TurboTax can save your tax return as a tax data file (also called a tax file, data file, or a .tax file) and as a Portable Document Format or PDF file.
In a nutshell, your tax data file can be read and edited in TurboTax, whereas your PDF file is a non-editable "snapshot" of your tax return that can be opened, viewed, and printed in a PDF viewer program.
|Tax Data File||PDF File|
|Can be amended||Yes||No|
|Can be transferred||Yes||Very limited|
|Can be edited||Yes||No|
|Can be used for troubleshooting||Yes||Very limited|
|Saved on your computer (TurboTax software)||Automatically||Optionally Win | Mac|
|Saved on your computer (TurboTax Online)||Optionally||Optionally|
|Saved on our secure servers (TurboTax software)||No|
|Saved on our secure servers (TurboTax Online)||Automatically|
|24/7 access (TurboTax software)||Yes||Yes, if you saved the PDF|
|24/7 access (TurboTax Online)||Yes, if you purchased a paid 2019 TurboTax Online product or added PLUS to Free Edition|
|Can be opened with||TurboTax CD or downloadable software||Adobe Reader or other PDF viewer|