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Is it possible that the software made an error?

I received  a letter stating that in 2015, I reported an amount in "Excess Social Security and RRT tax withheld, line 71", which the IRS is now disputing, resulting in a payback with interest due of almost $3K.  Does this sound right?  Wouldn't the TurobTax software have caught this if it was really an error?
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Level 15

Is it possible that the software made an error?

Excess Social Security can happen when you are married and assign both spouse's W2 to the same person, it will look like all the W2s belong to only 1 person and too much social security tax was paid for that 1 person. You need to check 1040 line 71 for it.   And by assigning both W2s to the same person the program wouldn't know a W2 is missing from the spouse. It just would think they are both for you.

For 2015 the max SS is $7,347 per person.  
For 2014 the max SS is $7,254 per person.  
So if you (either one spouse, but not both together) had more than one employer and the total of box 4 on all the W2s ( for Social Security is more than the max (for each person) you get the excess back on your tax return.   But not if both spouse's W2s went over.  

OR It could  be the case that you entered a code wrong for a Box 12 amount on your W-2.  If you used code A instead of the correct code, that error may also have produced excess social security.


Did you file 2016?  Better check line 71 and see if it transferred over wrong and happened again.  You might be getting a bill for 2016 also if the error happened again.  And for 2017 either don't transfer from 2016 or delete and re-enter all the W2s carefully next year to stop it from continuing.  Pay attention to which spouse you assign the W2.


See the screenshot of the 2015 warning screen that you may have missed ... 

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2 Replies
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Level 15

Is it possible that the software made an error?

Did you file a joint return on which you reported all of the income under only one spouse's name?
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Highlighted
Level 15

Is it possible that the software made an error?

Excess Social Security can happen when you are married and assign both spouse's W2 to the same person, it will look like all the W2s belong to only 1 person and too much social security tax was paid for that 1 person. You need to check 1040 line 71 for it.   And by assigning both W2s to the same person the program wouldn't know a W2 is missing from the spouse. It just would think they are both for you.

For 2015 the max SS is $7,347 per person.  
For 2014 the max SS is $7,254 per person.  
So if you (either one spouse, but not both together) had more than one employer and the total of box 4 on all the W2s ( for Social Security is more than the max (for each person) you get the excess back on your tax return.   But not if both spouse's W2s went over.  

OR It could  be the case that you entered a code wrong for a Box 12 amount on your W-2.  If you used code A instead of the correct code, that error may also have produced excess social security.


Did you file 2016?  Better check line 71 and see if it transferred over wrong and happened again.  You might be getting a bill for 2016 also if the error happened again.  And for 2017 either don't transfer from 2016 or delete and re-enter all the W2s carefully next year to stop it from continuing.  Pay attention to which spouse you assign the W2.


See the screenshot of the 2015 warning screen that you may have missed ... 

View solution in original post