How to Set up 401k (Retirement Plan Deduction) in QuickBooks Desktop & Online Payroll

It is a known fact that 401k is nothing but a retirement savings plan. It is generally given by an […]

It is a known fact that 401k is nothing but a retirement savings plan. It is generally given by an employer to all its employees. As a result, it helps the employees to save and spend some amount from their particular pay, prior to the implementation of taxes. Know the ways to set up 401k retirement plan deduction or a company contribution in QuickBooks Online Payroll or QuickBooks Desktop Payroll to track and tax it appropriately.

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People could look for the best saving choice while making retirement plans. Going with the QuickBooks 401k plan in this case can be wise. In this arrangement, the company gives the employee a salary payment. The company may also set aside money as savings that the employee may withdraw in retirement. You have the option of setting up the 401k plan on QuickBooks if you decide to enroll.

This plan is primarily for the retirements benefits of the employees. Hence, it needs to set up the payroll with the help of EZ setup. This set-up adds the particular contribution of the company with the retirements benefits of employees.

The EZ Setup feature in QuickBooks Desktop can be used to automatically process the 401k plan. Using the Custom Setup option, you can manually configure the plan to suit your tastes. To simplify the retirement withdrawal process, you can also set up the Roth 401k plan in QuickBooks Online Payroll. You can make use of the Edit function for it.

What is 401k in QuickBooks?

A 401(k) plan generally enables companies to contribute a portion of the employee’s pay. The sum that was donated is kept in savings from which the employees would receive benefits when they retire. This perk may provide financial support to such employees after retirement. Additionally, the Roth plan may be found. It can be viewed as a particular 401K plan. Throughout the retirement term, withdrawals are permitted tax-free. In QB, this configuration can be completed, after which the employers can begin making the required contributions.

A 401K plan is a retirement strategy designed with the employees in mind. The company in this case contributes a portion of the employee’s salary. You may have heard of a Roth 401k, which is similar to this. Both of these retirement plans are different types. The first option is the standard choice for a plan where contributions are made without incurring income tax. While with the Roth plan, you must pay this tax when making contributions.

Before using any plan, users must set up their accounts. You have the option of using the automatic or manual processes to set up a 401K in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. Your performance of the operations is aided by the EZ Setup and Custom Setup ways, respectively. Aside from this, you must locate the Employees page if you wish to set up a Roth 401K plan.

How Many Types of 401k Retirement Plans are there?

There are two different types of 401k retirement plans:

  • Standardized: All the measured wages which compensate are payable during the calculation of the deferral. As per the Standard 401k retirement plan, the employee along with the employer is required to pay up for the plan.
  • Non-standardized: In this type of plan, the employee and the employer both can deny paying for the retirement deferral.

Setting up of 401K in QuickBooks QuickBooks Online Payroll or QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

1: Retirement Plan Setting

Set up your retirement plan in QuickBooks if you or an employee contributes to one so that it can be shown on your payroll tax forms. The following steps must be taken for setting:

Choose a Retirement Plan to Establish

QuickBooks can accommodate a variety of retirement plan options. Select the plan for your employees and look over its contribution restrictions.

  • QuickBooks 401(k) and 401(k) catch-up retirement plans that are supported
  • Simple 401(k) and Simple 401(k)
  • 403(b) and 403(b) (b) catch-up
  • The SARSEP and SARSEP catch-up
  • IRAs that are simple or simple IRA catch-up
  • 401(k) after-tax Roth
  • 403(b) after-tax Roth

Step 2: Set up a Contribution Item for a Corporate Match or a Retirement Plan Deduction in QuickBooks

There are two types of payroll in QuickBooks, they are:

