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Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

I filed my extension on time in April 2022.  I was completing my tax return through the desktop version.  For some reason, it would not allow me to electronically file my extension through the desktop program.  So, I had to go to my TT online account and file it there.  It was successful and I made my payment.  Now when I go back into the desktop program to finalize my filing, it started with my federal refund of $0.  Is that correct?  It also wasn't showing my deductions I entered - again maybe because I filed the extension and paid estimated taxes?  I have added my additional deductions which is showing a refund...I am guessing a refund from what I already paid?  Do I just file like I would normally?

9 Replies

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

the online program and the desktop program do not 'talk' to each other.  


Stick with one way of doing your taxes; going back and forth between online and desktop is a non-starter. 

Level 15
Level 15

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

There is no connection between the online and desktop programs. If you filed an extension with TurboTax Online, the payment with the extension will not automatically be entered in the desktop program. You have to enter it yourself. The payment with the extension would appear on Schedule 3, line 10.

To enter the payment you made with your extension, type "estimated tax payments" (without the quotes) in the Search box, then click the link that says "Jump to estimated tax payments." That takes you to the screen that says "Estimates and Other Income Taxes Paid." Scroll down a little to the second section, "Payments with Extension." Click the Start or Update button for payment with 2021 federal extension.


Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

If your Desktop return isn't showing you the deductions, etc.  you might have started an amended return.  Amending will reset the refund to 0.  How did you go back into your return?  I might start over and do a  brand new return.  Go up to File-New.  You can transfer from 2020 again.  

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

I typically do but the desktop version would not allow me to pay my estimated taxes electronically. I had no choice but to pay them through my online account or be late. 

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

I thought I chose to pick up where I left off. All my information is in return but on the “summary“ page where it tells you if the standard deduction for itemized deduction is better, in the list of itemized elections it shows zero dollars for every line for this year except for charitable contributions.

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program



Stop looking at the sometimes confusing summary screens ... you have the downloaded program so switch to the FORMS mode and look at all the forms & worksheets to review all your information.


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.


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.


Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

@crafty15 - you can always pay taxes directly at the IRS website; there is no need to go through Turbo Tax 







Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

THANK YOU!!!  I was able to find my payment recorded in the return so I know that it is correct. Thank you for this information as I have never had to do an extension before. 😊

Extension filed online but return is through desktop program

after filing (or starting) with TurboTax Online.

download your work to your hard drive as a .tax2021 file.

That file can be opened in  2021 TurboTax desktop if the attached states are installed.


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