Your return probably contains income from sources that are not taxed as ordinary income, such as capital gains or qualified dividends (reported on Forms 1099-B and 1099-DIV, respectively).
TurboTax uses whichever method gives you the minimum amount of tax so that you don't overpay. Therefore your line 11 figure may differ from the IRS tax table, which only lists tax due amounts for ordinary income.
Let's say you have a capital gains distribution. TurboTax uses the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Tax Worksheet, instead the IRS tax table, to calculate your tax liability. This results in a lower tax amount than in the IRS tax table because capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than other types of income, such as wages or salary.
In the TurboTax CD/download version, you can determine which tax method that the TurboTax program is using to calculate your tax amount due:
- From the TurboTax View menu, select Forms in the top right corner.
- In the left pane, click 1040 Wks.
- Scroll down to the Tax Smart Worksheet section located on Page 3.
- Look between Lines A and B to see which tax method TurboTax is using.
The amount on your line 44 of your Form 1040 may be lower than the amount in the standard IRS Tax Table.
This is because TurboTax is using a different method to calculate your tax liability in order to minimize your tax bill.