Best Free Payroll Software for 2022

Check out our number of the best free payroll systems for modest businesses. This guide besides includes three affordably-priced paid options if you need more payroll features. Robie has more than five years of content writing experience and specializes in writing about payroll and human resources software for little businesses. Charlette has over 10 years of experience in accounting and finance and 2 years of partnering with HR leaders on mercenary projects. She uses this across-the-board experience to answer your questions about payroll. The best free payroll software can calculate yield for hourly and wage workers, cover tax calculations and deductions, and print checks and pay stubs. Some of the systems even file taxes and offer address deposits. In this template, we reviewed six free payroll services and then narrowed it down to our top three recommendations.

  • TimeTrex: Best overall free payroll software for small businesses
  • Best for companies with 25 or fewer employees that want the option of add-on payroll tax filings
  • Best for startups needing a free multilingual platform with basic HR and payroll tools

If you need software with more functionality but aren ’ thyroxine ready to spend money, you should consider low-cost payroll software that comes with a free test so you can make certain it ’ sulfur worth it, risk-free .

  • Gusto: 30-day free trial
  • Paychex: Three-month free trial
  • QuickBooks Payroll: 30-day free trial

Top Free Payroll Software Compared

If you need more payroll software options and are open to some that aren ’ t free ( so far sanely priced ), check out our buyer ’ s guides on the best on-line payroll services and the best payroll software for small businesses .

Unlike barren payroll software, paid options come with a wide-eyed range of solutions and services to further streamline and automatize processes. These features include automatic rifle payroll tax table updates, complaisance patronize, and access to benefits plans you can offer employees .
many paid payroll software besides remit and file federal, express, and local taxes for you, while others provide HR consultancy services if you need aid in managing employee issues .
If you ’ ra looking for a paid payroll platform that mechanically updates payroll tax rates and files taxes ( most free payroll software don ’ t ), is easy to use, and reasonably priced, consider Gusto. It ’ s an all-in-one payroll and HR solution for small businesses that helps save you meter and money by calculating, filing, and paying your payroll taxes automatically. It ’ s exempt for up to 30 days .

TimeTrex: Best Overall Free Payroll Software for Small Businesses


TimeTrex logo

Overall Score:




rate CRITERIA Ease of Use 3.88 OUT OF 5
Payroll Features 3.75 OUT OF 5
Pricing 5.00 OUT OF 5
Popularity 5.00 OUT OF 5
Reporting 5.00 OUT OF 5

What We Like

  • Has automatic pay runs with free direct deposits
  • Offers a feature-rich free plan (comes with payroll, time tracking, scheduling, and HR management tools)
  • Integrates with other payroll tools like QuickBooks, ADP, and Paychex
  • Offers two software deployment options (on-site and cloud-hosted)

What ‘s Missing

  • Lacks transparent pricing; details about the free option and paid plans are difficult to find on its website
  • Doesn’t handle payroll tax filings; only generates tax forms
  • Has features that aren’t intuitive and look somewhat dated

TimeTrex Pricing

Free version: Open-source Community Edition with no employee minimums
Paid options*

  • Three custom-priced product editions (Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise) that include additional tools like recruiting, invoicing, and expense tracking functionalities
  • Pricing varies, depending on the software deployment option and number of employees (wherein fees start to decrease with 26 and more employees)
  • Monthly fees for its cloud-hosted version start at $3 per employee

*Pricing is based on a quote we received

TimeTrex is our top-recommended free payroll software for modest businesses because it does more than Payroll4Free and Aside from wage process, it has prison term tracking, scheduling, paid time off ( PTO ) monitor, and HR management solutions that you can access at no monetary value. You even get an on-line time clock that lets your employees clock in/out through web browsers .
Scoring an overall rat of 4.28 out of 5, TimeTrex earned perfective marks in closely all our criteria. It would have gotten a higher score if not for its circumscribed employee payment options ( only offers lineal deposits and checks ) and identical basic payroll tax services. While it calculates federal, state, and local taxes in accession to generating tax forms ( like W-2s and 1099s ), TimeTrex doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate remit and file taxes for you .
however, users still appreciate its user-friendly platform that makes pay processing easy. If you need tax file services, you may want to consider, but it isn ’ metric ton free—you have to pay $ 25 per calendar month .
Sample image of TimeTrex's dashboard with widgets widgets.

