Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

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fyre4ce
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Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

My wife and I are looking for ways to cut the cost of her payroll services for her S-corp, which are currently provided by Paychex at an annual cost of around $825. She's already a Bank of America customer, and I've seen recommended several times on here BofA's free payroll service:

https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusi ... ervices.go

Free is great, but wondering whether this will meet our needs. The business is about as simple as it gets (one employee, one monthly paycheck), but we are in California, which does have their own payroll tax. The free service is "federal only" for tax payments and tax forms. Is it practical to fill out state payroll tax forms and make payments manually? The "Enhanced" payroll feature that includes state payments and forms is still cheaper than what we pay now ($432/year) although not nearly as big a savings.

If this won't work well, any other suggestions for low-cost payroll?
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

*bump*
SC Anteater
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by SC Anteater »

I worked for a small business with 4 employees and did payroll manually for years. It's pretty easy. If BofA is doing the Quarterly federal 941s all you need to do is quarterly filings to CA EDD. For one employee it will be a piece of cake.
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

SC Anteater wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 pm I worked for a small business with 4 employees and did payroll manually for years. It's pretty easy. If BofA is doing the Quarterly federal 941s all you need to do is quarterly filings to CA EDD. For one employee it will be a piece of cake.
Thanks. Are there any resources you can point me to that list everything that's required? I'd like to get a better understanding of how the system works.

On a related note, I'm also considering taking over preparation of corporate taxes (1120S and California equivalent) so if you have any resources for those too, that would be doubly awesome.
denovo
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by denovo »

fyre4ce wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:08 pm My wife and I are looking for ways to cut the cost of her payroll services for her S-corp, which are currently provided by Paychex at an annual cost of around $825. She's already a Bank of America customer, and I've seen recommended several times on here BofA's free payroll service:

https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusi ... ervices.go

Free is great, but wondering whether this will meet our needs. The business is about as simple as it gets (one employee, one monthly paycheck), but we are in California, which does have their own payroll tax. The free service is "federal only" for tax payments and tax forms. Is it practical to fill out state payroll tax forms and make payments manually? The "Enhanced" payroll feature that includes state payments and forms is still cheaper than what we pay now ($432/year) although not nearly as big a savings.

If this won't work well, any other suggestions for low-cost payroll?
I rec this service, I use it. Much cheaper than Paychex.

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/payroll/pricing/
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by abuss368 »

This is interesting. I was not aware that any bog bank was involved in the payroll profession. I am curious if more of the big banks may to looking to become involved and grow a payroll business.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by SC Anteater »

fyre4ce wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:40 pm
SC Anteater wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 pm I worked for a small business with 4 employees and did payroll manually for years. It's pretty easy. If BofA is doing the Quarterly federal 941s all you need to do is quarterly filings to CA EDD. For one employee it will be a piece of cake.
Thanks. Are there any resources you can point me to that list everything that's required? I'd like to get a better understanding of how the system works.

On a related note, I'm also considering taking over preparation of corporate taxes (1120S and California equivalent) so if you have any resources for those too, that would be doubly awesome.
Sure, I'll do a write up later when I can do it on my computer and not my phone.
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:46 pm This is interesting. I was not aware that any bog bank was involved in the payroll profession. I am curious if more of the big banks may to looking to become involved and grow a payroll business.
It's not provided directly by BofA; rather it's an agreement they have with Intuit (check out the link in my OP). I'd guess that BofA chips in some $ to Intuit in exchange for the requirement of having all the direct deposit go into BofA accounts.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by abuss368 »

fyre4ce wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:07 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:46 pm This is interesting. I was not aware that any bog bank was involved in the payroll profession. I am curious if more of the big banks may to looking to become involved and grow a payroll business.
It's not provided directly by BofA; rather it's an agreement they have with Intuit (check out the link in my OP). I'd guess that BofA chips in some $ to Intuit in exchange for the requirement of having all the direct deposit go into BofA accounts.
I missed that and thank you for sharing.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by dodecahedron »

