HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

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dbs
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HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

Hello, I have been lurker for few years, and just registered. I am working on my taxes myself for the first time (my father did them previously). I bought HRBlock’s Deluxe & State desktop software. This tax year is also the first year I received a public disability pension which my state’s 1040 instructions say to not report on my return, so this is a new problem not previously dealt with. I entered the pension in the federal questionnaire, it carried over to the state questionnaire as expected, but despite there being a delete button offered for that entry, when I press delete nothing happens. The edit button works and leads to more questions but that affects lines on the 1040 about unrelated circumstances (such as excludable contributions, or having social security disability). I contacted my state's taxation customer service and they confirmed those other exclusion lines should not be used even if makes the final tally correct, and the pension should not be reported at all.

If you have ever encountered a similar problem of not being able to delete or edit and entry in HRBlock’s software, did you find a solution? Is it ok just to overwrite in the form itself, since the software gives so many warnings it sounds like it could cause other unforeseen problems?

Please note, I have spoken to about five different HRBlock customer service reps about my problem, who have only said the software still being updated, and one said I should start from scratch because i must have checked something wrong. However I tested out this problem in my dad’s fully updated 2019 software and had the same problem, and the 2020 program says there are no updates planned for my state software, only federal. I made a test return anyway from scratch in 2020 with only this entry in Federal (just the name of the payer, not even the dollar amount added) and no other possibly connected data, and still would not let me delete it from the state entry.

Thank you.
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Kenkat
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by Kenkat »

There used to be an option in HR Block to edit the forms directly - i.e., you leave the guided interview and manually override the form that is generated. I don’t know if this option still exists or if it causes issues with electronic filing however.
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CAsage
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by CAsage »

Any chance there's a missing code or flag that says this should be reported on the Federal form but is excluded on state? I know for my CA state taxes, there's a "540 Schedule CA" that takes all the inputs from my federal return, and adds or subtracts things that do/don't apply for state. I'm thinking rather than delete the form, flag it somehow?
Edit to add: E.g. Social Security is taxable on my federal return, but excluded from the state. It's on a different 1099 form than my IRA income.
Last edited by CAsage on Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:47 pm There used to be an option in HR Block to edit the forms directly - i.e., you leave the guided interview and manually override the form that is generated. I don’t know if this option still exists or if it causes issues with electronic filing however.
Yes it does allow me to do that, with lots of warnings, but does ultimately allow it. I imagine this is what I will end up having to do. It does prevent efiling.
Last edited by dbs on Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

CAsage wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:55 pm Any chance there's a missing code or flag that says this should be reported on the Federal form but is excluded on state? I know for my CA state taxes, there's a "540 Schedule CA" that takes all the inputs from my federal return, and adds or subtracts things that do/don't apply for state. I'm thinking rather than delete the form, flag it somehow?
Interesting, is this flag something you can find yourself? I’ll look around more.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by prd1982 »

dbs wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:23 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:47 pm There used to be an option in HR Block to edit the forms directly - i.e., you leave the guided interview and manually override the form that is generated. I don’t know if this option still exists or if it causes issues with electronic filing however.
Yes it does allow me to do that, with lots of warnings, but does ultimately allow it. I imagine this is what I will end up having to do. It does prevent efiling.
You really don't want to do this. I believe this will prevent you from eFiling. Given the COVID status, this will really delay getting your tax processed.

I don't know what state you are in. But as someone previously mentioned, look for the state form to have Additions and Subtraction sections where you can tell the state to remove the amt of the pension. H&R Block state forms (at least in CT where I live) don't have as nice an interview as the federal forms. So you may need to research more. I would wait for at least 1 or 2 more state updates. I didn't even realize that H&R Block has published any state forms yet. If you cannot find a solution, call H&R block. The number to call for help should be on the interview.

