On 1099R Taxable Income box says Unknown. What do I do?

  • add 1099r to my taxes
  • I'm not sure why you are not finding the answer listed below. Is it not showing on your screen? Help me understand why so many users seem to not see the answer box.
  • your suggestion did not weork it still wont show 1099 income and rejects the return causing it to not be efiled.
  • Box 2 says unknown, what do enter?
  • after reading all the other comments dealing with the same problem I have, all I can say is that the 2a box on my 1099r also says UNKNOWN, and there is no 2b. ALL STOP!
  • How many times do we have to say the same thing???  If it says "UNKNOWN" leave it BLANK!!!
    A CSA-1090-R DOES NOT HAVE a box 2b.
  • You can't leave it blank. Are you telling me that I do not need to pay any taxes on my income? If I leave it blank that is exactly what happens. I end up with about $3,000 more dollars then if I put in the same amount as box 1. Box 1 and 2a have to match. And if you are going to give a smart ass answer, don't bother to answer at all.
  • Macuser_22 SuperUser
    As every one is trying to tell you, if 2a is blank --  the system assumes zero taxable income. =. $7,000 refund.
    For filers with 1099-R ,  block 2a UNKNOWN , at this point, we need the IRS  Simplified Method Worksheet questions available. This form considers income against  cost, age at annuity start (chart nr given here), 2, times cost, then 4 times that, then
    subtract that from income renders taxable income. =. Refund  =  $1,200.  
    I caught this mistake in your system this year but not last year now I am sure I owe back taxes = $5,000.
    Since you know so much Macuser_22, I will recommend to IRS  that you pay my back taxes + interest.

    Thank you very much!
  • netwizz & r.bennett477 -   

    The IRS rules for the 1099-R form specifically tells the issuer of the form, that if the amount of box 2a cannot be determined or is unknown, to leave box 2a BLANK and check the "Taxable amount not determined" box.

    All that leaving box 2a blank means that the issuer of the 1099-R form was not able to determine the actual taxable amount of box 1. A blank box 2a and "unknown" mean the same thing.

    The actual taxable amount will be determined later AFTER you enter the 1099-R form and continue the interview.

    The follow-up interview will ask about periodic payments and if you use the simplified method.  Your answers to those questions will place an amount (the actual computed taxable amount) into box 2a based on how you answer those questions.

    (After you are asked if you had periodic payments, you will be asked if the amount is box 2a was used to determine the taxable amount - be sure to answer "no" to that to get tom the simplified method interview)

    For many taxpayers the amount in box 1 IS 100% taxable, for other it will be less than that.

    Traditional IRA distributions, 401(k) distributions and pensions that are 100% employer funded are normally 100% taxable.  Pensions that you contributed to with after tax money may be less than 100% taxable - the actual amount is determined by using the simplified method in the interview.
  • Thanks for the help bro, God Bless you
  • OPM has a calculator, "Compute the Tax-Free Portion of Your Federal Retirement Benefit" on their website, under Post-Retirement.  It will figure out what portion of your 9b Total Employee Contributions that you can deduct each year until you reach the amount.  I just found that this year.  It seems Turbo Tax screwed up my 2011 tax return and put in that NONE of my Disability Pension was taxable.  Is Turbo Tax going to help all of us do an Amendment to last years return?  Or, tell us what we need to do to stay out of jail?? Now we'll probably have to pay a penalty - not fair!!
  • Your reply was finally found by me.  It is way down below many other questions and answers.  Sorry.  You were helpful!
  • To rabaab--I finally found your responses.  There doesn't seem to be any order in these questions/answers, you have to search for them.  The answers should be set up to match questions.  That would be much easier!
  • That is a problem with this forum format.   When a different user posts a comment to the original question that is similar but different than the original question, the answer to THAT question might not be related to the original question at all.  It does make long threads difficult to follow when there are different answers to different questions in the same thread.
  • One of the answers when I did a search said to leave box 2a blank and then click, taxable amount not figured box.  Where the heck is that box?
  • wlldair7 - You enter the 1099-R the same way that it is on the form.   The box you are referring to is box 2b (Taxable amount not determined).  You check that box if that is checked on the form.  Not all 1099-R forms have that box - CSA-1099-R for example, which has a different form format that must be chosen on the 1099-R "Type" screen at the beginning of the interview.
  • I also read one answer that said if I left the box 2a in the interview blank and finished the interview, it would be figured.  It still isn't figured.  There is also some worksheet I used in the past, but I can't find it.  In the previous versions of Turbo Tax you could find a list of various forms, schedules, you wanted to work on.  I don't see those in this version.
  • (If you have a CSA-1099-R, be sure to choose the proper form type.  If box 2a says "unknown" you can get guidance on the taxable amount from IRS Publication 721 - Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits.  Also, OPM has a calculator to help determine the taxable amount. https://apps.opm.gov/tax_calc/index.cfm
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p721/index.html)
  • I think I have the same problem.  I am only catching the 2012 problem now because I received a notice for 2011.  So I look at my 2012 return and despite having entries in the system, the actual return shows 0 on line 15 which would increase my taxable income.  Something is not right, if you use a system and enter information you should not have to then go back and use a calculator to add it all back up again, I could have done that manually on my own for free.   So now I have to pay for 2011 and then amend 2012.  I am not happy.
  • I had to change 2009.10 and 11.  It cost be $11,500 so far the Irs has cashed my check but taxes and penalties could be coming!  The great Turbo also got everyone of my State returns wrong including the 2012 when I thought they had finally fixed the flaw.  I have been retired since the full year of 2004.  The State problem is I was over taxed my the program.  So in 2004, 05, 06, 07, and 08.  They had me paying too much for taxes.  I lost a bunch of money and am not sure what to do!
  • Thank you for the post; I thought I was crazy and did something.  I don't see how you can have entries for excess contributions and not have the system actually take it into consideration.  Definately a flaw...I understand I owed the tax, its the interest and/or penalties...Turbotax...you are reviewing these posts, you should do something about this for your loyal customers.  I have co-workers who use TTax and probably have the same problem because the excess contribution was a compliance issue and we all received money back...which is also irritating, I didn't even want the money,.
  • award09:
    Here's how to reach a tax expert at TT Customer Support by phone or online chat during normal business hours, which are 8 AM - 5 PM  Pacific, Mon-Fri.
    http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-answers/

