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The default location for TaxAct Professional Edition files:

C:\TaxAct\TaxAct [20XX*] Professional [Preparer's] Edition\Client Data\[Practice ID] (XX is the last two digits of the TaxAct program year)

When you find the file, make sure the TaxAct program is closed, and Double-click the file to open it in the TaxAct program.

If you don't find the file in the default location, try the steps below to recover your file.


Search your local computer or network:

  1. In the taskbar at the bottom of your computer screen, click in the field that says Type here to search
  2. Then type "file explorer", and click Open.
    • If you saved your return file to another location manually or have changed the default location of your return files, search that location in file explorer.
    • Search any other potential storage locations, different drive letter ( D: drive), USB drive, backup server, or shared location (if using the TaxAct Enterprise Edition).
    • Do a general search for 1040 return files by using the file extension of ".taX" where "X" represents the last digit of the year (".ta0" for 2020, ".ta1" for 2021, etc.). For other return types:
      • tcX = 1120
      • tpX = 1065
      • tsX = 1120-S
      • teX = 1041
      • txX = 990
  3. When you find the file, make sure the TaxAct program is closed, and Double-click the file to open it in the TaxAct program.

Restore from a backup:

Professional Editions - Restoring Backups


If you cannot find the file:

You can obtain returns that were successfully filed with the IRS; go to our IRS - Obtain Copy of Tax Return FAQ.

Returns that had not yet been filed will need to be recreated.


Prevent future data loss:

Professional Editions - Backing Up Client Returns and/or Preparer Information


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