Finally, what state are you filling for?
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:01 pm
dbs wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:23 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:47 pm There used to be an option in HR Block to edit the forms directly - i.e., you leave the guided interview and manually override the form that is generated. I don’t know if this option still exists or if it causes issues with electronic filing however.
Yes it does allow me to do that, with lots of warnings, but does ultimately allow it. I imagine this is what I will end up having to do. It does prevent efiling.
You really don't want to do this. I believe this will prevent you from eFiling. Given the COVID status, this will really delay getting your tax processed.

I don't know what state you are in. But as someone previously mentioned, look for the state form to have Additions and Subtraction sections where you can tell the state to remove the amt of the pension. H&R Block state forms (at least in CT where I live) don't have as nice an interview as the federal forms. So you may need to research more. I would wait for at least 1 or 2 more state updates. I didn't even realize that H&R Block has published any state forms yet. If you cannot find a solution, call H&R block. The number to call for help should be on the interview.

Finally, what state are you filling for?
Thanks, this is for New Jersey. Yes I would rather not manually overwrite so I can efile. There are some sections to exclude the pension, but for other reasons, and the NJ taxation office told me not to use them and it should not be reported at all I guess for that reason. I’ll keep trying to find a way to do it from within the questionnaire. I tested it out on the fully updated 2019 software and ran into this same problem.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by sergeant »

Your 1099-R should show the gross distribution in Box-1. It should show the taxable amount in Box-2a.
When you input everything it should show the full amount of the pension on the 1040 form in Box-4a and only the taxable amount in Box-4b.

I'm in California and use Turbotax so not sure if that helps at all.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by jerryk68 »

HR Block software for 2020 is not fully functional until the software is updated probably sometime this or next month. I
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by montanagirl »

My state,'s return has a page called State Subtractions where I would enter something like that.

Commonly used for tribal income earned on reservations but there are other categories too.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by talzara »

dbs wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:21 pm The edit button works and leads to more questions but that affects lines on the 1040 about unrelated circumstances (such as excludable contributions, or having social security disability). I contacted my state's taxation customer service and they confirmed those other exclusion lines should not be used even if makes the final tally correct, and the pension should not be reported at all.
The interview does not get e-filed.

It is acceptable to give incorrect answers on the interview, as long as it puts the correct results on the form and all worksheets. The e-file package sometimes includes worksheets that do not get filed on paper, so it is not enough to get the forms correct. The worksheets also have to be correct.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by talzara »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:01 pm You really don't want to do this. I believe this will prevent you from eFiling. Given the COVID status, this will really delay getting your tax processed.
It's only important for the OP to e-file the federal return. Paper forms are typed in by IRS employees. Lockdowns and social distancing measures will reduce the processing rate of paper returns. If you only have 1/4 as many people on-site, then it takes 4 times as long to type in the returns.

Most states use OCR or 2D barcodes to process paper returns. They only need one employee to be in the office to open envelopes and feed documents into a scanner. Those states still had delays, but only weeks instead of months.
dbs wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:00 pm Thanks, this is for New Jersey. Yes I would rather not manually overwrite so I can efile. There are some sections to exclude the pension, but for other reasons, and the NJ taxation office told me not to use them and it should not be reported at all I guess for that reason. I’ll keep trying to find a way to do it from within the questionnaire. I tested it out on the fully updated 2019 software and ran into this same problem.
Go into Forms view, right-click on the line, and select "Jump to related." See where the numbers come from, and see if you can get that worksheet right. There are a lot of cases that the interview cannot handle, but you can still e-file as long as the forms and worksheets are correct.

New Jersey uses 2D barcodes, so it's not as important to avoid filing the state tax return on paper. H&R Block allows you to e-file only the federal return.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

talzara wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:25 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:01 pm You really don't want to do this. I believe this will prevent you from eFiling. Given the COVID status, this will really delay getting your tax processed.
It's only important for the OP to e-file the federal return. Paper forms are typed in by IRS employees. Lockdowns and social distancing measures will reduce the processing rate of paper returns. If you only have 1/4 as many people on-site, then it takes 4 times as long to type in the returns.