TimeTrex Features

evening at its unblock level, TimeTrex grants you access to respective integrate solutions designed to help you manage your work force. You get on-line tools to create schedules, capture clock-ins/outs, path attendance, monitor PTO, give employees, conduct operation reviews, and record staff information in a centralized database. This is more than what offers ( doesn ’ t have complimentary HR tools ) and what provides as part of its forever-free solution ( doesn ’ t have performance reviews ) .

TimeTrex has robust time tracking capabilities—making it one of our lead time and attendance software for minor businesses. Its web browser-based clock clock allows you to turn computers into employee time tracking devices. however, geofencing capabilities, facial recognition meter clocks, and mobile fourth dimension tracking apps aren ’ t included in its free Community Edition. If you require geolocation and confront confirmation tools to prevent buddy punch, we recommend as it offers those functionalities for free .

With TimeTrex ’ s efficient payroll tools, you don ’ t have to worry about doing payroll yourself. In addition to automatic payroll runs, it mechanically calculates taxes and custom deductions like garnishments, PTO accruals, and benefits. It besides offers electronic pay stubs, spare conduct deposits, and pay checks that you can print in respective formats. however, TimeTrex doesn ’ thymine handle payroll tax payments and filings for you. If you don ’ thyroxine want do-it-yourself ( DIY ) taxes and you ’ rhenium will to pay extra, consider Payroll4Free as it offers automatize tax file services for $ 25 monthly .

TimeTrex seamlessly integrates with other payroll software like QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex, Ceridian, and Sage. note that doesn ’ thymine have this functionality, while has limited options and connects with other software through payroll data exports and fourth dimension data imports .

digression from standard payroll, HR, and employee reports, TimeTrex has built-in templates that you can customize .
Read our TimeTrex Review

Payroll4Free: Best for Companies With 25 or Fewer Employees Wanting an Add-on Payroll Tax Filing Option


Overall Score:




rate CRITERIA Ease of Use 4.50 OUT OF 5
Payroll Features 2.69 OUT OF 5
Pricing 4.38 OUT OF 5
Popularity 2.50 OUT OF 5
Reporting 5.00 OUT OF 5

What We Like

  • Free-forever payroll services with essential online tools (including an employee portal)
  • Email and phone support with access to payroll and tax experts
  • Tax filings and direct deposits (not using own bank) are affordable add-ons

What ‘s Missing

  • Free only for 25 or fewer employees; doesn’t offer a paid version if you have 26 or more employees
  • Limited system compatibility (Windows only)
  • Payroll software comes with ads; interface looks outdated
  • New user sign up process isn’t straightforward; requires several forms and documents to create account

Payroll4Free Pricing

Free version: Payroll software free for those with 25 or fewer staff

  • Payroll tax payments and filings: $25 monthly
  • Direct deposit transfers using Payroll4Free’s bank account**: $25 monthly

*If you get both add-ons, Payroll4Free will only charge $ 30 monthly .
**Direct sediment services require a security deposit equal to the highest calculate net payroll you plan to process in a weeklong time period .

