I know it is a very strange and unique question, but here it goes:
There is a amount the system is giving me in line 4 column E of the CA Sch 540NR. I traced it back and the problem is that the amounts in the different K-1's being assigned to CA minus the deductions do not match this amount.
Which got me thinking. A) there is a problem and the system is giving me the wrong calculations or B) there is an amount somewhere being assigned to CA and I cannot find it.
There's a worksheet called "St K-1 Rec" that will show you entity-by-entity how much state-source income Lacerte thinks you have. That's where I start to find data-entry errors.
Sometimes there will be a discrepancy between that worksheet and the actual state tax return, and you have to decide which one is correct and judiciously override. Sometimes there will be a discrepancy between that worksheet and your own outside calculation of the correct number, due to the "-1 means zero" issue.
PY NR's may have a couple of causes.
For NR, @PhoebeRoberts has pointed out the key solutions. The main thing is really in your input of state source and also the blank, N S thing. So far I have not encountered any software problem. I do about 20 - 30 CA-NR every year.
If you feel you've checked it all, one suggestion is to email Lacerte with the file and ask for the details. This year I did it five times. Two showed Lacert Gremlins. Three showed user (i.e. yours sincerely) problem. The turn around time was within 24 hours. I have no problem with Lacerte support this year, but then, I only threw them clear, focused problems.
I generally only see an issue in very complex returns. I've got one with about a dozen passive multi-state K-1s and half a dozen active multi-state K-1s, and I will often have one or two states a year that either need a judicious override, or I've got a note in my file that the -1 error isn't material.
If it's a straightforward NR, I would not expect to see any issues other than preparer input or "I didn't bother to read the forms instructions and got an output I didn't expect." Both of which happen to me somewhat regularly, alas.
RE: "I didn't bother to read the forms instructions and got an output I didn't expect." Both of which happen to me somewhat regularly, alas.
I once put together a computer table. At Step 21, I found a couple of extra parts that were for Step 3, and had to back paddle....
These days, still, do I read the instructions?