Most states use OCR or 2D barcodes to process paper returns. They only need one employee to be in the office to open envelopes and feed documents into a scanner. Those states still had delays, but only weeks instead of months.
dbs wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:00 pm Thanks, this is for New Jersey. Yes I would rather not manually overwrite so I can efile. There are some sections to exclude the pension, but for other reasons, and the NJ taxation office told me not to use them and it should not be reported at all I guess for that reason. I’ll keep trying to find a way to do it from within the questionnaire. I tested it out on the fully updated 2019 software and ran into this same problem.
Go into Forms view, right-click on the line, and select "Jump to related." See where the numbers come from, and see if you can get that worksheet right. There are a lot of cases that the interview cannot handle, but you can still e-file as long as the forms and worksheets are correct.

New Jersey uses 2D barcodes, so it's not as important to avoid filing the state tax return on paper. H&R Block allows you to e-file only the federal return.
Thanks good to know about NJ efiling, if it ends up that I need to manually overwrite. I have been checking the print of the final forms and so far as long as I can't delete the pension in the state interview, I can only exclude the pension by answering questions that do show up on the final forms as the wrong reasons.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by nalor511 »

jerryk68 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:30 pm HR Block software for 2020 is not fully functional until the software is updated probably sometime this or next month. I
+1, states aren't complete well into Feb, if not early Mar
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

nalor511 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:02 pm
jerryk68 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:30 pm HR Block software for 2020 is not fully functional until the software is updated probably sometime this or next month. I
+1, states aren't complete well into Feb, if not early Mar
I did try to test this out in dummy file in the final version of the 2019 software and also could not delete the pension entry in the State interview carried over from Federal.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by fabdog »

Try going into the state interview... on the NJ return line 20A is the pension... line 20b is the taxable part. There should be something in the interview or a worksheet to let you claim this as a disability payment. See page 12 of the NJ 1040 instructions.

You're not trying to delete... you want to find the method to tell the program its disability so it will do line 20a and 20b correctly

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celia
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by celia »

Are you sure the state disability is supposed to be reported on your federal return? Here’s some general guidance:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/disab ... e/00/26023

I used H&R Block for the last time last year since I found 3 bugs in the California taxes. Having excess state taxes previously paid being applied to the following year was impossible to enter since the Calif part of the software didn’t even have a question asking about a carryover. (I considered that a big bug.)

If not sure, ask the agency/ company that issued the tax form.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

fabdog wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:11 pm Try going into the state interview... on the NJ return line 20A is the pension... line 20b is the taxable part. There should be something in the interview or a worksheet to let you claim this as a disability payment. See page 12 of the NJ 1040 instructions.

You're not trying to delete... you want to find the method to tell the program its disability so it will do line 20a and 20b correctly

Mike
Thanks yes since the pension is coded as disability in the federal interview, it does also place the full amount as excluded on state line 28a Retirement/Pension Exclusion, which in the NJ instructions it says is if you are receiving SSDI. I am not actually receiving SSDI, and the state told me not to use that line or report it at all. I can also get the pension excluded on line 20b Excludable Pensions by answering this is the first year of a contributory plan, which it is, but that is not the reason it is being excluded and the state also told me not to use that line either because they don't want it reported.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

celia wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:32 pm Are you sure the state disability is supposed to be reported on your federal return? Here’s some general guidance:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/disab ... e/00/26023

I used H&R Block for the last time last year since I found 3 bugs in the California taxes. Having excess state taxes previously paid being applied to the following year was impossible to enter since the Calif part of the software didn’t even have a question asking about a carryover. (I considered that a big bug.)

If not sure, ask the agency/ company that issued the tax form.
It is supposed to be taxable Federally from all I've read from the state pension documents, and I had Federal withholdings. It does appear so far to be big bug in the HRBlock software though, next year I will try TurboTax if I can't get this worked out.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by prd1982 »

The H&R Block product has a Help Center icon at the top. The pop-up has a "Chat for support" link, There is also a message to call 1-888-482-9288 to contact the Software Support team. If you use it, please let us know if they were useful.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by trueblueky »

jerryk68 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:30 pm HR Block software for 2020 is not fully functional until the software is updated probably sometime this or next month. I
The IRS will not accept returns until February 12. Why the rush?
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

A little off-topic...

