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How do I save my TurboTax Online return as a tax data file?

SOLVEDby TurboTaxTurboTax Online14373Updated April 14, 2022

Select your situation below for specific instructions:

  1. Sign in to your TurboTax Online account and open or continue your return
  2. Select Tax Tools and then Tools from the left menu
  3. In the Tools Center pop-up, select Save your 2021 return to your computer
  4. The file will download with the name taxReturn.tax2021
  5. (Optional) Locate the downloaded file and change the default filename to something more recognizable, for example JohnDoeTaxReturn.tax2021 (just make sure you don't change the filename extension to the right of the dot)

Your online return is now saved in a format can be opened in the TurboTax software.

  • To amend your 2021, 2020, or 2019 return: You can actually amend your return using TurboTax Online (you don't need to use the TurboTax CD/Download software). Here's how:
    1. Sign in to TurboTax
    2. Scroll down to Your tax returns & documents and select the year you'd like to amend
    3. Now select Amend (change) return
    4. Follow the screens to amend your return
  • To amend a 2018 or earlier year return: You’ll need to print out Form 1040-X and amend your return by hand. Go to the IRS home page and search for Form 1040-X for the year you need to amend.
  • If you still want to download your .tax file:
    1. Sign in to your TurboTax account
    2. From your Tax Home, scroll down to Your tax returns & documents
    3. Select the year for the return you want to download, then select Download .tax file in the right column

TurboTax supports the amending of returns for the current year and three prior years, or 2018–2021 returns.

If you just want a copy of your return for your records, you don't need a tax data file, which can only be read by tax-filing software. A PDF is a more accessible option.

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