    After you enter your question (or keywords) at that page, on the next page you can skip the recommended help articles and scroll down the page and choose Phone or Chat options.  It should show the waiting times for each.
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The IRS rules for the 1099-R form specifically tells the issuer of the form, that if the amount of box 2a cannot be determined or is unknown, to leave box 2a BLANK and check the "Taxable amount not determined" box.

All that leaving box 2a blank means that the issuer of the 1099-R form was not able to determine the actual taxable amount of box 1. A blank box 2a and "unknown" mean the same thing.

The actual taxable amount will be determined later AFTER you enter the 1099-R form and continue the interview.

The follow-up interview will ask about periodic payments and if you use the simplified method.  Your answers to those questions will place an amount (the actual computed taxable amount) into box 2a based on how you answer those questions.

(After you are asked if you had periodic payments, you will be asked if the amount is box 2a was used to determine the taxable amount - be sure to answer "no" to that to get to the simplified method interview)

For many taxpayers the amount in box 1 IS 100% taxable, for other it will be less than that.

Traditional IRA distributions, 401(k) distributions and pensions that are 100% employer funded are normally 100% taxable.  Pensions that you contributed to with after tax money may be less than 100% taxable - the actual amount is determined by using the simplified method in the interview.
  • i have 2 1099r entries which one is missing info
  • in 2009, 10 and 11 turbotax did not flag the unknown and I ended up getting big refunds I now owe the IRS and State.  Is turbotax responsible?  I think they are!
  • "Flag" the unknown??   Since "unknown" is not a valid entry and cannot be entered on the form, there is nothing to flag.    Some issuers write 'unknown' in box 2a simply to tell you that that they do not know the taxable amount.   If they KNEW that the taxable amount was zero, then they would have put a zero in the box, but they did not.    If you entered ANYTHING into that box, they you entered false information that was not on the form so your tax will not be calculated correctly.
Cancel
You can leave that entry blank.


Use the side bar menu.

Click Federal Taxes
Click Wages and Income
Scroll down to Retirement Plans and Social Security
Look for the line for IRA, 401k, Pension Plan WD (1099-R)  and click START or Update to begin.
  • On our form 1099-R, there is no line 2, only line 2a which reads: UNKNOWN. The amount of taxable income must be calculated against our cost. We know this and have done our own taxes manually for years. Your system does not properly provide a line for this situation, although your comint line says to fill in the income and cost and you will calculate the proper taxable amount. I am not sure you are doing it correctly.
    I did as suggusted above, went to Federal Taxes, clicked  on Wages and Income tried to scroll down but there was nothing further no Retirement Plans and Social Security and none of ther rest.
    No none of this was helpful.  Hope you know what you are doing but I am not sure.
  • There is no line 2 in the TTx 1099-R online form. Only 2a and 2b are listed. The 1099-R  online form is a working copy of the federal form.
    If you leave 2a blank, TTx will be asking you a series of follow-up questions in order to resolve the "unknown" amount.
    I cant see what you are seeing, but the online version works exactly as described.

