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TurboTax Help

How do I save my TurboTax Online return as a tax data file?

Unlike a PDF copy, your tax data file (.tax file) can be opened, read, and edited in the TurboTax CD/Download software. We'll automatically save your online return in both .tax and PDF formats once you file your return or when TurboTax Online shuts down in late October, whichever comes first.

Select your situation below for instructions:

  1. Sign in and open or continue your return.
  2. Select Tax Tools and then Tools from the left menu.
  3. In the Tools Center pop-up, select Save your 2020 return to your computer.
  4. The file will download with the name taxReturn.tax2020.
  5. (Optional) Locate the downloaded file and change the default filename to something more recognizable, for example JohnDoeTaxReturn.tax2020 (just make sure you don't change the filename extension to the right of the dot).

Your online return is now saved in a format can be opened in the TurboTax software.

  • To amend your 2019 or 2018 return: You can actually amend your return using TurboTax Online (you don't need to use the TurboTax CD/Download software). Here's how to amend:
    1. Sign in to TurboTax.
    2. Scroll down to Your tax returns & documents and select the year you'd like to amend.
    3. Now select Amend (change) return.
    4. Follow the screens to amend your return.
  • To amend your 2017 return: Use these 2017 instructions to download your tax data file and amend your return.
  • To amend a 2016 or earlier year return: You’ll need to print out Form 1040-X and amend your return by hand. Go to the IRS home page and search for Form 1040-X for the year you need to amend.

TurboTax supports the amending of returns for the current year and three prior years, or 2017 – 2020 returns.

If you just want a copy of a prior year return for your records, you don't need a tax data file. A PDF will do.

Here's how to get a PDF copy of your return.

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