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    Error: "QuickBooks was unable to validate your payroll subscription"

    Article ID: 1000454


    When you enter your service key, get an update, or send a payroll for direct deposit, one of the following error message appears:

    • QuickBooks was unable to validate your payroll subscription.
    • Error 552: We are having difficulty validating your account.

    There are several possible causes for the error:

    • You may not be using the current release of QuickBooks.
    • Your tax tables may not be up to date.
    • Your computer may not be set to the correct date and time.
    • If you are using QuickBooks Direct Deposit, you may have entered a service key that can't be used to make a deposit.

    Expected Outcome

    Your payroll subscription will be validated.


    You are signed up for a payroll service and are validating your payroll subscription.


    One or more of the steps below may resolve the error you are receiving. We recommend you try to download a payroll update after every few steps, as you may not need to complete all steps.

    To resolve the error message:

    Restart your computer

    Reset QuickBooks updates.

    Verify that your computer's date and time are accurate.

    Verify that your payroll service key is accurate.

    1. Choose Employees > My Payroll Service.
    2. Select Manage Service Key.
    3. Click Edit and verify that the service key is correct.
    4. Click Next > Finish. This will download a payroll update.
    If you don't know your service key, you can find it using our service key retrieval tool.

    If you are still unable to get payroll updates, try the following:

    1. Send a payroll or update your payroll from another computer.
    2. Update your payroll using a test company file:
      1. Create a new test company file using the original EIN.
      2. Enter the service key into the file to download payroll updates.
      3. Verify that the test company has the latest tax table update.
      4. If you are successful, go back to the original company file and download a payroll update.

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