QuickBooks 2009 R10, 2010 R4, and Sales Tax

| December 17, 2009

My apologies for ANOTHER article on product updates, but things have been changing fast in the past few days and I want to summarize what is going on. The primary focus here is on sales tax in the 2009 and 2010 desktop versions of QuickBook.

Let’s see if I can get this straight! To understand how this affects you, please look to see what revision of QuickBooks you are using. This article tells you how. I’ll talk about QB 2009 first, then QB 2010.

Update 01/04/2010 – If you use a 64 bit system then these updates may introduces a new bug – see my article on the 64 bit PDF driver.

Update 02/12/2010: QB 2009 R11 has been released with a fix for this problem

QuickBooks 2009

If you are running QuickBooks 2009

  • In November the R9 release came out. Lots of bug fixes, and a major change to the back end database system. Lots of people had problems with this release, usually because it required a more complicated update than a normal update.
  • In December it was discovered that the R9 release created a problem with the sales tax liability and sales tax revenue reports. It is only a problem if the number of items in your Items list multiplied by the number of vendors in your Vendors list exceeded 10,000.  Hmm… if I have 500 items, and just 20 vendors, I might have a problem! In this case the reports would not report your sales tax correctly. This is ONLY a problem IF you used this version to file a sales tax report.
  • Shortly after this was discovered, the R10 update was released. This was to fix the sales tax bug in R9, and is due to go out to automatic update today.

The good news is that your data isn’t damaged in the R9 sales tax problem, so if you have R10 then you can get the proper information from your sales tax liability report. The bad news is that R10 still has a bug! The sales tax revenue report still won’t work. In this case, it isn’t going to give you incorrect information, it just won’t give you any information at all (if you hit the circumstances described above). Most people report off of the sales tax liability report, so you are OK. If you need the sales tax revenue report, though, you have to do some extra work. You can get the detailed information you need from the sales tax liability report by double clicking on records there. Intuit will be providing more details on this on their web site.

There is an R11 update in the works that will fix this other problem. Update 02/12/2010: R11 has been released to fix this problem. See my article on the 2009 R11 update.

Confusing? Yes! I’ve talked to people at Intuit about what I see as problems in their testing and release process. However, I will note that Intuit has been very good about acknowledging these problems, and very good about working to get fixes out in a timely manner.

Intuit will put the R10 update out on automatic update so that the R9 users can get the fix it contains. Those who are still on automatic update and got the R9 update will automatically get the R10 update, which is good. If you are still on R8, it is unlikely that you have automatic updates on, so R10 won’t be pushed to your system. Or so the thinking goes at Intuit.

So, what should you do? My suggestions:

  • If you are using 2009 R8 (or older), stick with that until January some time, after the holidays, and after we see an R11 update (and we know that this update is good). The conversion takes a lot of work.
  • If you are using 2009 R9 then you need to update to 2009 R10 as soon as you can. This is NOT as big of a transition as you went through going from R8 to R9.

I should note that if you are using an Intuit Payroll solution you may need to update to R10 to get any year end corrections. I’m not 100% sure about that issue at this time.

QuickBooks 2010

Things are a little less confusing with QB 2010. But there are still some issues.

  • If you have the R2 release, no problem here.
  • There is no public R3 release – it was being field tested, but Intuit didn’t make that release public. This sometimes happens – a field test shows that it isn’t ready to go public (which is the reason for doing a field test) and so it is held back. I’m making an assumption that this is the case, I don’t know for sure. This is OK, but sometimes people get confused when they see that a release number was skipped.
  • Yesterday I came across an announcement of the 2010 R4 release and I published an article on that.  There are some changes here that many people have been asking (screaming?) about that I’m very happy to see. A small number of people downloaded this but then Intuit pulled the release back. Confusing! My understanding of this was that it was discovered that the R4 release had the same problem as the 2009 R10 release. That is the sales tax revenue report will not work if you have a certain number of items and vendors in those lists (as described above).

There will be an R5 update coming out soon that will not have the sales tax reporting issue.