fyre4ce wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:08 pm My wife and I are looking for ways to cut the cost of her payroll services for her S-corp, which are currently provided by Paychex at an annual cost of around $825. She's already a Bank of America customer, and I've seen recommended several times on here BofA's free payroll service:

https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusi ... ervices.go

Free is great, but wondering whether this will meet our needs. The business is about as simple as it gets (one employee, one monthly paycheck), but we are in California, which does have their own payroll tax. The free service is "federal only" for tax payments and tax forms. Is it practical to fill out state payroll tax forms and make payments manually? The "Enhanced" payroll feature that includes state payments and forms is still cheaper than what we pay now ($432/year) although not nearly as big a savings.

If this won't work well, any other suggestions for low-cost payroll?
Interesting. We used BoA smallbusiness payroll to do our family business payroll in 2008 through 2013 and at that time, it was free for both Federal and state (NY) for up to 10 employees as long as employee paychecks were direct deposited into BoA checking or savings accounts. (I think there would have been some charge for direct deposits into other banks, but not a concern on our part.) BoA also prepared and efiled 1099-MISC forms for our contractors and attorneys without extra cost.

We were very satisfied with the service. It was especially helpful when we got routine audits from NYS Workers Comp. The auditor was very impressed that I was able to log into the BoA payroll account and pull up whatever she needed to see right on the screen. Apparently most of the small businesses she was used to auditing had very sketchy and disorganized paperwork.

If I recall correctly, the NY forms were more tedious than the federal forms.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by SC Anteater »

fyre4ce wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:40 pm
SC Anteater wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 pm I worked for a small business with 4 employees and did payroll manually for years. It's pretty easy. If BofA is doing the Quarterly federal 941s all you need to do is quarterly filings to CA EDD. For one employee it will be a piece of cake.
Thanks. Are there any resources you can point me to that list everything that's required? I'd like to get a better understanding of how the system works.

On a related note, I'm also considering taking over preparation of corporate taxes (1120S and California equivalent) so if you have any resources for those too, that would be doubly awesome.
O.K. -- here's the webpage for CA's EDD: https://edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Taxes/Requir ... _Dates.htm

Generally you need to file 3 forms quarterly - DE 9, DE 9C, and DE 88 (payment coupon). You have to make more frequent payroll tax deposits if you collect more than $350 in CA income tax (would then need to do it monthly) but I never had to submit more frequently than quarterly.

You pay UI (state unemployment) and ETT (employment training tax) insurance on the first 7000 of each employee's earnings. Your UI rate is calculated and is specific to each employer, you should get a form in the mail each December telling you what the rate is for the upcoming year. ETT is .1%. Apart from those, all you need to submit is the state income tax and SDI that you're withholding from your employee's paycheck.

I'm assuming Bof A is calculating the state income tax withholding and SDI withholding, they're just not filing the forms?

I didn't do corporate taxes (we had a CPA firm) so can't help with those.

Feel free to ping me with any questions you might have.
techrover
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by techrover »

One efficient and effective option - Use Intuit Quickbooks with Desktop Payroll which regularly can be obtained from costco/ebay/other sites for anywhere from 200-300$. This includes 1 year of Payroll processing for upto 3 EIN for both Fed & State. First employee is free.
The advantage going this route is you can also do accounting along with payroll...however you should be willing to put in little time(few hours) to setup initially.
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

SC Anteater wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:36 pm
fyre4ce wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:40 pm
SC Anteater wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 pm I worked for a small business with 4 employees and did payroll manually for years. It's pretty easy. If BofA is doing the Quarterly federal 941s all you need to do is quarterly filings to CA EDD. For one employee it will be a piece of cake.
Thanks. Are there any resources you can point me to that list everything that's required? I'd like to get a better understanding of how the system works.

On a related note, I'm also considering taking over preparation of corporate taxes (1120S and California equivalent) so if you have any resources for those too, that would be doubly awesome.
O.K. -- here's the webpage for CA's EDD: https://edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Taxes/Requir ... _Dates.htm

Generally you need to file 3 forms quarterly - DE 9, DE 9C, and DE 88 (payment coupon). You have to make more frequent payroll tax deposits if you collect more than $350 in CA income tax (would then need to do it monthly) but I never had to submit more frequently than quarterly.

