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Level 2

Import 2018 tax return to TurboTax desktop before doing 2019 tax return

I did my personal income taxes with my accountant for the past several years including 2018. Due to covid-19, his office is closed and cannot do my 2019 tax return.


Therefore, I purchased TurboTax Deluxe 2019 and plan to do it myself. However, it asked me to import my 2018 tax return. I recall my accountant did give me a paper copy for 2018 tax. However, I cannot locate it. Even if I'm able to find it, I don't believe I can scan it to a PDF document that TurboTax recognizes.


My questions is: Do I really need to import my 2018 tax return to do 2019 tax return? For 2018, I got refunds from both the IRS and my state. Just wonder if it would make any difference if I import the 2018 tax return vs. not?

2 Replies
Level 15

Import 2018 tax return to TurboTax desktop before doing 2019 tax return

Chances are more than 50% you need information from your 2018 return in order to correctly complete your 2019 return. 

 - Do you own rental property?

 - Are you self employed?

 - Are you the owner of any type of business that issues you a K-1, 1099-MISC or *any* *other* *kind* of tax reporting document?

 - Do you have carry over losses from a prior year that have not been fully deducted yet?

Take note that since your 2018 tax return was done by a paid accountant, they did not use TurboTax to complete it. There is no way possible for you to import a prior year return that *YOU* *PERSONALLY* did not complete and file. So without your paper copy, you're just "out there" and on your own.

Finally, take note that for 2019 the IRS has extended the deadline for filing a personal tax return until July 15th, 2020. You do have the option for file for an extention which will give you until Oct 15th, 2020 to file your 2019 tax return. You "can" use TurboTax for that without having anything from your 2018 return.

Take note that if you file an extension, that is "ONLY" an extension to *FILE* the return. If you will owe the IRS money, it is ***NOT*** an extension to pay anything you may owe the IRS. So if you "think" you will owe the IRS money, you pay an estimate of what you "think" you will owe at the time you file your extension. You can also pay what you "think" you may owe directly to the IRS *right now* if you want, at So if you pay an estimate *PRINT* *YOUR* *RECEIPT* and keep that receipt *FOREVER*. If the IRS comes back and says you didn't pay on time and you don't have a receipt to prove otherwise, guess what? *You* *Did* *Not* *pay* *on* *time*.  Period.


Level 2

Import 2018 tax return to TurboTax desktop before doing 2019 tax return

Hi Carl,


To answer your questions:

 - I do not own rental property. I am not a homeowner, either.

 - I am not self employed

 - I'm not the owner of any type of business. I have a regular job on W-2

 - I may have carry over depreciation for the equipment I got for working from home. However, I don't know if that should be considered a deductible or an income. Because my accountant did my taxes for these past years, I'm not clear on how he did it.


I expect to get a refund from the IRS this year.