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    Process a Federal or State form from a previous period (prior year tax return)

    Article ID: 1002083


    This explains the process if you would like to print a form from a prior tax period.

    Expected Outcome

    The requested tax form will be printed.


    You have an active Standard or Enhanced Payroll service with prior payroll information located in your company file.


    QuickBooks only holds the current federal and state forms.

    If you try to use QuickBooks to process tax form in a prior year, the program will allow you to select Custom as Filing Period date, however, it will only display the current year format or period date stamp.

    Example: When you try to process a 941 form for 2014 and the form available in QuickBooks have been updated to 2015, you will see the following:

    • After entering the prior year date and clicking OK, you will see this message:

    • QuickBooks will populate the payroll data (wages and taxes) for the period you selected but the form will be the current year format and the date stamp will show current year date.

    See the following options if you need to file a tax form for previous year:

    • You can manually download and/or print a copy from the agency website.
    • You can use the wage and tax amounts that QuickBooks populated on the form as a reference only, in order to manually fill out the prior year form.
    • You can also run Payroll Reports in QuickBooks for the filing period you need and use the wage and tax data to manually fill out the prior year form. Examples of payroll reports are listed below. Click on your preferred report to see the steps on how to create one.

    The form may not contain the exact information that may have been filed previously if data has been changed since the time that you filed.

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