Payroll4Free is a democratic free payroll software for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. It calculates payroll and taxes, tracks PTO accruals, prints paychecks, and provides complimentary direct deposits if you use your own bank. The software can besides handle year-end tax reports ( W-2s and 1099s ), providing you with pre-formatted forms to send to the politics. If you want to file your tax forms, you can pay $ 25 per calendar month for that serve ( the other two dislodge providers on our tilt do not offer this option ). If you need clock tracking and attendance tools included in a free payroll solution, consider either or TimeTrex .
In our evaluation, Payroll4Free earned a score of 3.6 out of 5. It would have ranked higher if it didn ’ t have a 25 employee specify ( TimeTrex and can handle unlimited employees ) and if it offered aim deposits and tax filings for spare. Plus, its average drug user military rank on third-party recapitulation sites ( like G2 and Capterra ) is downstairs 4 as of this writing. Some users even said that its platform is unintuitive, often taking excess steps to complete what a give program can do in a single click. They besides don ’ metric ton appreciate the ads that appear while using the instrument .

Payroll4Free Features

In summation to paying employees and calculating taxes ( union, department of state, and local ) for free, it allows you to set up any deduction, contribution, and earning. will mechanically compute it—provided you have specified how these items should be calculated. bill that it doesn ’ t have the integrate time tracking tools that both TimeTrex and provide for free. You have to manually import time data into its system before you can run payroll .

If you prefer to pay employees via checks, can help set up its software to add any data you want to appear on the check. You won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate get the said loose serve with both and TimeTrex .

aside from unlimited customer hold, has a team of experienced payroll and tax specialists that you can contact if you have queries or need payroll advice. however, it doesn ’ t have the community forum that TimeTrex and offer, which allows you to get stimulation from other business owners and HR professionals .

You get custom-made and detailed reports, enabling you to stay up-to-date with payroll information, tax details, PTO accruals, and employee deductions. It has respective report options, but the choices aren ’ metric ton ampere robust as and TimeTrex—simply because these two providers ’ free packages include other HR solutions, so you may run non-payroll reports .
Read our Payroll4Free Review logo

Overall Score:




rate CRITERIA Ease of Use 2.25 OUT OF 5
Payroll Features 3.13 OUT OF 5
Pricing 5.00 OUT OF 5
Popularity 5.00 OUT OF 5
Reporting 2.50 OUT OF 5

What We Like

  • Feature-rich free HR solution that includes payroll, basic HR, expense claim management, and online time clock tools
  • Multilingual platform that supports up to 66 languages
  • Additional paid features are only $5 per month

What ‘s Missing

  • Doesn’t file and pay payroll taxes
  • User guide isn’t robust
  • Lacks phone support
  • Sponsorship ads appear on the dashboard and its other online tools Pricing

Free version: Payroll software free for inexhaustible employees ; includes unblock on-line memory

Add-on: $ 5 monthly sponsorship that includes ad-free web accounts, early access to new features, extra on-line storage, and advanced electronic mail notifications is a complimentary multilingual HR software that is crowdfunded. The company works with those concerned in translating the software into extra languages. As of this write, it has 66 lyric options—more than the free solutions we reviewed, including most paid payroll software. It has basic payroll and HR features ( such as employee information management, clock traverse, and expense claims ) that you can use for free .
overall, it earned 3.45 out of 5 in our evaluation, with perfect marks in price and popularity. What pulled its grudge down is the lack of custom report and payroll tax charge services. It besides doesn ’ t offer phone subscribe or have a digest team. If you need help with a feature of speech, you can visit its community forum and access its on-line exploiter scout, which is more of an FAQ page but with limit information . sponsorship ads example. Features

If you ’ ra always on the belong, has a cloud-based system that you can access 24/7 and from any device ( such as Windows and Mac computers, Android tablets, and the iPad ). No software facility is needed—unlike TimeTrex ’ s release Community Edition, which you need to download .