Update 12/29/2009 – see my article on the R5 update which has a more comprehensive list of the changes in the R4 release.

So, for the time being, the corrections in the R4 update aren’t available to the general public. They will come soon, I hope.

If you are one of those who updated to R4, Intuit knows who downloaded that program and they will send out a notice about this (I’m not sure when). If you have downloaded R4 but haven’t installed it, do not install it. Wait for R5. If you have installed R4 then note that the sales tax revenue report might not work. It is either that it will work or not, it will not give you incorrect information.

My apologies to everyone about the article on the R4 release. I hope that it didn’t lead anyone down the wrong path. My thanks to Intuit staff members who took the time to explain all of this to me.

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Category: Program Updates, QuickBooks 2009, QuickBooks 2010

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Laura Dion says:

    Excellent article, Charlie. Thanks so much for all the research and thought you have put into this. . .and for sharing.

  2. Jeff says:

    I notice that the manual 2010 R4 update is still available at the ftp site

    Did they only pull it from automatic updates?

  3. Charlie says:

    Jeff, they pulled it from the manual update at the normal support web site. For good reason – it introduces a bug that wasn’t there in the R2 release. The kinds of changes they have aren’t mission critical, so it makes sense to wait for R5. I wouldn’t recommend going to the ftp site and downloading that update.

  4. Hey Charlie, are you having any problems with not being able to “get to” the R4P update for 2010? When I go to the website to manually download the update, it is still not there–only the R2P update. I knew that first it “was there”, then “not there”, but have you heard any more about “getting it back there”? Thanks!

  5. Charlie says:

    Sherry, I’m sorry that I didn’t make that clear enough in the article (and the earlier comment). As I said just above, they withdrew the R4 update from distribution because they found that it introduced a new problem, and so they didn’t want that to get out (and they were quite right to hold this back). I saw the announcement and jumped on that quickly, and wrote about it, but then they withdrew it. The only update available AT THIS MOMENT (this can change at any time) for the 2010 product is R2. R3 was never released, R4 has been withdrawn. The next one that I expect to see is R5, which should include the R4 updates I mentioned but NOT introduce that sales tax report problem.

  6. Laura says:


    Laura from Intuit here. You’ve captured things quite accurately in this article. Thanks! We are very much working on R5 and I’m glad that you like the changes that will be in it.

    I do apologize about the issues with R4 and R9/10. We are definitely working on making sure this does not happen again. (And, you are right that 2010 R3 was not a general release – sometimes we do that, although not very often.)


  7. Nicki says:

    I am seeing one other problem with the R10 update. When you try to modify the sales tax liability report to show only non & tax sales tax codes instead of all (including adjustments) the report goes to back to the incorrect method. Where do we go to bring this attention to Quickbooks?
    Thanks for your article by the way! It was very helpful!

  8. Charlie says:

    Nicki, they know that there are multiple problems remaining in the sales tax area, and hopefully it will be fixed soon (and hopefully without introducing some OTHER error as they have been lately). But, in any case, use the feedback option in your help menu to point this out, just in case.

  9. Tracey Marino says:

    As always, thank you for rescuing me everytime I do an update. Just updatd Pro 2009 to R10 and of course had a issue with PDF. But I always know where to go to get my answers and it usually here and not the company website.

    Again, thank you

  10. Heidi says:


    I have QB Pro 2008 (R10P) and have the same issue listed above regarding the incorrect data on the sales tax liability report. I can only find fix-it information for QB Pro 2009.

    Can you help me resolve this issue?

    Thank you in advance!!!


  11. Charlie says:

    Heidi, from my understanding of that particular problem, it should exist in the 2008 program. It is possible that you have a different issue, because there are a number of things that you can do incorrectly to get sales tax reports that don’t make sense. It is also possible that the problem also exists in 2008, but based on info that I have I don’t expect that particular thing to occur there.

    Without seeing your file and without knowing what exactly you are seeing, there isn’t a lot that I can say at this time. You should find a ProAdvisor who can help work with you on “auditing” your sales tax report to see if it is indeed a bug or if it is something else.