How do adjust the employee 401k deduction when payroll was set up at $18K and the actual deduction was $18.5K? The W2 is showing only 18K deduction.

I processed all of the paychecks for the year normally, but did not realize that the payroll deduction for the 401k was still set at the old limit of $18K, and when the 401k deduction was manually paid into the account the total is the limit $18.5K.


Hi there, darino,

I’m here to share some information about adjusting the 401 (k) employee deduction.

In QuickBooks Online Payroll (QBOP), the default annual maximum amount for 2018 is set at $18,500. It can’t be changed but you can elect how much is the amount per pay period for the employee deduction. Please see the attached screenshot below. For more information about the 401 (k) plan limits, you can check out this article: Benefit Plan Limits.

Since you’ve set up the 401 (k) employee deduction amount at $18,000 for last year, you can delete and recreate the last check if it was created as a paper/manual check.

Here’s how to delete the manual check:

  1. Go to Workers from the left menu.
  2. Select Employees list.
  3. Under Run Payroll, select Paycheck List.
  4. Change the date range if necessary, then select the last paycheck you want to delete.
  5. Click Delete.
  6. Mark the checkmark box to confirm deletion, then click Delete Paycheck.

Then, you can recreate the check and enter the 401 (k) lacking amount to reach the $18,500 limit. This way, QBOP will adjust the amounts on the employee’s W-2.

If the last check created for the employee is through direct deposit (DD), I’d suggest contacting our QuickBooks Online Payroll Team. They have the necessary tools to securely access your account and help you delete the DD check. From there, one of our agents can get this taken care of so the 401 (k) employee deduction will be adjusted to the correct limit on the employee’s W-2.

To get their most up-to-date contact information, here’s how:

  1. Go to
  2. Get the phone number for QuickBooks Online Payroll.

You can visit the IRS articles below for more information about retirement plans:

Please let me know how it goes. If you have other payroll concerns, feel free to comment below. I'm glad to help, darino. Cheers!

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IntuitRaymondJay , Community Support Specialist
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