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Can Turbotax do a draft tax return for 2023 to help me plan?

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Can Turbotax do a draft tax return for 2023 to help me plan?

The TurboTax desktop software for tax year 2023 should be available in mid-November.  The 2023 online editions should be available in early December.


You can use the current 2022 TaxCaster for estimations for tax year 2023 - https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/

Can Turbotax do a draft tax return for 2023 to help me plan?

Even though the downloaded program comes out sometime in November each year it is only a beta version which will not be fully operational until  late January at the earliest (much later for some forms and the state programs).  Efiling will not be open until late January at best so do not be in a rush to file.


Same with the Online version which becomes functional sometime in December. 





If you are trying to do some 2023 tax planning then use the fully operational 2022 downloaded version instead. 




This is my mini version of  a tutorial  that should be in the downloaded program: 



What is Forms Mode?

Forms Mode lets you view and make changes to your tax forms "behind the scenes."

If you're adventurous, you can even prepare your return in Forms Mode, but we don't recommend it. You may miss obscure credits and deductions you qualify for, and you may forget to report things that will come back and haunt you later.

Forms Mode is exclusively available in the TurboTax CD/Download software. It is not available in TurboTax Online.


Related Information:


If you want to play around with different figures and tax scenarios without affecting your original return you can ….

  • >>>In the TurboTax CD/Download software by creating a test copy
  • 1.  Open your return in TurboTax. 
  • 2.  From the File menu, choose Save As. 
  • 3.  Give the copy a new name to distinguish it from the original (for example, by adding "Test" or "Example" to the file name). 
  • 4. Click  Save. You are now safely working in the test copy and anything you do here will not affect the original. 
  •  https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1900642-how-to-make-a-test-copy-of-your-return


  • >>  use the WHAT IF tool: 
  • - Click Forms Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 2 (forms view) 
  • - Click on the Open Form Icon 
  • - In the “Type a form name.” area type What-If (with the dash), click on the name of the worksheet - click on Open Form 
  • - You will see the worksheet on the right side of the screen; enter the information right into the form 
  • - To get back to interview mode - click on the Step-by-Step Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 1


Once you have filed successfully … you can shut off the auto updater function and then save the return &  .taxfile.


For Windows, up in the top menu, you  can set the  "Updater Preferences" to "Always Ask" or more commonly set to "I don't have an internet connection"  (even if you do), and then you are not forced to update....and can manually force an update when you choose to do so.   And then you can open the file(s) at any time with no forced upgrade.


But that's the Windows software.....not a MAC. For a MAC you cannot turn off the auto updater  HOWEVER  you can simply disconnect from the internet before opening the tax return.



It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your tax data file, in case your original gets lost or corrupted. Here's how:

  1. From the File menu in the upper-left corner of TurboTax, choose Save As (Windows) or Save (Mac).
  2. Browse to where you want to save your backup.
    • Tip: If you're saving to a portable device, save it to your computer first to prevent data corruption. Then, after completing Step 4, copy or move the backup file to your device.
  3. In the File name field, enter a name that will distinguish it from the original tax file (for example, add "Backup" or "Copy" to the file name)
  4. Click Save and then close TurboTax.
  5. Restart TurboTax and open the backup copy to make sure it's not corrupted. If you get an error, delete the backup and repeat these steps.

If you make changes to your original tax return file, repeat these steps to ensure your original and backup copies are in-synch.

Related Information:                             


AND save it as a PDF so you have access to a copy even if you don’t have the program still installed and operational :


AND protect the files :


*** Other clues to the downloaded program ***


In the forms mode ... double click  or right click on a box on a form to data source it ... sadly it doesn't work on all boxes. 


What's the meaning of all the different colors in Forms Mode?

When you look at an onscreen tax form using Forms Mode, you might wonder why one figure is blue and the one next to it is red or black.

These colors indicate the source of that data.




You entered this data, either in the interview or Forms Mode.


The program entered this data or calculated this amount.


This data has either been overridden or is invalid (for example, a ZIP code that doesn't exist).

Red italics

You marked this amount as estimated.

Black italics

The program calculated this amount from an amount you marked as estimated.


This information has supporting details.


This data was transferred over from last year.


This data was imported from Quicken or QuickBooks.

Yellow fields (Windows)

Yellow fields allow user input. Anything you enter here shows up in blue.




If you find you have a  $0  in an entry field that cannot be changed … this issue is almost always one in which you used a "Supporting Details"  (SD) sheet in that field in the prior year.   What happens is that when you transfer in the prior year's data, the SD sheet is transferred too, but empty...and that causes the $0 to show up in many areas of the Step-by-Step mode interview....wherever the SD sheet was used before.


But when switching to Forms Mode, when you try to enter a $$ amount in a field where the SD sheet is attached, the SD sheet will pop up immediately, and you can either enter the $$ amount on that sheet, or delete the SD sheet entirely and avoid future issues (unless you really want the SD sheet)


Sometimes, when you see the $0 in Step-by-Step, you can just


  1. a)  double-click on the field and the SD sheet will pop up.  But I've seen that doesn't work in all cases.


  1. b)  Another way is to click on the field, then go up to the menu..."<<Edit<<<Add Supporting Details"....then the SD sheet pops up and you can use it, or delete the SD sheet entirely and then the regular field will work properly.


  1. c)  OR  click on the problem field, then switch to Forms Mode to make that entry





Level 15

Can Turbotax do a draft tax return for 2023 to help me plan?

Using the online version of TurboTax, you can create a separate TurboTax account and create a simulated 2023 tax return using 2022 TurboTax (until the online version of TurboTax is shut down shortly after October 15 to allow modifications to be made for the new tax year).  This will only be an approximation since it will be using the 2022 tax tables and 2022 cost-of-living-adjusted amounts instead of those for 2023 which could be rather different given the current rate of inflation.  Generally, this will produce an overestimation of tax liability.  You'll only be able to view Form 1040 and Schedules 1 through 3, no other forms or schedules.  You will have to manually enter any carryover information because you cannot transfer a 2022 tax return into 2022 TurboTax as if it was the prior-year tax return.  You will not be able to use this file to actually prepare your 2023 tax return.  Unlike the CD/download version, no overrides are possible with the online version that might be used to accommodate changes to cost-of-living-adjusted amounts.


TaxCaster is essentially useless.  The 2023 version of online TurboTax will be available in December months before TaxCaster is updated for 2023.

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