A scheduled payment refers to payroll taxes or non-tax liabilities that are paid together at the same time to the same agency. For example, you typically pay your federal withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes at the same time to the IRS.

This article provides instructions on how to set up a scheduled liability or pay an unscheduled liability.

Details

You must have a current tax table and software updates for QuickBooks Desktop to calculate your payroll taxes correctly. You must be in single-user mode with administrator rights to edit a liability payment schedule.

You can set up a schedule for payroll liabilities that are calculated on your employees' paychecks and are regularly paid in QuickBooks Desktop. These can include payroll taxes and employee benefits that are reported on paychecks such as 401(k) or Health Insurance premiums.

For QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted Service, Intuit debits and pays your payroll tax liabilities directly to the agencies. For taxes paid by Intuit on your behalf, see Assisted Quick Tax Guide. Intuit does not pay your liabilities for employee benefits.

To view/edit liabilities and set up a scheduled payment

  1. Select Employees,and then Payroll Center. Select the Pay Liabilities tab. Towards the bottom, under Other Activities choose Change Payment Method.
  2. Select Schedule payments.
  3. Select the tax liability that you want to edit or schedule a payment for.
  4. Select Edit.
  5. Enter the appropriate payment information.
    Notes for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced users when creating a liability schedule for tax payments:
    • If the payment frequency option you need is not available in the drop down list, check the option Let me use a different payment frequency and select Next. Set up a custom payment schedule.
    • The IRS does not offer a weekly liability payment schedule. If you are required to make a payment several days after running payroll, the IRS considers that a semiweekly basis. When setting up federal liability payments, select the After Each Payroll (Semiweekly) option for the frequency. 
  6. Select Finish, and then Finish Later.

Before you can pay your payroll taxes and other liabilities, you must have a payee name associated with each liability. Usually the payees are tax agencies, but they may also be a bank or an insurance company. For additional information on which 941 payment schedules may apply to you, visit the IRS.gov.

Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities Section

Once you've finished setting up your liability schedules, you're then able to see the upcoming/due/overdue liabilities under the Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities window which you can access by going to:

  1. Employees at the top and choose Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab to view the Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities section.User-added image

If you're using QuickBooks Desktop 2018, a reminder in your home screen will show on the Pay Liabilities icon. Refer to What's new for QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions 2018 to know more about this feature.

To assign a payee name

  1. Choose Lists, and then Payroll Item List.
  2. Double-click the payroll item to open the Edit payroll item window.
  3. Select Next until you reach the Liability agency window.
  4. Select the Enter name of agency to which liability is paid drop-down arrow and choose the agency (payee). Select Finish.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each liability you want to assign a payee name.

To pay a scheduled liability

  1. Select Employees,and then Payroll Center.
  2. Select the Pay Liabilities tab.
  3. In the Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities section, mark the liabilities you want to pay and select the View/Pay button.
  4. Ensure the date and amounts are correct and select whether you want to print the check. (Liabilities are accrued on the date the paycheck is issued, not the pay period of the check.)
  5. To enter expenses/penalties select the Expenses tab on the liability check.
  6. In the Account field, select the expense account you will use to track payroll expenses and penalties. Enter the amount in the Amount column.
  7. Select the Recalculate button and confirm that the amount of the liability check now includes the amount of the expense or penalty.
  8. If paying liabilities by electronic funds transfer (EFT), clear the To Be Printed checkbox and type the letters "EFT" in the No. (check number) field of the liability check.
  9. Select Save & Next or Save & Close.
  10. The Payroll Liability Payment Summary window will open. You can review the payments you scheduled, print a summary, and also print the checks.

To create an unscheduled or custom liability check

  1. Choose Employees > Payroll Center. Select the Pay Liabilities tab. Towards the bottom, under Other Activities select Create Custom Payments.
  2. In the Select Date Range For Liabilities window, select the date range for the payroll liabilities you want to pay and select OK. (Liabilities are accrued on the date the paycheck is issued, not the pay period of the check.)
  3. Select the To be printed option if you are going to print the liability check.
  4. Select the bank account for the liability check.
  5. Select the date you want to appear on the liability check.
  6. Select Review your liability check before creating to enter expenses/penalties or Create liability check without reviewing.
  7. Select the payroll item you want to pay and select Create.
    • If you select multiple payroll items, the items paying to the same agency will combine onto one liability check. Items paid to separate agencies will produce multiple liability checks. Verify the check amount and item list under Payroll Liabilities to be sure the check is accurate.
  8. If you chose Review your liability check before creating to enter expenses/penalties in step 6, a liability check appears. (If you did not choose that option, you can view the liability check created from your check register.)
  9. To enter expenses/penalties select the Expenses tab on the liability check.
    1. In the Account field, select the expense account you will use to track payroll expenses and penalties. Enter the amount in the Amount column.
    2. Select the Recalculate button and confirm that the amount of the liability check now includes the amount of the expense or penalty.
  10. If paying liabilities by electronic funds transfer (EFT), clear the Print Later checkbox and type the letters "EFT" in the No. (check number) field of the liability check.
  11. Select Save & Close to record the transaction.

E-pay your payroll tax liabilities from inside QuickBooks Desktop

E-pay is available for certain agencies with QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced. To know more about e-pay services, refer to the following articles:

QuickBooks Desktop is locked up or not responding after selecting View/Pay for a payroll liability check

The payroll liability check window  is open but not visible due to the position of the window being out of the viewable area of the display which can be caused by dragging the window there by accident. By pressing the shift key, QuickBooks Desktop forgets the saved position and size of the window and opens it in the default position where you can see it.

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop with the Task Manager.
  2. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Select Employees at the top and choose Payroll Center.
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  4. Select the Pay Liabilities Tab.
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  5. Select the liability that you are trying to pay.
  6. Hold down the Shift key and select View/Pay at the same time.
  7. The Payroll Liability Check window should show up where you can now see it.