company Information window.

To verify your QuickBooks

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Payroll Settings General Tax information.  Under Company General Tax Information update your Filing Name.
  • Desktop: From the Company menu, choose My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Legal Information tabs to make any necessary corrections, and click OK. You will have to create a new form once you've change your company address.

Employer Identification Number

How QuickBooks  populates this line

  • Online: This number is pulled from the Company Federal Tax Information window.
  • Desktop: This number is pulled from the Company Information window.

To verify your EIN

  • Online:  Select the Gear icon > Payroll Settings > Federal Taxes.  Under Federal Tax Setup, update your EIN.
  • Desktop: To change your EIN, click on Company and then on My Company.  Click the edit icon and click the Company Information tab.  Enter the correct EIN in the Federal Employer Identification Number field, and click OK.   You will have to create a new form once you've changed your company EIN.

Line 13 - Check one

How QuickBooks populates this line
If the amount on line 7 is less than $2,500, QuickBooks checks the first box and does not list the liability amount.

If the amount on line 7 is more than $2,500, QuickBooks checks the second box and lists the amount of liability by month.

How to verify your QuickBooks Desktop result

Online:  ​Run a Tax and Wage Summary report.  In QuickBooks Online, Select Reports > and search for the Tax and Wage Summary Report.  Filter by month and the employee, then click Run Report.  Look for the totals under Federal Taxes (941/944) (Federal Withholding, Medicare Company, Medicare Employee, Social Security Company, and Social Security Employee taxes). The totals should correspond to the amount in the "Total liability for quarter" of line 16.

Desktop

  1. From the Reports menu, choose Employees & Payroll, and then Payroll Summary.
  2. Click the Customize Report button.
  3. Click the Display tab and then set the date range to the calendar year.
  4. In the Display columns by drop-down list, select Month, and clear the Hours and Rate checkboxes.
  5. Click the Filters tab.
  6. Choose Payroll Item in the Filter drop-down list, and then choose Multiple payroll items in the Payroll Item drop-down list.
  7. In the Payroll Item window, select Federal Withholding, Medicare Company, Medicare Employee, Social Security Company, and Social Security Employee. Clear any other selected items and then click OK.
  8. Click OK to return to the Payroll Summary report.
  9. Ignoring any negative signs, add up each column's amounts for Federal Withholding, Medicare Company, Medicare Employee, Social Security Company, and Social Security Employee taxes. The totals should correspond to the amounts in 13a through 13l. Any of the numbers on the report can be double-clicked to see what transactions contribute to their amounts.

Line 14 - If your business has closed

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks does not check this box for you. If this is your last or final return, you must manually check the box and enter a date.

Part 4 - Third-party designee

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks does not check this box for you. This section must be filled in manually. If you select No, continue on to Part 5. If you select Yes, fill in the designee's name and phone number and enter in a 5-digit number to be used by the designee as a personal identification number (PIN).

Part 5 - Signature

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks does not supply any of this information. You can manually fill in the fields for Print Name, Date, Phone, and Title.

Paid Preparer Use Only

How QuickBooks populates this line
QuickBooks does not supply any of this information. If the form is prepared by a third party, fill out the appropriate information in fields for Paid Preparer Name, Firm Name, Address, City, State, Zip code, Date, Preparer PTIN, and Firm EIN.

If you are using QuickBooks Desktop Premier Accountant Edition, this section can be automatically filled in using information located under the Company menu by clicking on My Company and clicking the Auto-fill Contact Info... button.