The correct procedure to transfer your files from one computer to another computer is to:

  1. Install a fresh copy of the TaxAct program, from download or the TaxAct provided DVD, on the new computer.
  2. Copy your return files from the old computer using a flash drive, external drive, DVD/CD or network connection.

You cannot simply copy the whole program from one computer to another because there are file associations and registry settings that are created during an install. You are always free to download again any previously purchased software, which eliminates the need to transfer program and installation related files.

Copying Return Files to New Computer

Use Windows Explorer to copy your return files to the correct location indicated below. On your keyboard use Windows logo + E to launch a Windows Explorer window. You must copy the files to the same directory on the destination computer once you have installed the software there. We recommend using the default installation locations for this reason among others.

For additional information on copying files, please consult Microsoft Support.

Should you have difficulty opening a file once it is on the new computer, you should use Windows Explorer again to make sure that the Read-only attribute is not checked on your return file. File Attributes can be viewed by highlighting the file, right-clicking on the file to bring up the pop up menu, and choosing Properties.

Location of TaxAct Return Files

TaxAct tax return files have a file extension of .taX where X is the last digit of the tax year. Returns for 2015 have a file extension of .ta5, 2016 returns have a file extension of .ta6, and so on.

The location of these return files depends on the tax year of the program you are using. Please refer to the information below:

TaxAct Desktop Consumer Users (Free Federal, Basic, Plus, Premium)

  • For 2008 and later returns, the return file is saved under the My Documents folder of the profile which created the return, in the TaxACT 20XX or TaxAct 20XX folder. For example, if your Windows sign-in name is JSmith, the 2016 return files would be saved in JSmith's My Documents in a folder called TaxACT 2016.

  • For 2007 and earlier returns, the return file is located in the program's installation directory: C:\Program Files\2nd Story Software\TaxACT 20XX.

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