QuickBooks Online Payroll

Below are the steps which need to be followed in payroll of QuickBooks Online:-

  • First, you have to go to the Payroll tab and click on it.
  • Navigate to Employees after Payroll.
  • Choose an employee option from the list of employee’s option.
  • Now, Select Start or Edit under Deductions & contributions.
  • Choose + Add donation or deduction.
  • In the drop-down▼ menu for Deduction/contribution type, choose Retirement Plans.
  • The appropriate retirement plan should be chosen for Type.
    • Select Company-only plan if you must keep track of a company-only contribution that does not get employee matching funds.
  • In the Description field, type the provider or plan’s name (appears on paycheck).
  • Fill out the detail information for the rest of the fields completely.
  • If your employer offers a match, click the drop-down option next to Company Contribution and decide how you wish to determine the amount. Enter the dollar amount or percentage per paycheck and the annual cap in the new fields.
  • Select done and then Save all the changes which you have Done.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

Following are the steps which need to be performed in payroll of QuickBooks Desktop:

Setting up of Deduction for the Retirement Plan
  • Click Lists, and then select Payroll Item List.
  • Go to the Payroll Item menu, and then click New.
  • Choose Custom Setup from the options, and then click Next in order to continue to next page.
  • Next after selecting Deduction or Company Contribution
  • Select Next after entering the name of the deduction or company matching item.
  • Enter the account number and choose the name of the retirement plan provider from the drop-down menu or add it. Select the account that records the deduction or donation to be made in the Liability account area. Select Next.
  • Choose the account you wish to track company match items under the Expense account column. Select Next.
  • Select the relevant retirement plan in the Tax Tracking Type window. Click Next twice.
  • There is no need to select anything and just click Next under Calculate depending on quantity.
  • Blank out the Default Rate and Limit fields. The rate and limit can be added when you add the item to the employee profile.
  • Hit on the exit button and exit from the screen.
Adding of the Item to the Profile of the Employee
  • Click Employee Center from the Employees menu.
  • Pick an employee.
  • In the Additions, Deductions, and Company Contributions area, click Payroll Info, then add the retirement plan items.
  • Type limitations and the amount per period.
  • Once you’re done, click OK and save all the changes.

Step 3: Make sure the Employee’s Paycheck reflects the Deduction or Contribution

Form W-2 must include information about the contributions of you or your staff members in order to make the retirement plan. Make sure the retirement contributions are included in your employees’ paychecks the next time you pay them.

Step 4: Modify or Eliminate a Retirement Plan Component

Following is how to change the deduction or contribution item:

QuickBooks Online Payroll

  • Navigate to Employees after Payroll.
  • Pick an employee.
  • Select Start or Edit under Deductions & donations.
  • Next to the deduction or contribution you want to change, click Edit✎, and then make your changes. If you wish to get rid of it, choose the Trash Bin.
  • Once you are Done with above steps then choose Save and then Exit.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

  • Modification of Item Payroll
    • Navigate to Lists; click on it and from the drop down menu pick Payroll Item List.
    • Right-click on the item and choose Edit Payroll Item option.
    • Modify the information as necessary.
    • Go to Finish and exit from the screen.
  • Removing of Item Payroll
    • Next, choose Employee Center from the Employees option.
    • Pick a worker for the job.
    • Go to Payroll Info.
    • The amount (if any) and the item name should be selected in the Additions, Deductions, and Company Contributions section, and then you should press the Delete key on your keyboard.
    • To finish, click OK.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Setting

In QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, users can customize the 401K setting to suit their needs. They have the choice of either setting the plan automatically or manually. If you choose EZ Setup, the accounting software’s setup procedure can be completed automatically. The Payroll Item List tab and Custom Setup must be launched in order to use the manual approach.

EZ Setup Automatically

By using the EZ Setup option, it is possible to automate the setup of 401K in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll. To begin with, select the Lists option. The Payroll Item List feature needs to be selected after that. Select New after clicking Payroll Item. Next, click the aforementioned setup option and then select next. Proceed in accordance with the page’s prompts as well.

To set up a 401K account automatically in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, follow the instructions below:

  • Open a “QBDT Payroll” account.
  • Press the “Lists” button.
  • Choose “Payroll Item List” from the menu.
  • Locate the Payroll Item tab.
  • Select New.
  • Click the “EZ Setup” button.
  • Select “Next“.
  • Continue to abide by the window’s instructions.
  • Your payroll item will now be created.
  • Additionally, you must amend the payroll items to ensure that the vendor’s information is appropriately mentioned.

