Can i switch from 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.

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.

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.

TurboTax is generally pricier than everything else out there, but even though confident filers may not need all the bells and whistles that most TurboTax online products offer, many people will find the experience and the availability of human help worth the extra cost. We’ve long praised TurboTax for its design and flow.

Can i switch from turbotax online to desktop

For simple tax returns only; it allows you to file a 1040 and a state return for free, but you can’t itemize or file schedules 1, 2 or 3 of the 1040.

Live Basic $0 (state included).

Free version plus access to a tax pro, advice and a final review until March 31.

Deluxe $59 + $49 per state (Live: $119, $54).

Itemize and claim several tax deductions and credits. Works well for business income but no expenses.

Premier $89 + $49 per state (Live: $169, $54).

Deluxe version plus investment reporting and rental income (Schedules D and E, and K-1s).

Self-Employed $119 + $49 per state (Live: $199, $54).

Premier version plus business income, expenses on a Schedule C, home office deductions and features for freelancers.

Get started with TurboTax

One note about prices: Providers frequently change them. You can verify the latest price by clicking through to TurboTax’s site. TurboTax also offers desktop software, where your return doesn't reside in the cloud, but it’s not part of our review.

TurboTax has a lot going for it, but price isn’t one of them. The list price of its software routinely is on the high end of the spectrum, especially when adding the cost of a state return. And if you want access to human help, it costs even more.

TurboTax offers a free version for simple tax returns only; it lets you file a Form 1040, claim the earned income tax credit, reconcile your advanced child tax credits and deduct student loan interest. Unlike last year, the free version no longer handles unemployment income reported on a 1099-G.

The free package also can’t handle itemized deductions or schedules 1, 2 or 3 of Form 1040, which means it probably won’t work for you if you plan to do things such as deduct mortgage interest, report business or freelance income, or report stock sales or income from a rental property.

TurboTax’s interface is like a chat with a tax preparer, and you can skip around if you need to. A banner running along the side keeps track of where you stand in the process and flags areas you still need to complete.

Embedded links throughout the process offer tips, explainers and other resources. And help buttons can connect you to the searchable knowledge base, on-screen help and more.

Can i switch from turbotax online to desktop

You can switch from another provider: TurboTax imports electronic PDFs (not scans of hard copies) of tax returns from H&R Block, Credit Karma, Liberty Tax, TaxAct and TaxSlayer.

Auto-import certain tax documents: You can automatically import W-2 information from your employer if it's partnered with TurboTax, but you can also take a picture of your W-2 and upload it to transfer the data to your return. You can import certain 1099s, and the Self-Employed version also lets you upload 1099-NECs from clients via photo, as well as import income and expenses from Square, Uber and Lyft.

Crypto support: TurboTax’s Premier package eliminates one of the biggest pain points for cryptocurrency investors — manual entry. Users can import up to 4,000 transactions at once.

Donation calculator: The Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed packages integrate ItsDeductible, a feature — and standalone mobile app — that’s helpful for quickly finding the deduction value of donated clothes, household items and other objects.

Platform mobility: Like many other providers, TurboTax lets you access and work on your return across devices: on your computer via the website or on your phone or tablet.

Here’s a look at the various ways you can find answers and get guidance when filing your return with TurboTax.

  • General guidance: Searchable knowledge base, forums and video tutorials are helpful for research on the fly.

  • Tech support:  TurboTax Digital Assistant (a chatbot) and contact form available for all; paid packages get access to a TurboTax specialist.

  • One-on-one human tax help: Live, on-screen tax advice or review of your whole tax return by a tax pro is available if you buy the TurboTax Live version.

One of TurboTax’s most outstanding support options is TurboTax Live. It offers a one-on-one review with a tax pro before you file, as well as unlimited live tax advice throughout the year. You can talk on the fly to a tax pro via one-way video (you see them, but they don’t see you; they just see your screen).

TurboTax also offers Live Full Service, which does away with tax software altogether. Instead, you upload your tax documents and a human puts together your tax return. You’ll be matched with a tax preparer, meet on a video call before he or she begins working, and then you’ll meet again when your return is ready for review. The preparer files the return for you. Prices range from $199 to $389 for federal returns depending on complexity, plus $54 per state return.

Can i switch from turbotax online to desktop

Getting audited is scary, so it’s important to know what kind of support you’re getting from your tax software. First, be sure you know the difference between "support" and "defense." With most providers, audit support (or "assistance") typically means guidance about what to expect and how to prepare — that’s it. Audit defense, on the other hand, gets you full representation before the IRS from a tax professional.

TurboTax gives everyone free audit support from a tax pro to help you understand what’s going on if you get that dreaded letter about your 2021, 2020 or 2019 tax return; if TurboTax can’t connect you with a pro, you’ll get a refund. If you want someone to represent you in front of the IRS, you’ll need TurboTax’s audit defense product, called MAX. It runs an extra $49 and includes features such as identity theft monitoring, loss insurance and restoration help.

No matter how you file, you can choose to receive your refund several ways:

  • Direct deposit to a bank account.

  • Loaded onto a Turbo Visa Debit Card (if you’re getting a refund on your state taxes, see if your state offers a prepaid card option as well).

  • Direct deposit to Coinbase account.

  • Apply the refund to next year’s taxes.

  • Directing the IRS to buy U.S. Savings Bonds with your refund.

You also have the option of paying for the software out of your refund. But there’s usually a charge to do so — the amount may depend on the type of service or add-ons you requested.

  • Federal: $46.95 to $94.95. Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • All filers get access to Xpert Assist for free until April 7.

Promotion: NerdWallet users get 25% off federal and state filing costs.

  • Federal: $49.99 to $109.99. Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • State: $0 to $44.99 per state.

  • Online Assist add-on gets you on-demand tax help.

  • Federal: $59 to $119. Free version available for simple returns only.

  • State: $0 to $49 per state.

  • TurboTax Live packages offer review with a tax expert.

Promotion: NerdWallet users can save up to $15 on TurboTax.

  • Federal: $29.95 to $59.95. Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • State: $0 to $39.95 per state.

  • On-demand tax help at Premium and Self-Employed tiers.

Promotion: NerdWallet users get 35% off federal filing.

With its intuitive design and variety of human support options, TurboTax is in many ways the standard for the do-it-yourself tax-prep industry. Its products come at a price, however, and confident filers might find that similar offerings from competitors may provide a better value.

Get started with TurboTax