    Maybe if you post a new question, someone can be more helpful. You should tell what version of TTx you use and if online or desktop  (by posting here under another matter, your question does not go in the unanswered queue and is easily missed by the many contributors).
  • The income is taxable but only the amount calculated against the amount we contributed applied against the number of years retired.  This is not calculated for us on the 1099R but forms and formulas are given by the IRS  to determine the amount taxable.   All we have is"UNKNOWN" and your system will not allow it and 0 is incorrect.
  • I give up.
  • Your 1099-R form is incorrect.

    The IRS rules for the 1099-R form tell the issuer of the form that if the amount in box 2a is not known to leave that box BLANK.  Evidently the issuer of your 1099-R did not read the IRS rules for filling out the form.

    Leave it blank - do not enter "0" as that means something else.  

    See the rules here: http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1099r/ar02.html#d0e1064
  • I have the same problem and the issuer of the 1099-R is the office of personnel management- you'd think they'd know.
  • And no box 2a
  • mkdegraw - I think you meant "no box 2b", which is correct - there is a box 2a.  A CSA-1099-R does not have a box 2b and if you select "CSA-1099-R" in turboTax to enter it, TurboTax will not ask for a box 2b.
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I hope macuser_22 is correct, because what the program says at this point is this:

You told us only zero of your retirement money from Office of Personnel Management is taxable income.
We just want to verify that the whole $63,163.20 you got isn't taxable. Make sure you copied the Form 1099-R exactly as it's written.

It certainly gives the impression that you're done with it and that the amount "isn't taxable." I don't recall this being misleading in the past.
  • alex - The taxable amount is determined by how you answer the follow-up questions.  Most or ALL of your retirement should be taxable.  You must have answered a question incorrectly.

    Unless you have make after-tax contributions to your retirement plan, the it should ALL be taxable.  If it is not, and you used the simplifies method in the past, then you should use it now, otherwise you should just indicate the the taxable annuity amount was used.
  • OPM has a calculator, "Compute the Tax-Free Portion of Your Federal Retirement Benefit" on their website, under Post-Retirement.  It will figure out what portion of your 9b Total Employee Contributions that you can deduct each year until you reach the amount.  I just found that this year.  It seems Turbo Tax screwed up my 2011 tax return and put in that NONE of my Disability Pension was taxable.  Is Turbo Tax going to help all of us do an Amendment to last years return?  Or, tell us what we need to do to stay out of jail?? Now we'll probably have to pay a penalty - not fair!!
  • I have a 1099R; Box 2a is blank; Box 2b is checked, "taxable amount not determined."  TurboTax (TT) and I go through all the steps to determine the taxable amount, which is then placed by TT on line 16b of my 1040.  STILL, I get the same nag being discussed above that says, "you said that zero of your retirement distribution was taxable."  Then it makes me check the box verifying that is correct.  I did so--otherwise I can't complete my taxes accurately.  But the reality is that the statement is not correct.  I did not say that zero was taxable.  What I said in completing that part of TT was that the 1099R reported a gross distribution, but it did not determine the taxable amount.  The strange thing is that this nag (saying I said "zero" was taxable) comes at the very end of the process, after TT and I have figured the taxable amount, which is most, but not all, of the total distribution.  Seems to me there's a software glitch or poor wording.
  • Do NOT enter a "0" into boa 2a either on the form screen OR the box 2a question - LEAVE IT BLANK.  The box must be EMPTY, not zero.
  • Wannaknow4 - You're absolutely right, the program is misleading and if you ignore it you get the correct result. Don't bother arguing with macuser though, that guy is on another planet where TT is always perfect and you just did it wrong.
  • macuser-22--  I didn't enter "0".  I did leave it blank.  The box is empty, not zero.  Still I got the nag.  The solution seems to be to ignore it, as the result on the 1040 is correct.   Either program is poorly worded or there's a glitch.
    alex.diaz.1957--Ignoring the glitch works for me, but too bad users are having to take the time to reach that conclusion.
  • The "nag" that I think you are referring to is asking if you really want box 2a to be blank.    That "nag" will not come up if box 2b (taxable amount not determined) is checked.   The IRS rules tell the issuer of the 1099-R form to check box 2b if box 2a is blank.  Sometimes issuers do not to that and leave both boxes blank, then the nag comes up to be sure that that is what you want (it is a conflict since by the rules, one box or the other is supposed to be marked, but so many issuers fill out the form incorrectly, TT accounts for the incorrect form by asking twice for the contents of the boxes, just to be sure ).    