You pay UI (state unemployment) and ETT (employment training tax) insurance on the first 7000 of each employee's earnings. Your UI rate is calculated and is specific to each employer, you should get a form in the mail each December telling you what the rate is for the upcoming year. ETT is .1%. Apart from those, all you need to submit is the state income tax and SDI that you're withholding from your employee's paycheck.

I'm assuming Bof A is calculating the state income tax withholding and SDI withholding, they're just not filing the forms?

I didn't do corporate taxes (we had a CPA firm) so can't help with those.

Feel free to ping me with any questions you might have.
Thanks, this is great. Although, this seems like an awful lot of work to do manually. We're taking about ~$150,000 per year in wages, so it would require monthly deposits. It might be worth the $400/year just to have it automated. It seems like a big difference to me between quarterly and monthly in terms of level of hassle.

Do you know of any similar resources for federal payroll tax? I wouldn't ask you to type it all out, but I looked for a summary online and couldn't find one.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by SC Anteater »

Federal is the form 941, so take a look at the IRS instructions for that form to get the details. And W2s, of course.

Both federal and state can be submitted online, which makes it pretty easy to do.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

SC Anteater wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:02 am Federal is the form 941, so take a look at the IRS instructions for that form to get the details. And W2s, of course.

Both federal and state can be submitted online, which makes it pretty easy to do.
I believe Form 940 is required too, no?
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by SC Anteater »

fyre4ce wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:16 pm
SC Anteater wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:02 am Federal is the form 941, so take a look at the IRS instructions for that form to get the details. And W2s, of course.

Both federal and state can be submitted online, which makes it pretty easy to do.
I believe Form 940 is required too, no?
Yes, that form is filed annually in January.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by jameskay »

I am in CA, and I have used this Bank of America / Intuit "free" payroll service for years, happily.
As suggested above, upon creation of your paychecks, the site DOES properly calculate your CA state taxes based on your inputs (Personal income tax, SUI (Unemployment), ETT (Employment Training Tax), and CASDI (Disability)). It's just that (unlike Federal where you can submiy payments and quarterly forms directly from the intuit site) you have to explicitly login to the CA EDD website and do your monthly deposits and file your quarterly forms. After getting used to it, it probably takes me about 5 minutes each month, plus 15 mins each quarter for the quarterly forms. But the salaries (2 emps) are constant for me, so it requires very little thinking. For my personality, I prefer to do this myself versus pay $432 per year for the enhanced payroll.
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

Thanks, all!
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

Update: I'm going to sign up and I don't see the BofA free payroll option anymore. All I see is a link to an external page with the cheapest option being $45/mo. Did they discontinue their offer?
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by jameskay »

I just got an email from Intuit, saying that my free payroll via BofA is going away. Highlights:


As a valued Intuit customer, we wanted to make sure you knew about the upcoming changes to your Intuit Online Payroll subscription, effective on or after August 13, 2021. We are retiring Intuit Online Payroll and moving you to a better payroll service — more modern, with more features, and better ongoing development support. For most customers, the transition is completely seamless and takes under a minute. As a result of this change, you'll get access to exciting new features so you can easily and confidently pay your team.

Here's what to expect:

You're moving to QuickBooks Online Payroll Core
Intuit Online Payroll is going away
....
New price structure
Base fee: $45 per month
Employee fee: $4/month per employee
Contractor fee: $4/month per contractor paid via direct deposit

If you decide to move to QuickBooks Online Payroll before August 13, 2021, you'll save 50% off of your new base fee for the next three months — bringing it down to $22.50 per month.2


Blah - probably time to shop for alternatives, though it may be tempting to finish out 2021 to keep that calendar year clean. Anyone have current recommendations for best, simplest payroll service for the frugal crowd?
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fyre4ce
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by fyre4ce »

When I went looking for the free payroll service around the beginning of this year, I noticed it was no longer available. The best deal I found was $40/mo through Bank of America, in partnership with ADP. And, BofA subsidizes it by $15/mo by way of a deposit into the business acct, so net cost is only $25/mo. I believe there is also a yearly fee for issuing a W-2, but net yearly cost is <$400.

