In July, 2020 our joint return for 2019 continually rejected when I tried to eFile. I had to indicate in the beginning of preparing the return that my husband died 02/24/2020 even though this was the 2019 return. After reading the community board I discovered I had to make myself the “taxpayer” (first position) and my husband the “Spouse” which switched our designations, social security numbers and pins. Immediately our returns were accepted and I was done.
WHAT I DID NOT KNOW WAS THAT WHEN I SWITCHED FROM SPOUSE TO TAXPAYER, TURBOTAX AUTOMATICALLY SWITCHED OUR NAMES ON ALL OUR 1099-Rs. It makes no sense why this would happen because when you enter a 1099-R it automatically asks if it belongs to John or Jane. If you answer Jane, why should the 1099R switch to John just because you became the “taxpayer” and your deceased husband became the “spouse”?
Because of this, I now think this may be why I have been pulling my hair out trying to get TT to tax my 2020 IRA distribution after two weeks of frustration. Because TT erroneously threw my name onto my husband’s 2019 traditional IRA 1099R, it is somehow causing the cash distribution I took in 2020 to not be taxable. (THERE IS NO IRA BASIS....a question I have answered a million times.) A couple of Level15 TT people are trying to help me but it wasn’t until today that I realized there was a glitch in our last year’s returns. If you have a deceased spouse and have to swap “Taxpayer” and “Spouse” after your returns are completely finished, go back and check your FORMS to see if the correct names are on the 1099-Rs and all other FORM entries.
The TurboTax 1099-R screen is NOT an actual 1099-R - it is simply a data entry screen that looks like a 1099-R. The name information comes form the name entered in the personal information section for the taxpayer and spouse. Changing the person information name will change the name wherever it was used. Historic data in the worksheets go by the first listed taxpayer and second listed spouse so simply changing personal information will apply historical data to the incorrect person.
That is why TurboTax says not to do that, but start a new account or new tax return and not to transfer last years data. Spousal order cannot be changed.
Thanks for all your help!
When I and a number of other recent widows tried to eFile in July, 2019 (COVID tax filing extension date), our returns were rejected multiple times. Our deceased husbands were marked as deceased on the returns (we answered that question during Step-by-Step) but unless we changed places and made ourselves the “taxpayer” along with our S.S. # and our Pin #, the eFile would not go through. I read on the “community” somewhere that the reason was because when we called to update our social security checks, our husbands’ social security number was flagged as deceased therefore that social security number wasn’t recognized as valid for eFile. I informed Social Security in March, 2020; filed our 2019 returns in July, 2020.
What can I say....it was the only way I could eFile, it worked and I was through with 2019. HOWEVER, I’m glad that you pointed out that the “taxpayer” is the name on TT worksheets only because I thought it actually changed the name on my husband’s actual 1099Rs, Combined Broker Statements, etc. I wasn’t thinking clearly. Obviously!