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Level 2

Don't understand my withholding problems

I'm married filing jointly. After last year (2018), I owed $3738 in Fed taxes (which was ~$2500 more than 2017…thanks Trump). Now, for 2019, I owe almost $6,000 in Fed taxes.

One issue is that I moved ~$5k from an old pension fund from an old job into an existing Roth IRA, so I know I would have to take the hit from that. What I wish I could do with the online version of Turbo tax is remove this one time pension move and see how that alone affected things, but I can't seem to figure out if this is possible. It seems like I've got to buy the hard copy version of TurboTax to play these what if games.


What is even more frustrating is when I head over to the IRS W4 calculator and enter in all of my current pay stub withholding, it is telling me that I should expect a refund for this tax year, which makes zero sense to me based on what I owed for 2018. I really don't want to have to pay an accountant to figure this stuff out for me but don't know what to do next.

4 Replies
Level 15

Don't understand my withholding problems

Well you can completely delete that 1099R from your online return to see.  Be sure to re enter it.    Yes the Desktop program can see the forms and do What-If and test returns.  Have you paid for Online yet?


Even before you pay for the online version you can switch to the desktop version and you won't have to re-enter your information. To continue in the desktop version see this…….

You can buy a cd or download the program here or look around at stores for sales.


You need to download the .tax2019 file from online to your computer. But after you get the program installed the first thing to do before you open your tax return .tax file is to update the program and install any state programs you had. So you first might need to start a fake return to be able to download the state program (go to FILE - NEW). Then you just OPEN your file, go up to FILE - OPEN. It should find your .tax2019 file or if it doesn't you can browse (using Find a Tax File) to where you saved it.



Level 2

Don't understand my withholding problems

Yes, sadly, I already paid for the online version and filed my taxes. That was my concern / point was that it seems like one cannot go back to the online version and play around with these what-if scenarios once they have filed. 

Expert Alumni

Don't understand my withholding problems

You can still purchase and use the features of the desktop program.  It may be worth it - it would definitely be cheaper than hiring an accountant as you stated above.   You can still save your tax file from the Online program and open it up in the desktop program.   If you need to amend, you can use the desktop program for that too.  

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Level 15

Don't understand my withholding problems

Contact TT support and ask nicely for a downloaded version to be pushed your way ... explain your need to estimate your taxes since they are messy ... they will usually do this for you ... ask real nice.


To call TurboTax customer support [product key removed]r

They are available from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time   Monday - Friday




This is my mini version of  a tutorial  that should be in the downloaded program: 


  What is Forms Mode?

Forms Mode lets you view and make changes to your tax forms "behind the scenes."

If you're adventurous, you can even prepare your return in Forms Mode, but we don't recommend it. You may miss obscure credits and deductions you qualify for, and you may forget to report things that will come back and haunt you later.

Forms Mode is exclusively available in the TurboTax CD/Download software. It is not available in TurboTax Online.


Related Information:


If you want to play around with different figures and tax scenarios without affecting your original return you can ….

  • >>>In the TurboTax CD/Download software by creating a test copy
  • 1.  Open your return in TurboTax. 
  • 2.  From the File menu, choose Save As. 
  • 3.  Give the copy a new name to distinguish it from the original (for example, by adding "Test" or "Example" to the file name). 
  • 4. Click  Save. You are now safely working in the test copy and anything you do here will not affect the original. 


  • >>  use the WHAT IF tool: 
  • - Click Forms Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 2 (forms view) 
  • - Click on the Open Form Icon 
  • - In the “Type a form name.” area type What-If (with the dash), click on the name of the worksheet - click on Open Form 
  • - You will see the worksheet on the right side of the screen; enter the information right into the form 
  • - To get back to interview mode - click on the Step-by-Step Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 1



It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your tax data file, in case your original gets lost or corrupted. Here's how:

  1. From the File menu in the upper-left corner of TurboTax, choose Save As (Windows) or Save (Mac).
  2. Browse to where you want to save your backup.
    • Tip: If you're saving to a portable device, save it to your computer first to prevent data corruption. Then, after completing Step 4, copy or move the backup file to your device.
  3. In the File name field, enter a name that will distinguish it from the original tax file (for example, add "Backup" or "Copy" to the file name)
  4. Click Save and then close TurboTax.
  5. Restart TurboTax and open the backup copy to make sure it's not corrupted. If you get an error, delete the backup and repeat these steps.

If you make changes to your original tax return file, repeat these steps to ensure your original and backup copies are in-synch.

Related Information:                             


AND save it as a PDF so you have access to a copy even if you don’t have the program still installed and operational :

AND protect the files :

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