Yes I understand the difference between reduced SS benefits and whether or not one may have to pay some tax on the SS benefits rec'd. BOTTOM LINE: I am under $25K taxable income. My line 5a. is $1,346; so line 5b. of the 1040 should be 0, not a figure for most of the one month's benefit rec'd that TT calculates/shows ($1,144). Appears TT factors in a SS benefit taxable portion before we get to the taxable income figure. IRS regs refer to $25K base rate (threshold) and their online Interactive Tax Asst (ITA) works off of Taxable Income without SS benefit added in, so to determine if your SS benefits rec'd are taxable or not. I have read the IRS regs and the SSA info on whether SS benefits are taxable or not; and done the IRS' ITA three times, inputting my accurate figures as instructed and it continues to report my one month of SS benefits ($1,346) is not taxable. However, the TT rep I spoke to (I insisted I get a call at no add'l charge) says their calculations/program is never wrong and they would only offer me a refund on the Self-Employment tax package I'd paid for. TT either won't correct my return or don't know how to override an errant system. The TT rep said he ran it by his supervisor and their position is I made too much money in 2018; however, they are going by gross income and do not go by the taxable income which is the figure that the IRS goes by. TT is not always accurate: they messed up an earlier filing year's state return big-time (my 2011 or 2010), noting I didn't owe any state income tax; yet the state revenue dept said I did and charged me both interest and penalty on top of a $600 plus tax due (with no reimbursement from TT). Granted it was a very complicated tax year for me.
... View more