QuickBooks is a powerful accounting software used by countless businesses to manage their financial transactions and data. However, like any software, it's not immune to errors and glitches. One such error that can cause frustration for QuickBooks users is Error PS038. This error often occurs when downloading payroll updates or updating your QuickBooks software. In this blog, we will delve into what QuickBooks Error PS038 is, its potential causes, and most importantly, how to resolve it.

Understanding QuickBooks Error PS038

QuickBooks Error PS038 is an issue that primarily affects the QuickBooks Payroll service. This error may display an error message like "PS038: There is a problem verifying your payroll subscription." When this error occurs, you may find that you cannot download the latest payroll updates or perform any payroll-related tasks. It can hinder your ability to process paychecks and stay compliant with payroll tax regulations.

Common Causes of QuickBooks Error PS038

  1. Corrupt Payroll Tax Table Files: One of the most common causes of Error PS038 is damaged or corrupt payroll tax table files.
  2. Internet Connection Issues: Problems with your internet connection can also lead to this error. An unstable or slow internet connection can disrupt the download of payroll updates.
  3. Incorrect Payroll Subscription: If your QuickBooks software is not linked to the correct payroll subscription, you may encounter this error.
  4. Outdated QuickBooks Software: Running an outdated version of QuickBooks can cause compatibility issues with the payroll service.
  5. Corrupted QuickBooks Installation: A corrupted QuickBooks installation can trigger various errors, including PS038.

Now that we have a grasp of what Error PS038 is and its possible causes, let's move on to resolving it.

Steps to Resolve QuickBooks Error PS038

  1. Update QuickBooks Software: Ensure that you are using the latest version of QuickBooks. If not, update your software to the latest release. Updating QuickBooks can often resolve compatibility issues with the payroll service.
  2. Verify Your Payroll Subscription: Confirm that you have an active and correct payroll subscription. If necessary, update or re-verify your subscription information.
  3. Reset Your QuickBooks Update Settings: To do this, go to Edit > Preferences > Payroll & Employees > Company Preferences. Click the "Full Payroll" option, then click "OK." Afterward, update your payroll tax tables again.
  4. Check Your Internet Connection: Ensure that your internet connection is stable and fast enough to download updates. Try accessing other websites to verify the connection's reliability.
  5. Renew the Payroll Subscription: If your subscription is expired, you must renew it. QuickBooks will prompt you to do this when you attempt to download payroll updates.
  6. Repair QuickBooks Installation: Sometimes, a corrupted installation can lead to Error PS038. To repair it, you can use the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool or manually reinstall QuickBooks.
  7. Clear the Cache and Data: Navigate to C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks and delete the CPS folder. Then, attempt to download the payroll update again.
  8. Consult QuickBooks Support: If you've followed all the above steps and the issue persists, it's best to contact QuickBooks support for further assistance. They may provide a more specific solution based on your unique circumstances.


QuickBooks Error PS038 can be frustrating, but with the right steps, it can be resolved. Start by ensuring your QuickBooks software is up-to-date and that your payroll subscription is active. Check your internet connection, reset update settings, and clear the cache if necessary. If all else fails, don't hesitate to reach out to QuickBooks support for expert assistance. Remember, keeping your software and payroll information up-to-date is essential for smooth business operations and compliance with tax regulations.

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