Not all IRA distributions are taxable. If none of the situations below account for the issue, double check your entries.
Box 2 may say that the taxable amount is zero. You may have had a rollover with a Code G.
It could have been a tax-free exchange.
6—Section 1035 exchange (a tax-free exchange of life insurance, annuity, qualified long-term care insurance, or endowment contracts)
It could have been a return of your own contributions to a Roth or a qualified Roth distribution.
A qualified distribution from a Roth IRA is tax-free and penalty-free, provided that the five-year aging requirement has been satisfied and one of the following conditions is met:
- Over age 59½
- Death or disability
- Qualified first-time home purchase
Section 1035 applies to nonqualified annuities and other insurance products, not to IRAs. The similar concept for IRAs is a trustee-to-trustee transfer which is entirely non-reportable and, since no Form 1099-R is to be issued for a trustee-to-trustee transfer of an IRA, a trustee-to-trustee transfer will not appear anywhere on a tax return.
Presumably you are asking the question because you entered a Form 1099-R reporting a distribution from a traditional IRA. As ColeenD3 said, if the distribution from was instead from a Roth IRA the distribution may or may not be taxable. Do you have basis in nondeductible traditional IRA contributions? If so, make sure that you have entered the form accurately, answered the immediate questions to indicate that you did not roll the money over to another traditional qualified retirement account (otherwise the amount rolled over is nontaxable), clicked the Continue button on the Your 1099-R Entries page and answered the additional questions there, in particular the one asking for your year-end value in traditional IRAs, if asked.
Is your distribution truly a distribution from a traditional IRA? A regular distribution from a traditional IRA will have code 1, 2 or 7 in box 7 and the IRA/SEP/SIMPLE box will be marked. Distributions from other types of retirement accounts can be nontaxable, depending on the circumstances, with a taxable amount of $0 shown in box 2a. It's uncommon for a distribution from an IRA to be reported with code G since code G in box 7 with the IRA/SEP/SIMPLE box marked means a direct rollover from a traditional IRA to a qualified retirement plan like a 401(k).
My 1099-R for IRA distribution (RMA) is completed but the 1040 line 4a is blank. But line 4b to the right shows the taxable amount. Shouldn't line 4a also show that amount?
If the distribution and the taxable amount are the same then Line 4a will be blank.