Of the three release payroll software that we reviewed, only has a platform that ’ sulfur multilingual. While its nonpayment terminology is english, you can change it directly from the system and choose from 66 options, which include Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Vietnamese . doesn ’ t only leave free payroll tools—you besides get time tracking, PTO management, expense call management, and self-service solutions for employees. however, it doesn ’ t have the schedule and performance inspection tools that TimeTrex offers for unblock . ’ s time clock solution offers geolocation trailing, facial verifications of clocking in employees, and mobile time-ins/outs for playing field staff. however, TimeTrex ’ s time tracking feature is more full-bodied as it has a facial recognition time clock option—employees only have to stand in front of the device ’ s television camera to clock in/out . ’ s payroll tools are designed to simplify and automate employee pay process. It has automatic pay runs and payslips, and you can remit employee salaries through lineal deposits or print paychecks. What it doesn ’ metric ton support are payroll tax filings and year-end reporting—you have to fill out W-2 forms yourself .
Read our Review

If you need help selecting from our list of best exempt payroll services, follow our bit-by-bit usher on choosing payroll services .

Alternative Free Payroll Tools

The three exempt payroll services that we recommend provide you with the substantive pay work tools you need. however, if you ’ rhenium looking for a childlike payroll calculator with check mark printing options, then consider Paycheck Manager. not entirely does it compute employee pay up, but it calculates taxes and overtime for barren. A downside is that it can print entirely one paycheck at a time, so it ’ south lone good for businesses with fewer than five employees .
For those who are more comfortable using spreadsheets to handle basic payroll, is a great alternate. With its unblock Visual Basic for Applications ( VBA ) payroll program, you don ’ t need to manually input formulas to calculate pay. It ’ mho already programmed with the essential formula and payroll tools you need, plus it keeps numbers updated for the current tax year .

We besides have Excel templates for payroll that you can download for free. Check out our guide of loose payroll templates, including tips on how to use them .

How We Evaluated the Best Free Payroll Software

We started our inquiry with six providers that offer release payroll services rather than merely free trials. then, we examined the features and relief of use, focusing on paycheck march and tax cooking. To view our broad evaluation criteria, snap through the tab key in the corner below .

40 %
payroll Features

20 %

20 %
rest of Use

10 %

10 %

40% of Overall Score

Having release direct deposits to pay employees is preferred, followed by the capability to run payroll on mobile, and forecast and file federal, local anesthetic, and country taxes. We besides considered early tax and payroll functions, such as year-end report and multiple employee payment options. TimeTrex earned the highest score here, followed by then Payroll4Free .

20% of Overall Score

We specifically chose payroll services with free payroll functions. however, we favored those that cover inexhaustible employees and offered basic HR functions on a forever-free plan. Of the exceed three software, the provider that didn ’ thymine get a arrant score here is Payroll4Free because its payroll military service is detached only for 25 or fewer employees .

20% of Overall Score

Free is no good if you have to fight the program. We looked for software with an intuitive interface, checked how easily it was to learn, and compared support options. We besides considered whether it integrates with other programs or at least leave CSV file downloads. TimeTrex received the highest sexual conquest hera since it has a relatively user-friendly interface, integrates with third-party software, and offers live call support. With and Payroll4Free, you get limited consolidation options—plus, their platforms aren ’ t arsenic user-friendly as TimeTrex .

10% of Overall Score

We gave points based on the reports available and whether you could customize them. While the three software we reviewed offer criterion payroll reports, lone TimeTrex and Payroll4Free have customized report .

10% of Overall Score

We considered online drug user reviews from third-party sites ( like G2 and Capterra ) based on a 5-star scale, wherein any option with an average of 4+ stars is ideal. Both TimeTrex and scored well under popularity, whereas Payroll4Free received an average score of 3.85 out of 5 on on-line follow-up sites .
*Percentages of overall seduce

Bottom Line

Businesses that are on a tight budget or have limited payroll needs may find free payroll software as a way to save time and help prevent mistakes that can cost money and even legal problems. The spare payroll services on our list offer on-line tools to make your pay work tasks easier .
overall, we found TimeTrex to be the best absolve payroll software because of its wide crop of useful features that include tax calculations, automatic pay runs, and free calculate deposits. Its free version provides you with effective payroll and HR tools, while its give tiers offer flush more hour functions. Sign up for a TimeTrex plan today .
Visit TimeTrex

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