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metal450
Level 3

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

I'm reading through the Schedule CA (540) that TurboTax generated.  In Part II, line 5a (state and local income tax or general sales tax), it put $267 in columns A & B.  This is not the amount of estimated state & local taxes I paid (I paid $203 state, and $0 local) - I have no idea where it got the number $267.

 

In the software, when I go to Forms view & view Data Source for that field, it says it comes from federal Schedule A. I did not itemize my Federal return, and thus it did not print a Schedule A, but in Forms view I can see a Schedule A with $267 on line 5a. Again, no idea where it got that number.

 

1) Why is TurboTax filling out Schedule CA (540) Part II at all, when this section is for adjustments to federal itemized deductions, but I did not itemize?

2) Where did it come up with "$267" on Schedule A (which I'm not using) line 5a?

11 Replies
metal450
Level 3

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

Addendum: I figured out where it's getting 267.  It's 203 (state estimated payments) + 64 (2019 state tax paid in 2020) = 267.

 

That still leaves the question of why it's filling out this section at all though, when I'm not itemizing my Federal return.

AmyC
Expert Alumni

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

The program will transfer itemized deductions from federal Schedule A even if you cannot itemize deductions on the federal return. If you can itemize deductions on California, you should complete the Schedule A included in the federal program as completely as possible

 

For the part II, there is a check box that says to check it if you are not itemizing on the federal but are on the state. I bet that box is checked for you.

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metal450
Level 3

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

Nope, that checkbox was unchecked - it's not having me itemize for State, either.  No itemizing for state nor for federal.

JoannaB2
Expert Alumni

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

If you're not itemizing your State income tax, you can just let it be. The 2020 Schedulle CA(540) part 2 (adjustments to itemized deduction), line 5a is state and  local income tax or general sales tax.  When you enter the state of residence, that also computes your general sales tax on Schedule A. If your general sales tax was more than the local and state income tax, then Turbo tax will chose the higher amount which (in your case) was general sales tax.  In other words, $267 must be general sales tax.  You may not itemized your federal return but the amount entered on federal Schedule A will flow through Schedule CA 540 including adjustments to income and deduction.

metal450
Level 3

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

>If your general sales tax was more than the local and state income tax, then Turbo tax will chose the higher amount which (in your case) was general sales tax.  In other words, $267 must be general sales tax.

 

Nope - as stated in my addendum, $267 was estimated state income tax payments + state income tax payments paid with return.

 

The remaining question is #1: why is it filling out Part II at all, aka "adjustments to itemized deductions," when it's not itemizing on either federal or state.  If there's no itemizing going on, it seems a bit odd for it to be printing forms related to itemizing.

DianeW777
Expert Alumni

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

I understand your observation.  It's important to have documentation for your records to show the expenses and why you did not use them. It's extra paper work (or computer files), but it's for reference and taking a look back should you ever need to.

metal450
Level 3

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

They were printed as part of the forms to submit to FTB, not just when printing for my records.

too_thorough
Returning Member

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

I am also wondering about this! However, for me, I don't have the potential explanation - the number I see for state and local income taxes or general sales tax doesn't match what I paid/owed in state taxes for 2020 or 2019 as far as I can tell. But it doesn't make sense that it'd be general sales tax either - I didn't tell turbo tax anything about how much money I spent. That would be a prerequisite to it computing sales tax, right? Or does it make an estimate based on your income, or something like that?

VolvoGirl
Level 15

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

State and local taxes paid are:

-any state withholding from your paychecks, retirement checks, unemployment checks, etc.

-a state tax due (for any year) you paid last year

-any state estimated tax payments you made during year including an overpayment applied from last year

-any local taxes withheld on your checks like SDI in box 14 or 19 on your W2

 

too_thorough
Returning Member

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

actually, I see that there is an estimated sales tax table in the instructions for schedule a. However, the estimated sales tax is much lower than the number I have on my schedule CA for "state and local income tax or general sales taxes), so I'm still confused. Somehow turbo tax is adding ~$1229 to the state taxes that are reported on my W2. I don't have any other forms that show that I paid state taxes, and I also got a refund in 2019, so I'm not sure where that additional money is coming from.

too_thorough
Returning Member

California Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions (despite not itemizing)

oh thank you so much! that's it! the extra comes from box 14. Thank you!

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