TaxAct Desktop Return File Extensions Explanation

TaxAct return file extensions are three characters long:

  1. 1st character = file type
    • b = backup file
    • t = return file (not a backup)
  2. 2nd character = return type
    • a = 1040
    • c = 1120
    • s = 1120S
    • p = 1065
    • e = 1041
    • x = 990
  3. 3rd character = last digit of tax year


Tax year  Return type  Backup file?  File Extension 
2019 1040 yes .ba9
2019 1040 no .ta9
2018 1065 yes .bp8
2018 1120 no .tc8

The AUTO-BACKUP folder will also contain three backup copies of the returns, and the file name will indicate whether the file is a current backup file, a daily backup file, or a weekly backup file.

     Example. ".ta9_weekly.ba9" = 2019 individual tax return weekly backup file. 

TaxAct backup files may be opened in the TaxAct program, but we strongly recommend you restore backup files before working on or importing return files. Only open backup files directly if you intend to restore the file and want to check the file to make sure you are restoring the correct backup file.

Importing a backup file can have unexpected results: the information may not fully import, the file extensions may be retained in the file name, and the program may not handle the imported file correctly. For example, importing a 2018 backup file to the 2019 program may result in a file ending in .ta8.ba8.ta9, .ta8.ba9, or other file endings and extensions.