Get started: Report previous payrolls

Before you get started, please gather the following items:

  • Year-to-date (YTD) paystub information from each prior quarter for active and dismissed employees paid this year.
  • YTD paystub information from the current quarter for active and dismissed employees.
If your first check date in Gusto is in... We will need...
Quarter 1 (January 1 - March 31)

Every paystub with YTD amounts in the current quarter

Quarter 2 (April 1 - June 30)

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q1 with a check date 3/31 or earlier

Every pay stub with YTD amounts in the current quarter

Quarter 3 (July 1- September 30)

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q1 with a check date 3/31 or earlier

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q2 with a check date 6/30 or earlier

Every pay stub with YTD amounts in the current quarter

Quarter 4 (October 1 - December 31)

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q1 with a check date 3/31 or earlier

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q2 with a check date 6/30 or earlier

YTD amounts on the last paystub in Q3 with a check date 9/30 or earlier

Every paystub with YTD amounts in the current quarter

Enter your previous payrolls

  1. Click the Get Started tab.
  2. Click Step 7: Report Previous Payrolls.
  3. Ensure all of your active employees are entered, and click Save and Continue.
  4. Ensure all of your dismissed employees from the current year are entered, and click Save and Continue. This is very important as we need this info to generate all required W-2s at the end of the year.
  5. Click Add Paystubs for your first employee.
    • Gusto will default to paystubs having been issued for all employees, unselect the check box if no paystubs were issued and click Save Changes.
  6. Enter in the check date. This is the date the wages were paid.
    • Please note: Use the last paystub issued in the quarter with a check date that proceeds the last day of the quarter (i.e. 3/31, 6/30, 9/30,12/31).
  7. Check that the applicable taxes and the correct state taxes are present. 
  8. Enter the employee’s year-to-date earnings, taxes and deductions.  
  9. Once you have entered the details for the first paystub, click Save Changes.
  10. Continue entering the information for the remaining paystubs and employees.
  11. Once you’ve entered all paystubs, review your previous payroll provider’s report of your YTD totals.  Check for any missed employees and/or payrolls, like supplemental or bonus payrolls.  
  12. If all employees and paystubs have been entered, click Finish Adding Paystubs.

What's next? E-sign forms in Gusto.


Q: Do I really have to report my previous payrolls?
A: It is critical that you provide this information to Gusto because an employer can only issue one W2 per employee per year.  

Q: What’s the difference between a check date and a pay period?
A: The check date is the date the employee was paid. This date determines your payroll tax liability and will be the date you’ll enter when reporting previous payrolls. The pay period is the period of time during which the wages were earned.

For example, if an employee worked from December 15th to December 31st and was paid on January 15th, the pay period is the 15th - 31st and the check date is January 15th.

Q: What goes in the “Reimbursement” field?
A: These are business-related expenses incurred by the employee that are reimbursed on a non-taxable basis. Enter zero if no reimbursements were paid.

Q: Why won’t my paystubs save?
A: This can be due to several different errors:  

  • Not entering year-to-date values. Be sure that you’re entering year-to-date values, not just the values for the current pay period.  Most providers include these details on each paystub.  If not, you may need to add up the previous paystubs to get the year-to-date values.
  • Entering employee and employer paid benefits in the wrong box. Check that employee deductions haven’t been entered as employer contributions and that pre-tax/post-tax deductions are entered in the corresponding boxes.  All post-tax deductions should be grouped in the “Post-Tax Deductions” field. If you’re unsure what to enter, hover your cursor over the box to view tooltips.
  • Forgetting to enter a value. Double check that all boxes are filled in, including the reimbursements field. If you did not pay out any reimbursements please put a zero in the box.

Q: How do I set up employee tax exemptions?
A: You’ll need to return to the employee setup before entering the employee’s paystubs. Check out our article on how to add exemptions for more details. 

Q: Why aren't my Social Security and Medicare taxes correct?
A: Social Security and Medicare are flat tax rates of 6.2% and 1.45% of taxable wages, respectively.  Do NOT enter Gusto’s values if your figures don’t match. Double check that the employee wages, deductions, and reimbursements as well as employer contributions are all properly allocated. If you cannot find the source of the error please reach out to our Success team at and they will assist with troubleshooting.


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