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Returning Member

# The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

My IRA distribution was < \$4200 and from reading related threads I supposed to be part/all of the issue. So how can (as in my case) can the 4a and 4b numbers be \$30,000 off?

Accepted Solutions
Level 13

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

Is is often thought that line 4a is the total distribution***, and line 4b is the taxable amount. It can happen that line 4a be smaller than line 4b because of the convoluted IRS instructions for line 4 on the 1040.

***Line 4 is for reporting IRA distributions. Line 4a is often thought to be the total distributions while line 4b is the taxable distributions. But because of the fine details in the 1040 Instructions for line 4, sometimes you do not add the gross distribution to line 4a, but you always add the taxable amount to line 4b.

The result is that sometimes line 4a is less than 4b, sometimes 4a is equal to 4b, and sometimes 4a is greater than 4b. This is not you and it's not TurboTax - it's the IRS's instructions.

Note that the IRS made a number of changes to form 1040 and to this line in particular from 2017 to 2019, so what was true for one year is likely not true for another year.

This response is valid for tax year 2019.

[Edited 3/10/2020 1:52 pm CDT]

6 Replies
Level 13

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

Is is often thought that line 4a is the total distribution***, and line 4b is the taxable amount. It can happen that line 4a be smaller than line 4b because of the convoluted IRS instructions for line 4 on the 1040.

***Line 4 is for reporting IRA distributions. Line 4a is often thought to be the total distributions while line 4b is the taxable distributions. But because of the fine details in the 1040 Instructions for line 4, sometimes you do not add the gross distribution to line 4a, but you always add the taxable amount to line 4b.

The result is that sometimes line 4a is less than 4b, sometimes 4a is equal to 4b, and sometimes 4a is greater than 4b. This is not you and it's not TurboTax - it's the IRS's instructions.

Note that the IRS made a number of changes to form 1040 and to this line in particular from 2017 to 2019, so what was true for one year is likely not true for another year.

This response is valid for tax year 2019.

[Edited 3/10/2020 1:52 pm CDT]

Returning Member

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

In checking my 1099-Rs, the Gross Dist. and Tax Dist. differ by a few \$ (previously taxed money). Essentially 100% of my IRA and pensions/annuities are taxable. But how was \$30,000 (total dist. \$78,000) arrived at? My IRA < \$4200.
Level 13

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

Was one of the pension/annuities about \$30,000?
Returning Member

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

Yes! (It was 100% Taxable). But why was it selected vs others?
Level 15

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

If a Traditional IRA distribution, the 1099-R box 1 and 2a should be the same.

If it was all taxable then the IRS instructions say to put the box 1 amount on 4b and nothing on 4a.
For partially taxable distributions, the taxable part is on 4b and the box 1 amount on 4a.

Since the IRS is putting all 1099-R distributions on line 4 this year, it can lead to those results of 4b being much more than 4a.
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
Returning Member

## The total for my 1099-Rs (which appears in 4b) is correct. But the taxable amount in 4a is \$30,000 LESS. Why?

I rechecked all of my 1099r forms, all of them have a code 7 in box 7, but for one of them I entered (incorrectly) a code 6, as soon as I made the correction the 4a and 4b lines were now in sync AND (unfortunately) my tax due bill jumped by a lot of \$. Side comment: the "interview" method for TT is nice, but one should recheck the entries on the actual forms.

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