Having used ADP for 6 mo, my experience is positive. They have a decent and easy to use web portal that lets me go in and look at details or enter changes myself.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by furikake »

We got the same notice. I will never ever use ADP regardless of how cheap they are, they have screwed us over multiple times, enough is enough for us.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by niceguy7376 »

Look at online payroll company like gusto. They have their pricing on the website.
Happy customer for the last 4 years
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by furikake »

niceguy7376 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 pm Look at online payroll company like gusto. They have their pricing on the website.
Happy customer for the last 4 years
Gusto is the other one I will never ever go with.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by unclescrooge »

fyre4ce wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:56 pm When I went looking for the free payroll service around the beginning of this year, I noticed it was no longer available. The best deal I found was $40/mo through Bank of America, in partnership with ADP. And, BofA subsidizes it by $15/mo by way of a deposit into the business acct, so net cost is only $25/mo. I believe there is also a yearly fee for issuing a W-2, but net yearly cost is <$400.

Having used ADP for 6 mo, my experience is positive. They have a decent and easy to use web portal that lets me go in and look at details or enter changes myself.
I had the same experience.

After interviewing several providers that interfaced with quick books, I ended up with Gusto. They are excellent and I highly recommend them. They charge $45/month.

If you want a $100 gift card, ping me and I'll send you a referral sign up link.
Last edited by unclescrooge on Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by ILnative »

Another vote for Gusto - have several clients that use them - very intuitive interface and great reporting (and cheap)
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by jameskay »

furikake wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:33 pm
niceguy7376 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 pm Look at online payroll company like gusto. They have their pricing on the website.
Happy customer for the last 4 years
Gusto is the other one I will never ever go with.
Why?
furikake
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by furikake »

jameskay wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:25 pm
furikake wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:33 pm
niceguy7376 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 pm Look at online payroll company like gusto. They have their pricing on the website.
Happy customer for the last 4 years
Gusto is the other one I will never ever go with.
Why?
One instance was with a client, they switched to Gusto, Gusto tricked them into signing over their benefits. The client confronted them, they lied to the client saying they reversed the process but they did not at all. Another instance was with a friend of a friend, they went to work for a company who used Gusto, who was supposedly their benefits administrator, who was supposed to help the employees with benefit questions, but when the employee asked them, they could not answer any questions, and asked them to go ask the insurance company. The insurance company could not answer any questions because the employee had not signed up yet (new employee). The insurance company is not supposed to disclose any employer's plans to any stranger who they can't verify is a new employee of the company, so that was why the insurance company could not help the new employee. Gusto did not know how to help because they only claimed they knew benefits but they in fact did not, they collect the commission but they could not actually do the job.
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Re: Bank of America free payroll service (in CA)

Post by unclescrooge »

furikake wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:58 pm
jameskay wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:25 pm
furikake wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:33 pm
niceguy7376 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 pm Look at online payroll company like gusto. They have their pricing on the website.
Happy customer for the last 4 years
Gusto is the other one I will never ever go with.
Why?
One instance was with a client, they switched to Gusto, Gusto tricked them into signing over their benefits. The client confronted them, they lied to the client saying they reversed the process but they did not at all. Another instance was with a friend of a friend, they went to work for a company who used Gusto, who was supposedly their benefits administrator, who was supposed to help the employees with benefit questions, but when the employee asked them, they could not answer any questions, and asked them to go ask the insurance company. The insurance company could not answer any questions because the employee had not signed up yet (new employee). The insurance company is not supposed to disclose any employer's plans to any stranger who they can't verify is a new employee of the company, so that was why the insurance company could not help the new employee. Gusto did not know how to help because they only claimed they knew benefits but they in fact did not, they collect the commission but they could not actually do the job.
Sounds like it's only good for payroll without benefits.
That's a pity, because it handles the payroll portion quite well.
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