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Compute Annual Returns and Wage Statements with Quicken 2012

At year end, you need to file some annual returns — like the 940 federal unemployment tax return and the W-2 and W-3 wage statements — and Quicken 2012 can help you do this.

(You’ll need to prepare these by hand. Perhaps to protest all the work that small businesses have to do in order to comply with tax laws, you could prepare these forms by hand, using a cheap ballpoint pen. Just an idea.)

As a practical matter, as long as you’re doing payroll for a single employee, the only thing that’s different about filling out these reports is that you need to use a Cash Flow report that covers the entire year — not just a single quarter. So you need to enter the range of dates in the Cash Flow report dialog box as January 1 and December 31.

The 940 annual return is darn easy if you’ve been wrestling with the 941 or 942 quarterly returns. The 940 annual return works the same basic way as those more difficult quarterly tax returns. You print the old payroll report, enter a few numbers, and then write a check for the amount you owe.

You need to prepare annual state unemployment summaries before preparing the 940. The 940 requires information from the state returns.

For the W-2 statements and the summary W-3 (which summarizes your W-2s), you just print the old Cash Flow report. Then, carefully following directions, enter the gross wages, the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld, and the federal income taxes withheld into the appropriate blanks.

If you have a little trouble, call the IRS. If you have a lot of trouble, splurge and hire someone to do it. Again, any experienced bookkeeper can do the job for you.

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