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Level 2

# Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

For years, the amount in "4b Taxable amount" is always smaller than the amount in "4a IRA distributions" on my 1040-SR.  But 2023 "IRS 1040 (and 1040-SR) Instrubtions" does not seem to tell me the reason why.  I always do Married Filing Jointly and enter 1099-Rs in Turbotax Premier.

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7 Replies
Level 15

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

The amount on the Form 1040 Line 4a is the same amount as is on your Form 1099-R box1.

The amount on the Form 1040 Line 4b is the same amount as is on your Form 1000-R box 2a.

Level 15

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

Since some of the distribution might not be taxable, the taxable amount is in 4b. The taxable amount mathematically has to be less than the full amount since it is a part of the full amount.

Level 2

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

Thank you, CHAMP.  I understand 4b "the taxable amount" has to be a part of 4a "the IRA distribution", as 4b is based on 4a.  My question was why the taxable amount is not the same as the IRA distribution?  In other words, how does TurboTax Premier, or IRS 1040 Instructions, calculate the taxable amount?  All I've got for 2023 tax year are two 1099-R's, both of which have the amount in Box 1 "Gross distribution" equal to the amount in Box 2a "Taxable amount".  They both came from my Traditional IRA accounts, and I did not do anything related to Roth IRA.

Level 15

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

And another reason if if you moved or rolled some to a another account it wont be taxable. Also if a 1099R has the same gross and taxable amounts the gross on 4a won't show up.  So you could have a weird amount on 4a.

Level 15

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

There are many possible reasons that the taxable amount of your IRA distributions would be less than the total distributions. Two of the most common are Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and previous nondeductible IRA contributions.

If you made any QCDs, the QCDs are subtracted from line 4a to calculate the taxable amount on line 4b. The abbreviation QCD will appear to left of line 4b on Form 1040-SR.

If, in the past, you made nondeductible contributions to your IRA and reported them on Form 8606, then part of your IRA distributions is not taxable. If you use TurboTax every year it will keep track of the nondeductible contributions from year to year and calculate the taxable amount of distributions.

It has nothing to do with your filing status. The taxable amount of IRA distributions is calculated separately for each person, even on a joint tax return.

I think you will find that both of your 1099-R forms have the box checked that says "Taxable amount not determined" in box 2b (even though there is a taxable amount in box 2a). That's because the IRA custodian doesn't know about all the things that could reduce the taxable amount. The taxpayer, or the tax software, has to calculate the correct taxable amount.

Level 15

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

@ttlc22019 just to confirm.... this form is indeed reflects an IRA distribution and not a pension, right? how old are you? is the box next to box 7 checked or unchecked?

Level 2

## Why is "4a IRA distributions" in 1040-SR different from "4b Taxable amount"?

My questions on lines 4a and 4b of 1040-SR are related to Traditional IRA accounts.

I think Pensions e.g. 401(k) is on line 5a “Pensions and annuities” with my 5a box being blank and there is dollar amount in b “Taxable amount”.  I am over 65 now so I use 1040-SR.

I received two 1099-R’s from two Traditional IRA accounts.  On both 1099-R’s, Box 2b “Taxable amount is not determined” is checked with ‘x’, Box 7 “Distribution code(s)” is 7, and “IRA/SEP/SIMPLE” is checked with “x’.

I did not make any QCDs.  But each year I make nondeductible contributions to my IRA and reported them on Form 8606, Thank you so much, CHAMP RJS, you have hit the nail on the head!