This 4a/4b problem has kept me from e-filing for a significant refund for over a week. I've applied a bandaid approach suggested by someone (i.e. uncheck the "IRA" box on the worksheet for my RMDs). Why doesn't TT simply fix this error as it is of their making and they are responsible?
That's only for a single, fully taxable IRA. Read the exceptions carefully, and you'll find that partially taxable IRA's require the gross amount on 4a and the taxable portion on 4b. Also here is the IRS 1040 instruction for multiple distributions:
For IRA's: "If you (or your spouse if filing jointly) received more than one distribution, figure the taxable amount of each distribution and enter the total of the taxable amounts on line 4b. Enter the total amount of those distributions on line 4a." (page 29 of IRS 1040 instructions)
For Pensions: "If you had more than one partially taxable pension or annuity, figure the taxable part of each separately. Enter the total of the taxable parts on Form 1040, line 4b. Enter the total pension or annuity payments received in 2018 on Form 1040, line 4a." (page 31 of IRS 1040 instructions)
I filed my 1040 and the IRS sent me a refund check for my taxes owed on the IRA distribution––I was informed by the irs phone rep that the 4b amount was automatically removed from the 1040 because of 4a being empty. I have to file an amended return ––turbo tax still blanks out 4a I will fill 4a in by hand and jump through the IRS hoops––this is going to be the nightmare of taxpayers for 2019. Many will spend the refund because the IRS states in the letter that an error was made on tax calculations––bet they will come back for it and penalties to boot. Be prepared to spend the better part of a day on the phone to the IRS getting bounced around––-ask immedietely to be transfered to the tax law specialist (they know what they are talking about)
IRS line 4 instructions: page 28-29
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf">https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf</a>
You should receive a Form 1099-R
showing the total amount of any distribution
from your IRA before income tax
or other deductions were withheld. This
amount should be shown in box 1 of
Form 1099-R. Unless otherwise noted in
the line 4a and 4b instructions, an IRA
includes a traditional IRA, Roth IRA
(including a myRA), simplified employee
pension (SEP) IRA, and a savings incentive
match plan for employees (SIMTIP
PLE) IRA. Except as provided next,
leave line 4a blank and enter the total
distribution (from Form 1099-R, box 1)
on line 4b
@dmertz I did speak with someone in the correct dept. for about 40 mins. yesterday (first rep transferred me) and she advised me that, in my case, everything needed to be included on line 4a. Of course (as many of us know) the TT software is not doing this. I had more than one IRA distribution and a partially taxable pension. My IRA distributions are not being included as part of the gross distribution so line 4a is a few thousand dollars less than line 4b.
As macuser_22 indicated, it seems that the IRS is not following their own published instructions for when line 4a should be blank. The IRS has not made public the changes to the Internal Revenue Manual for 2018 with regard to retirement distributions, so it's possible that the IRS instructions for Form 1040 lines 4a and 4b do not agree with what the IRS currently has in the IRM.
As per IRS instructions: "More than one distribution. If you (or your spouse if filing jointly) received more than one distribution, figure the taxable amount of each distribution and enter the total of the taxable amounts on line 4b. Enter the total amount of those distributions on line 4a."
"Partially Taxable Pensions and Annuities
Enter the total pension or annuity payments (from Form 1099-R, box 1) on line 4a. If your Form 1099-R doesn't show the taxable amount, you must use the General Rule explained in Pub. 939 to figure the taxable part to enter on line 4b. But if your annuity starting date (defined later) was after July 1, 1986, see Simplified Method, later, to find out if you must use that method to figure the taxable part.
You can ask the IRS to figure the taxable part for you for a $1,000 fee. For details, see Pub. 939.
If your Form 1099-R shows a taxable amount, you can report that amount on
TT has not followed the multiple distribution instruction in the past because when I had more than one fully taxable IRA distribution 15a was always blank but 15 b would show the taxable amount. However, line 16 a and b would be filled in correctly with my pension information. Now that line 15 and 16 have been combined it is confusing if one has a partially taxable distribution (pension, annuity or IRA). Before one could see all of the 1099-R information because pensions/annuities and IRAs were listed separately but now with everything combined this is not the case. 4a needs to include all of the distributions for those of us who have multiple distributions with one or more being partially taxable. As per my previous post, I was advised by the IRS rep that, in my case, 4a needs to include all of my distributions.
IMO, the IRS should have left IRAs and pensions/annuities separate. I tried out one of the free tax programs and all of my information was filled in correctly on 4a and 4b. Everything is also correct on my state form. It's the 1040 that is the issue.
Have you both called TT customer service to complain about this? I have, weeks ago. Maybe if more do so, something will be done. Certainly, weeks of confusion and controversy on this forum haven't produced any change.
And I have already started to look at other products like H&R Block and TaxSlayer for next year. TT has proven they don't care about user complaints, and just employs people that deflect them. Vote with your feet.