TurboTax FAQ
TurboTax FAQ
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How do I access my prior year (2016) return?

(If you're looking for information on last year's AGI, go here.)

When in your account, you can try to search for "prior year return" in the upper-right corner. This should give you personalized help tailored to your specific situation.

To access your prior year return there are a few of things you need to know:

  • Where to find it – Under Your tax returns & documents which is on the first screen when you sign in.
  • How to get access if you don’t have it already – Pay for your TurboTax product (and upgrade if you’re in Free Edition without PLUS).
  • Use the same TurboTax account as last year – This means using the same user ID (if it’s a different user ID, even with the same email, it’s not the same account).

These steps can be a little more complicated than they sound, but just select any situation below to get more exact information.

Upgrade/payment instructions if you haven't filed your 2017 return yet

To upgrade and/or pay:

  1. Make sure you’re in your return (you should be able to see the menu bar on the left, if you don’t, select Take me to my return to get to it or try the menu icon in the upper-left corner if your screen/window is too small.)
  2. If you want…
    • To upgrade, select Upgrade in the left-hand menu and choose which product you’d like.
    • To pay, select File in the left-hand menu and continue until you get to Review your order. Then select Start and follow the on-screen instructions.

Free Edition upgrade/payment instructions if you've already filed your 2017 return

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Go to Help, select Contact us, type in Add PLUS Benefits, and Continue.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to add PLUS and pay.

Where is my prior year return located in TurboTax Online?

To find your your prior year return:

  1. Go to Your tax returns & documents at the bottom of the main screen (if you're in your return, select Tax Home in the left-hand menu first).
  2. If not already visible, select Show and then the year you're looking for.
  3. Now select:
    • Download/print return (PDF) to get a PDF copy you can view or print
    • Download .tax file to get the data file, which you can open and edit in the TurboTax CD/Download software.

Instructions for TurboTax CD/Download

If you’re only looking to print or access a PDF version of a prior year return that you completed using TurboTax Software (CD/Download), and you saved a PDF version of that return when you originally completed the return, you can search for the PDF on your computer, thumb drive, etc.

To access a prior year return for a different reason (that is, access the full *.tax file - not a PDF, which is an image of your return), you’ll need the TurboTax software (CD/Download) from the year you completed the return. If you don’t have the original CD or download:

Once you have installed the software on your computer:

  1. Select the File menu in the upper left.
  2. Now select Print or Save to PDF, depending on what you want to do. There are other options in the File menu as well.

Instructions for TurboTax Mobile App

Other ways to access your prior year return outside of TurboTax are:

  • Order a free tax return transcriptonline or by mail from the IRS that has a lot (but not all) of the information from last year’s return (not all people are able to do this).
  • Pay the IRS $50 for a copy of your return.

How to make sure you're in the right account

You have to use the same user ID as the previous year when you sign in, the same email but with a different user ID is considered a different account and won't have your prior year return.


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