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

  1. Sign into your TaxAct account online and download and install the TaxAct program on the new computer.
  2. Copy the Client Data folder from the old computer using a flash drive, external drive, DVD/CD or network connection.
  3. Paste the Client Data folder in the same directory location on the new computer.

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 can download previously purchased software from your TaxAct account online. We strongly recommend using the default installation location for your TaxAct programs.

Copying Return Files to New Computer

Use the Windows File Explorer to copy your return files to the correct location indicated below. Press the Windows logo key + E on the keyboard to launch a File Explorer window. You must copy the files to the same directory on the destination computer once you have installed the software there.

For best results, copy the entire contents of the Client Data folder, as it contains files for preparer information in addition to return files. You can do this by copying the folder itself or all the contents in the folder. Make sure you are following the same directory structure on the new computer. If you copy the Client Data folder itself, paste it to C:\TaxACT\TaxACT 20XX Professional [Preparer's] Edition (* see below). If you copy the contents of the Client Data folder instead of the folder itself, paste to C:\TaxACT\TaxACT 20XX Professional [Preparer's] Edition\Client Data\[Practice ID] (* see below). If you are transferring files for multiple years, make sure you are keeping the return files for each year separate and moving to the respective directory.

For assistance with copying or pasting files or folders in the Windows File Explorer, please refer to Microsoft support or help pages.

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 2019 have a file extension of .ta9, 2018 returns have a file extension of .ta8, and so on.

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

TaxAct Professional Client Data Directories:

  • Return files are found here:

    C:\TaxAct\TaxAct 20XX Professional Edition\Client Data\[practice ID]  
  • For 2013 - 2017, return files are found here:

    C:\TaxACT\TaxACT 20XX Preparer's Edition\Client Data\[Online]
    If you used Enterprise online mode for 2017, there will be an Online subfolder. 
     
  • For 2010, 2011 and 2012, return files are found here:

    C:\2nd Story Software\TaxACT 20XX Preparer's Edition\Client Data

If you do not see your client returns in the TaxAct program's Client Manager after performing the above operation, you may need to rebuild the Client Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P on the keyboard (all four keys at the same time).


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