EZ Setup Manually

Users of the QBDT Payroll software can manually set up the 401K plan using the Custom Setup option. To find the Lists option, you must launch the accounting program. Payroll Item List button, which you should then click. In the Payroll Item tab that appears after that, select New. Select Custom Setup from the menu, and then click next.

Follow the instructions below to set up a 401(k) manually in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll:

  • Activate “QuickBooks Desktop Payroll“.
  • Choosing the “Lists” tab.
  • Next, Select “Payroll Item List“.
  • Press “Payroll Item” once.
  • Select “New” from the menu.
  • Go to “Custom Setup” Mext.
  • Click “Next“.
  • Go to the “Deduction” button next.
  • This is where you should choose the “Next” tab.
  • Fill in the item’s name in the “Enter Name for Deduction” field.
  • Select “Next” by clicking.

The manual setup of 401(k) in this edition of QuickBooks will now be finished. Since the aforementioned method relies on a manual process, you can modify it to meet your needs.

QuickBooks Online Roth Setting

The typical 401K plan has a variation called a Roth. By using the Employees button in QuickBooks Online, a Roth 401K set up can be completed. It is necessary to choose the Payroll option. Next, select the employee’s name under Employees. Click the Edit tab in the Deductions & Contributions section. Locate the section on Benefits Deductions. Click Add a Deduction in this area.

The procedure for setting up a Roth 401K in QuickBooks Online is described below:

  • The “QBO” window’s “Payroll” tab should be selected.
  • Then click “Employees“.
  • The name of the employee will then be decided.
  • Go to “Deductions & Contributions” tab under the heading and click on it.
  • Click the “Edit” button.
  • Click Add a Deduction in the “Deductions for Benefits” section after that.
  • Select “Retirement Plans” from the list of available categories.
  • Click After-tax Roth 401(k) in the Type field after that.
  • This stage requires giving a description.
  • Press Ok when you’re finished.

The QBO software will eventually be configured with the Roth 401k plan. You can use the Edit option to make any necessary adjustments to the values entered or selections made.

QuickBooks Desktop company Match Setting

The portion of a salary that is contributed by an employer is referred to as the “company match.” Knowing how to set up a 401K corporate match in QuickBooks Desktop is necessary to take its advantages.

Choosing the Payroll Info button will allow users to set up a 401K corporate match. The Employees option can be available in the QBDT window. Double-click the employee’s name after clicking it. Visit the Payroll Info tab after that. Navigate to the Additions, Deductions, and Company Contributions area at this time.

  • Check out the “QBDT” application first.
  • Go to “Employees” on the menu.
  • Double-click the employee’s name.
  • Press “Payroll Info” at this point.
  • Navigate to the Additions, “Deductions and Company Contributions” area.
  • In this stage, you must include the payroll for your 401(k).
  • For the chosen Employee, complete a certain rate.
  • Once the 401k business match is set, click Ok.

Ways to Set up 401k in QuickBooks Desktop

In order to set up 401k in QuickBooks, the first and foremost move is to set up the payroll. So here are the steps to do it:

Solution 1

Step 1: Open your particular QuickBooks Software.

Step 2: Navigate to the menu and then hit the Lists option.

Step 3: From the option there, choose the Payroll item list.

Step 4: Then hit the Payroll Item list from the particular left-lower area of the window.

Step 5: Then press on the New button.

Step 6: You need to hit the option as EZ setup and press the Next button to move further.

Step 7: In this particular setup, please listen to the guidelines given on the screen of the system.

Step 8: Then make sure that in case the employee has a local income tax, then it must not be cut down with a 401k retirement plan.

Step 9: Now you need to cancel the selected local tax option.

Step 10: After this, a payroll item is generated.

Step 11: Now select the Edit option, and authenticate that the payroll item has all the details of the vendor, which is crucial.

Solution 2

Step 1: In your particular QuickBooks software, choose the Lists.

Step 2: Then choose the Payroll item list.

Step 3: Now choose the Payroll item that is situated on the left-bottom side.

Step 4: Now select the New Option.

Step 5: Choose the Custom Setup and hit the button that says Next.