Last year, using H&R Block tax software, I tried to claim the credit for installing electric vehicle service equipment (AKA "Charger"); the software did not include the form and communication with them indicated that they had no plans to roll out the form. I requested and got a refund, TurboTax handled it without a hiccup.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

TheGreyingDuke wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:02 am A little off-topic...

Last year, using H&R Block tax software, I tried to claim the credit for installing electric vehicle service equipment (AKA "Charger"); the software did not include the form and communication with them indicated that they had no plans to roll out the form. I requested and got a refund, TurboTax handled it without a hiccup.
Good to know, I think that is relevant!
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by grabiner »

I have had similar problems with needing to override.

When I lived in NJ in 2010-2013, I had an HSA. NJ taxes interest on an HSA, and TaxAct only allowed interest to be reported on a return if it had a 1099 (or fake 1099 if the interest was not reported). There is no way to create a fake 1099 which is completely ignored on the federal tax form. TaxAct's suggestion was to create a 1099 listing the income as tax-exempt on the federal tax form, but this would be incorrect, as tax-exempt interest is reported on the Form 1040 and does count as income for some tax provisions. Instead, I had to manually enter the number, which prevented me from filing electronically. This issue was fixed in 2014.

If the software does not allow you to make a direct entry onto the form, you might be able to fake it as long as you don't file the state form electronically. File the federal form normally, but do not file the state form at this time; print an extra copy if the state requires you to attach it to a paper-filed form. Then correct the entry so that the state form is correct.
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by tibbitts »

Although seemingly not an extremely rare situation, it wouldn't surprise me if the Block software didn't handle this correctly. The OP might have to try another software package or two to find one that does handle the situation correctly. I'm not picking on the Block software; the same could happen with one of the other software providers as well. I wouldn't count on getting a timely resolution from support, at least not if the objective is to file by the usual non-extended due date, since until then, the "solution" will probably be to wait for updates.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

grabiner wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:12 pm I have had similar problems with needing to override.

When I lived in NJ in 2010-2013, I had an HSA. NJ taxes interest on an HSA, and TaxAct only allowed interest to be reported on a return if it had a 1099 (or fake 1099 if the interest was not reported). There is no way to create a fake 1099 which is completely ignored on the federal tax form. TaxAct's suggestion was to create a 1099 listing the income as tax-exempt on the federal tax form, but this would be incorrect, as tax-exempt interest is reported on the Form 1040 and does count as income for some tax provisions. Instead, I had to manually enter the number, which prevented me from filing electronically. This issue was fixed in 2014.

If the software does not allow you to make a direct entry onto the form, you might be able to fake it as long as you don't file the state form electronically. File the federal form normally, but do not file the state form at this time; print an extra copy if the state requires you to attach it to a paper-filed form. Then correct the entry so that the state form is correct.
I think once the Federal is completely filled in I might "save as" a separate State file, then if i delete the pension from the federal interview it will then allow me to delete it from the state interview too. Not ideal then having two unlinked fed and state files but that is what i have come up with so far, other than overwriting the form, which i did test out and was able to do as well.
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dbs
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Re: HRBlock software will not let me delete pension my state says not to report

Post by dbs »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:44 pm Although seemingly not an extremely rare situation, it wouldn't surprise me if the Block software didn't handle this correctly. The OP might have to try another software package or two to find one that does handle the situation correctly. I'm not picking on the Block software; the same could happen with one of the other software providers as well. I wouldn't count on getting a timely resolution from support, at least not if the objective is to file by the usual non-extended due date, since until then, the "solution" will probably be to wait for updates.

Yeah exactly, no one at hrblock has directly addressed this issue. The stock answer is wait for updates, when I know this issue existed in previous years and it is not a new type of pension tax rule so not sure why an update would address it if they are not even acknowledging it. Next year I will try another software, I seem to have to a manual overwrite or a convoluted dual database solution I can try this year.
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