The 2017 Tax Liability that is shown on line 8 of form 2210 starts with the actual 2017 taxes assessed, then has a number of items added to it and subtracted from it. This means that the number on the 2210 in 2018 might not be found on the 2017 return nor derived from it in a simple fashion.
The formula for the 2017 tax liability entry on the 2018 2210 can be found on page 4 (line 😎 of the 2018 2210 Instructions at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2210.pdf. You will see how complex the calculations are.
This means that you are dealing with the 2210, the calculation for underpayment of estimated taxes. The reason that information from your 2017 return is being sought is because one of the exceptions to the underpayment of estimated tax penalty is if the amount of tax you withheld and paid during the year was greater than or equal to the tax assessed in 2017. This is why you have those intense instructions, because you asked where this 2017 Tax Liability came from.
Like many things in tax, it is not simple. There is a good reason that TurboTax has fetched this number. Unless you have good reason to think that TurboTax did it wrong, I suggest that - as you said - "let TurboTax do what it does with it & continue on".
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