TurboTax FAQ
TurboTax FAQ
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Troubleshoot Transferring from a Prior-Year Return

If you're having problems transferring your prior-year tax return to TurboTax 2016 Basic, Deluxe, Premier, or Home & Business, refer to the troubleshooting steps below.

If you're instead having problems importing from Quicken, QuickBooks, your payroll provider, or a financial institution, click here instead.

Troubleshooting Steps

First, ensure the following situations don't apply to you:

  • By design, TurboTax only transfers information from the previous tax year; it won't let you skip years when transferring.
    • In other words, you cannot transfer your 2013 or 2014 data into your 2016 return.
  • TurboTax will only transfer information from a return that uses the same main form.
    • For example, you cannot transfer data from a corporate (Form 1120) return into a partnership (Form 1065) or individual (Form 1040) return.
    • You can, however, transfer data between Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040-EZ form returns, because these are all variations of the same 1040 tax form.

Errors such as Transfer Was Unsuccessful, Internal Error, or Unable to Read Data indicate possible file corruption. Carry out the following suggestions, in the order listed, until the issue is resolved.

  • Close TurboTax, restart the program, and try transferring again.
  • Make a copy of last year's return and then transfer from the copy:
    1. Close TurboTax 2016 and open TurboTax 2015.
    2. Open the 2015 tax file you are trying to transfer from.
      • The message Unable to Read Data means your file is damaged. Search for another copy of your file to transfer from. If you can't find one, you'll need to enter everything manually from a printed copy of last year's tax return.
    3. From the TurboTax File menu, choose Save As.
    4. Save that return using a new file name, for example by adding the word Copy to the file name.
    5. Close TurboTax 2015 and reopen TurboTax 2016.
    6. Try transferring from the copy you saved in Step 4.
  • Try reinstalling your prior-year TurboTax software. If problems persist, reinstall the current version of TurboTax. Then, try transferring again.
  • If your information won't transfer, or the transferred data is so messed up that you don't even know how to begin fixing it, you can always start over. To start a new return in the Desktop Software version, you can either:
    • Reopen TurboTax and click Start a New Return on the first screen; or
    • Choose New Tax Return from the File menu. You may also want to delete the original file if you saved it.