How-To Guides, Tax Software

Learn How To Import TurboTax Online To Desktop

Among the USA’s leading tax preparation software programs, TurboTax is consistently emerging with new features and updates every year. You can use the software to file your state or federal taxes from the comfort of your home. While you can visit TurboTax’s official site and file your taxes directly through the website, you can download or switch to the desktop version to file your taxes on a stand-alone computer. Read on to explore how you can import TurboTax online to desktop and what its advantages are.

Differences Between TurboTax Online and Desktop Version

The online version of TurboTax is recommended for filing a single return at a time with separate charges for federal and state taxes. To start with the tax filing process, you don’t have to pay initially; however, you need to pay while filing or printing the filed taxes. To avail an early discounted price, you may have to pay for it. Moreover, you cannot look into the forms until your payment is done for printout. The TurboTax online version doesn’t have the same forms and hence you might need to use a higher version. Also, the returns that you file online, are stored online and you don’t get access to these files the next year. To avoid this, you can save and download both the .tax and .pdf files each year to your computer or a flash drive.

The TurboTax desktop version, also known as the CD/Download version allows you to file unlimited tax returns. If you import TurboTax online to desktop version, you can file five federal taxes for free and one free state tax return. Moreover, you can have a look at the actual forms on the desktop version of TurboTax. The desktop version has a “What-If” worksheet that allows you to keep your tax return data stored on your computer. Hence, you will have around-the-clock access to these files.

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Tips To Import TurboTax Online To Desktop

Now that you have understood the difference between the online and desktop version of Turbotax, have a look at the below-mentioned pointers for changing TurboTax online to TurboTax desktop/software version:

  1. Log into your TurboTax account and save the online tax returns as a tax data file.
  2. Log out of your TurboTax account.
  3. Now visit the official site of Turbotax and download the software.
  4. Open the TurboTax setup file and install the program on your computer.
  5. In case you haven’t purchased the software, select the product you need to file your tax returns.
  6. After installing the software, choose the “File” menu and click on the “Open Tax Return” option.
  7. Navigate to the location where you saved your .tax file.
  8. Select the .tax file and click on Open.
  9. In case you encounter an error while performing this step, delete the tax data file and repeat the steps from the beginning.

While filing returns for state, ensure that you have installed the corresponding state program. This will eliminate the risk of encountering TurboTax error 539 or TurboTax error 42015.

Advantages of TurboTax Desktop Version

One of the primary advantages to import TurboTax online to desktop versions is that it allows you to store your tax return data locally on your computer. However, if you ignore the usage of high-security antivirus or firewall programs on your computer, the risk of data theft or system hack gets increased.

Moreover, the desktop version of TurboTax automatically checks for updates or prompts you to check for it on frequent intervals. With the desktop version of Turbotax in place, you can save the tax file data in a USB flash drive or an external hard disk, allowing you to use the data for future use.

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While TurboTax has both the online as well as the desktop/software version, you can always make an informed decision on choosing the one that suits your requirement. Follow the series of steps to convert the online version to desktop and file your state or federal taxes from the comfort of your home on a stand-alone computer.

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