    If you just ignore the nag, then TT proceeds as if box 2b was checked and the taxable amount is then determined by the answers to your other questions.
  • The issuer of the 1099 R did it correctly.  The issuer correctly checked "taxable amount not determined" on line 2b, which was reflected in TT when completing that section of the program.  Even though 2b (taxable amount not determined) was checked, TT still told me that I said "zero" amount was taxable and to verify that was what I meant.  TT won't let the taxpayer "ignore" the nag.  You have to answer it to proceed.  The only way out is to verify something that isn't true and move forward, since the taxable amount is correctly figured.  (I did it manually myself as well to be sure.)   I've been getting 1099Rs from this issuer for 8 years, and there have been no problems with TT.  This is the first time this glitch or poor wording has come up with this section of TT.
  • The only time I have seen it say that "zero" was taxable is if a "zero" is entered into box 2a instead if it being empty (blank).  Sometimes with inconstant results occurs, it can be resolved by deleting the 1099-R and reentering it.   There should never be a zero in box 2a and box 2b also checked.

    (Going back through the interview after answering the questions for CSA-1099-R's or annuities can lead to inconstant results since the answers to the questions can change the box 2a amount consistent with IRS rules for determining the taxable amount).
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Enter a 1099R under
Federal Taxes Tab
Wages & Income
Choose Explore on my own (if it comes up),

Then scroll way down to Retirement Plans and Social Security,
Then IRA, 401(k), Pension Plans (1099R) - click Start or Update

If box 2a is zero or says unknown then leave it BLANK

After you enter the 1099R be sure to answer all the follow up questions on the next screens to determine how much is taxable or not. Go all the way to the end of the section. You have to enter it from the 1099R because there are codes on it you need to enter properly.
  • Did all this a couple of times, at the end at last review, statement say " you said your income is not taxable"  this is not correct. A part of my income is taxable . I have answered all the questions an all is correct except the taxable portion on income and leaving block 2a empty is not producing the correct answer. I have also tried saying that all the income is taxable (which I know is incorrect) just to test the out come - that is also incorrect. I am suspecting you have a flaw that has not been properly addressed.
    .
  • Sorry we seem to be stuck helping you.  We can't see how you are answering the questions.  Go back and try different answers.  If box 2a says Unknown you leave it blank.  Then box 2b should have a checkmark in it for Taxable amount not determined.  Is box 2b checked?
  • No, if you leave it blank, the system thinks "0" which is incorrect. After going through the entire process, a statement comes up   -" you indicate that tax on your income is  0 ".   Have gone back several times and tried other things but the system asks no questions nor does it seem to know how to calculate this part. It should ask when you retired, to determine how much of your contribution has been recovered, etc. which determines how much of your income is taxable.
  • But what is checked  in box 2b?
  • As I have said, you leave 2a blank and it stays blank -- nothing is checked --  at the end, the system assumes you intend to enter a zero and asks the question  if you are saying your income is non taxable.
  • Then they filled out the 1099R wrong and you need to contact them.  Box 2B (not 2A) needs to have a check mark in the little box that says Taxable amount not determined.
  • Due to the type of issue you have, it will be better for you to speak to an agent over the phone. Please click on this link for instruction on how to contact us: http://turbotax.intuit.com/support/go/GEN12151
  • This is a federal tax statement for a retired DOD employee. There is no block 2 or  2b, only block 2a.  The government does not calculate this for you, that is where the IRS  tables are used. Your page does not have a 2b block either.
  • He is correct, all of the 1099R for federal say unknown here. I have never understood this.
  • r.bennett........You could maybe post a picture or scan of your 1099R (cover up or wipe out any personal info) so we can see what that particular form looks like since it sounds different than the standard 1099R.  Maybe it will help us be able to help other people.  You have to use an answer box to add an attachment.
  • It is just a simple form( 2a Taxable  amount.  UNKO
  • In box 2a it says unknown.  Your program won't accept blank or 0  or unknown.  NOW WHAT?????? Is anybody awake there to fix it or do I have to contact the IRS to have them help you??????
  • Right on eaglehawk,  see my comment above. They don't have the IRS Simplified Method Worksheet incorporated in their system and don't seem to know about it. I obtained the IRS 1040 booklet to calculate my taxable income which this system seems unable to do.  I am sure I now owe back taxes.
  • Box 2b is checked not determined.
  • I've always found it very frustrating that TT are tax ppl and they seem to have no clue about 1099-R There are great numbers of us federal retirees-our form only has Box 2a THERE IS NO Box2b.I've always had to go figure it out seperately-should be something that TT should work on (they carried over the calcs from 2011 tho)
  • tradingpost - do you have a 1099-R or a CSA-1099-R - they are different.  A CSA-1099-R does not have a box 2b and the TurboTax CSA-1099-R doesn't have one either.

    If a CSA-1099-R then you must have not chosen the CSA-1099-R TYPE when you were asked to choose the type of 1099-R that you had.
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