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How do I open a turbo tax file from a prior year?

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How do I open a turbo tax file from a prior year?

  You have to access your own account and/or  print it for yourself using exactly the same account and user ID that you used when you prepared the return.


Start a 2023 return online and enter some personal information  so that the menu on the left opens up and lets you access your past year returns.




Many people have multiple TT accounts and forget how to access them.  Log out of the account you are in now.


Account Recovery






Or did you use the desktop version of TurboTax?  If so, the files are on your own hard drive or any backup device you used like a flash drive.









You can get a free transcript from the IRS or for a fee of $43, an actual copy of your tax return.








EVERY year before mid-October you should save a copy of your tax return as a pdf and print a copy of it for your records.  That way you will not be searching online frantically when you need it for a lender, FAFSA forms, your next tax return, etc. 







NOTE:  TurboTax and the IRS save returns for seven years.  Returns older than seven years are purged.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

How do I open a turbo tax file from a prior year?

Did you download a .tax file from Online?  Or use the Desktop installed program?  If you have the data file ending in .tax (like .tax2022) you need the Desktop program for the year you want to open.  Turbo Tax is only good for 1 year and is not backwards compatible.


After you get the program installed the first thing to do before you open your tax return is to update the program and install any state programs you had. Then open your file. So you first might need to start a fake return to be able to download the state program (go to File-New Tax Return).


If you have a .tax file and can't install the Desktop program or don't want to buy it,  you could try the TaxPrinter service to convert a .tax file to pdf at


They might be expensive and it is probably not safe to email tax returns back and forth.  They are not related to Turbo Tax.



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