QuickBooks Desktop has a limitation when printing payroll forms. It can print up to $9,999,999.99 only in any box of a form. When you process W-2 Forms, QuickBooks Desktop will also process the Form W-3 which is a summary of the W-2s. If at least one value or box in your W-2 or W-3 Forms is greater than $9,999,999.99, process the forms by batch in step 3. The IRS accepts batch filing.
If you exceed the limit or if you have more than 800 employees, an error will appear in QuickBooks Desktop. See Printing W-2 forms with total payroll in excess of $9,999,999.99 or 800 employees causes error
Step 1 of 3: Pull up the W-2 and W-3 Forms from QuickBooks Desktop
- On the top menu bar, choose Employees > Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s > Process Payroll Forms.
- In the list of forms under File Forms tab, choose Annual Form W-2/W-3 - Wage and Tax Statement Transmittal and click the Create Form button.
If you are not able to find the form in the list, this can be due to the following:
- The form may be below the previewed list. Scroll down the list and look for the form.
- The form may be inactive. To activate the form, click the Forms drop-down arrow and choose Make a New Form Active. Click the State drop-down arrow and choose Federal. Select the W-2 form, and click Add Form.
- In the Process W-2s for options:
- Select All Employees if you want to file the forms of all your employees at once.
- Select Employee's Last Name (choose from and to) to file by batch.
- In the SELECT FILING PERIOD section, in the Year field, enter the year of the form you are printing and click OK.
QuickBooks Desktop stores one version of the tax form only. If you have already received the 2017 version of the form, but need to print W-2 forms for 2016, you may use the newer version of the form. Check with the Social Security Administration for additional instruction.
- If you choose to print the forms for 2016 on blank paper, they will include the year "2016" because the year is part of the government-approved form.
- If you choose to print the forms for 2016 on preprinted form, QuickBooks Desktop might not print the information in the correct locations. QuickBooks Desktop will print the form details aligned for 2017.
- In the Select Employees for Form W-2/W-3 window, select the employees you are printing for. You can also click Mark All to select all employees displayed.
If you have not yet reviewed all W-2 forms (as indicated by missing checkmarks in the Reviewed column), click Review/Edit. After reviewing, click Submit Form to continue printing. See also Editing Amounts on W-2 Forms
- Click Print/E-file. This will open the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window. In the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window, the items (or copies) are listed by recipients (For example, For employer, and For government).
Step 2 of 3: Select the type of paper and the item to print in the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window
If you are using Preprinted Forms
- Under the Select paper section, select bet ween Blank / Perforated Paper and Preprinted Forms: May require alignment. Refer to Types of paper available for printing W-2 forms to know which type of paper is right for you.
- Choose who you're printing for under Select item to print section.
- For employees
- If you are using Blank / Perforated Paper
- 3 per page: copies B, 2, C
- 4 per page: copies B, 2, 2, C
- Employee filing instructions: Required if not already printed on paper.
- If you are using Preprinted Forms
- W-2 – Copy B: for employee’s federal tax return, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
- W-2 – Copy 2: for your State or Local Tax Department, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
- W-2 – Copy C: for employee records, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
- Employee filing instructions: Required if not already printed on paper
- If you are using Blank / Perforated Paper
- For employer
- W-2 – Copy D: for your records, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
- Employer filing instructions: for W-2 and W-3 form
- For government
- W-3 per page
- W-2 - Copy A: for the SSA, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
Note: If you are filing Forms W-2 and W-3 electronically with the Social Security Administration, do not mail Copy A.
- W-2 - Copy 1: for your State or Local Tax Department, 2 per page (1 per page if only 1 employee)
- For employees
Step 3 of 3: Export the form to your PDF Reader and start printing
- If you are using Preprinted Forms, perform a print test to check and adjust preprinted forms alignment. Any adjustments you make will remain until you change them. You skip this step if you are using Blank / Perforated Forms.
- Click Print PDF. This exports the forms you have selected to your PDF Reader. If you do not have a PDF Reader installed in your computer, we recommend downloading and installing Adobe Reader as this program works well with QuickBooks Desktop.
- At this point, you may initiate the printing process from inside the PDF Reader. The steps in printing may vary depending on the PDF Reader that you are using. For Adobe Acrobat Reader users: Printing using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Other tasks before or after printing W2
To view archived W-2 forms that have been efiled or printed
- Choose Employees > Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s > Process Payroll Forms.
- In the Filing History section, in the Saved Filings tab, a list of forms (in PDF format) printed or e-filed are listed here.
- To open the form, click the link of the filed form under the Saved PDF column.
Thank you for posting your question here, robinyrhea.
The W-2 forms in the Payroll Tax Center are in PDF format. The new print method is designed to incorporate technology changes introduced by the Federal and State agencies when form changes are published going forward.
When you're ready to print the form, click Print PDF. This exports the forms you have selected to your PDF Reader. If you don't have a PDF Reader installed in your computer, we recommend downloading and installing Adobe Reader as this program works well with QuickBooks Desktop.
Since you are using preprinted forms, you can perform a W-2 print test to check and adjust preprinted forms alignment. Any adjustments you make will remain until you change them.
You don't need to have special ink to print out your W-2's and W-3's. It is acceptable to the IRS to print all portions of these forms in non-reflective black ink. You can find more information about Intuit's paper specifications in section 1B of Publication 1141 at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1141.pdf.
If you have additional questions about W-2, just leave a message and I'll get back to you.