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Error: The selected file is NOT a previous year tax file or it is corrupted

SOLVEDby TurboTaxTurboTax Online98Updated July 27, 2021

When attempting to transfer last year's tax file in TurboTax Online, you may receive this message:

The selected file is NOT a previous year tax file or it is corrupted. Choose a different file and try again.

Possible Causes

This error is usually caused by attempting to transfer from the PDF file instead of the TurboTax data file, which has a .tax20XX filename extension. TurboTax Online does not support PDF transfer, resulting in this error message.

You'll get the same message if you try to transfer anything other than a .tax2019 data file created in a personal version of TurboTax 2019. This means you cannot transfer from a TurboTax Business data file, a TurboTax data file for any tax year other than 2019, spreadsheet, a Word document, or any other type of file.

Less commonly, this error can occur if the 2019 data file you're trying to import is corrupted or damaged.


If you used TurboTax Online to file your 2019 taxes, the easiest way to transfer last year's data is to simply sign in to 2020 TurboTax Online using your 2019 user name and password. This automatically transfers your data over. Or, see these alternate instructions for Windows or Mac.

Don't remember your 2019 login? We can help you retrieve it.

If you used the CD or download software to prepare your 2019 tax return, you should find and upload the .tax2019 data file which the TurboTax program uses to store your tax return data. Refer to the Windows instructions or Mac instructions for how to find your .tax2019 data file.

If you suspect your .tax2019 data file may be corrupted, you can try looking for a backup copy that you may have saved and transfer from the backup instead. Use the same instructions in the links above to search for other TurboTax data files that may be stored on your system. Unfortunately, damaged or corrupted tax files can't be repaired.

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