Step 6: Select the Company Contribution option and then press the Next button.

Step 7: Add the Name, which is different from the employee deduction, and then press Next.

Step 8: Choose the same account in the Liability Account option.

Step 9: Select the account in the Expense account and select Next.

Step 10: On the screen of the Tax Tracking type, just accept the classification that is identical with the plan and choose the Next option for three times.

Step 11: If the same amount is allocated to most employees, then add it in the field which is at the top position of the Limit type.

Step 12: Add the annual contribution limit in the lower field.

Step 13: Choose the button that says Finish.

The above information has provided you the details related to how to set up 401k in QuickBooks. This article also provides two methods to do it. If you are new to this accounting software and have no idea how to set up 401k in QuickBooks, then this article will help you.


When making retirement savings plans, QuickBooks’ 401k plan or one of its variations can be the most helpful. We presented various approaches in our blog for setting up this plan in QB. A corporate match in QBDT can be set up using the procedure that was earlier discussed. The procedures for setting up a Roth 401k in QuickBooks Online Payroll were also covered. We hope that these techniques will be helpful for the setting depending on the QuickBooks 401k plan type that you select.

Employers can set up 401(k) plans in QuickBooks so that their staff members can save more money. About how the said plan was set up in the blog, there was a little discussion. There were concurrent explanations for setting up 401Ks in QuickBooks, QBDT Payroll, Roth plans in the online version of the software, etc.

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Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

What is the Proper Guideline for the Particular 401k Retirement Plan?

The policy is an all-inclusive 401k plan together with a full-stack strategy.

How to Customize the 401k Reports?

Here are the steps to customize the 401k plans:

Step 1: Navigate to the QuickBooks account and then press on the Report menu.

Step 2: In the drop-down option, choose Employee and the Payroll.

Step 3: Now choose from the further options which are More Payroll report in Excel.

Step 4: Press the 401k Reports.

Step 5: Now navigate to the Report type and then choose the type you wish to do, either Census or Payroll.

Step 6: Now select the Create Report button to generate the report you wish to.

How to Enter the New Payroll items in the Employee Record?

Here are the steps to enter the New Payroll in the Employee Record:

Step 1: Go to the Employee menu.

Step 2: Now choose the option Employee Centre.

Step 3: Press double-click on the employee and the Edit Employee screen will show.

Step 4: Select the tab name Payroll info. Navigate to the section Deductions, Additions, Company Contribution, etc.

Step 5: Choose the new items of the payroll from the particular retirement plan.

Step 6: Select the new items of payroll for the particular retirement plan.

Step 7: You will find an Employee box name who has a retirement plan.

Step 8: Choose the OK button and hit it.

What are the Benefits of Opening 401K?

The following are some of the key advantages of starting a 401(k):

• Tax Break
• Lower Tax Bracket
• High Contribution limits
• Contribution after age 72
• Shelters from Creditors
• Employer Match

What You can do for Investing 401K?

Typically, your plan provider and employer will limit the investment alternatives available to you in 401(k) plans. You invest in mutual funds, and index funds and exchange-traded funds, rather than specific stocks and bonds when you are using a 401(k) plan. Instead of investing in a single stock or bond, these funds mostly place your money in a basket of securities.

It’s really very difficult to keep your risk in mind when you investing in your 401(k). Bonds and other fixed-income investments are safer than stocks, which are normally the riskiest type of investment. Generally, it is advisable to invest in riskier securities while you are young and to gradually reduce your exposure as you get closer to retirement. To calculate the proportion of your 401(k) that should be invested in stocks, a general rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 110. Next, put the remainder of the money into bonds.

How can You Roll over 401K?

In some circumstances, you might choose to transfer your 401(k) to a different retirement account. This typically occurs if you change jobs or want to transfer from a standard 401(k) to a Roth IRA to take advantage of new tax benefits. Rolling over your 401(k) funds can be done in four ways:

• Maintain your 401(k) with your previous job.
• Transfer your all 401(k) funds to an IRA.
• Transfer your 401(k) to the 401(k) plan of your new employer.
• Cashing out your 401k (k)

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