What's the difference between the tax data file an...

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What's the difference between the tax data file and the PDF file?

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)
Saved on our secure servers
(TurboTax Online)
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

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