Calculate state payroll taxes in Excel with Basics Payroll State 2013

Calculate state taxes and even print paychecks with this free Excel workbook.

We like Excel workbook templates because they do so much of the work for you by integrating a variety of tools and features directly into your spreadsheets; all you need to do is enter the data. Small Business Friendly's Basics Payroll State 2013 is a good example. It can calculate withholding for state taxes on your payroll and even print the paychecks. It generates a variety of reports you can use with your business taxes or planning. It prints top-quality, professional-looking checks and stubs in "Top Check Format" style and retains weekly or bi-weekly processed payroll data for a year (we recommend saving it separately, too). Basics Payroll State 2013 is free, but you have to register to use it. Registration involves answering three simple questions (your city and state, your industry, and whether you have used Basics Payroll State 2013 before) and no personal data is shared, according to the developer.

Basics State Payroll opened inside Excel with a pop-up describing the trial period, registration process, EULA, and privacy policy involved with using the workbook. The tool's motto is "Keeping It Simple," which set a positive tone as we perused the Menu page and reviewed its three steps: Submit General Info, Submit Payroll Input, and Process the Pay Period. The worksheets themselves use white lettering on green cells in a black background, a somewhat dramatic look compared to the usual Excel sheet's subtle shades, but with bold, easy-to-see borders and plenty of contrast for accurately filling cells. The first two steps are fairly simple data entry jobs, but Step 3, the Payroll Processing Center, involves several options. The first thing we noticed in Step 3 was a button labeled Backup Your Work; we strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with the process of clicking this button. All that remained was to Verify and Process our payroll and print the checks, and generate a report when we finished the job.

Small businesses have few advantages, so it's great to find one like Basics Payroll State 2013. It takes a tool you already have, Excel, and turns it into a flexible payroll processing tool.

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