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If you need to find the location where your return files are saved on your computer, or if you can't find the return you want in the TaxAct program, you can follow these steps to locate your return files.

Look in the default save location:

  1. In the taskbar at the bottom of your computer screen, click in the field that says Type here to search, then type "file explorer", and click Open.
  2. Double-click Documents, then double-click TAXACT 20XX (XX represents the last two digits of the year for your return files).
  3. If you did not change the default save location for your return files, this is where they will be. To open a file in the TaxAct program, Double-click it.

Search your computer:

  1. In the taskbar at the bottom of your computer screen, click in the field that says Type here to search, then type "file explorer", and click Open.
  2. Click This PC, then click in the field that says Search This PC.
  3. Type ".taX" into the search bar (X represents the last digit of the year for your return files; 2020 return example: .ta0), and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. The file explorer window will show a list of files with ".taX" in their names. Look at the file names to see if any of them are your return files. To open a file in the TaxAct program, Double-click it.

Restore backup file:

  1. If there are any backup files on your computer, you will have to search for them using the Search your computer steps above. Backup files can be searched for by typing ".baX" (X represents the last digit of the year for your return files; 2020 return example: .ba0).
  2. Once you know the location of the backup files, open your TaxAct return program. Click File in the upper menu bar, then click Restore Backup.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, to locate the backup file (where you found it earlier in your search), and rename the file.
  4. Click File in the upper menu bar, then click Open Return to open the newly restored file.

Returns created in the TaxAct Desktop program are not saved in the TaxAct Servers, they are saved on your computer, so TaxAct does not have copies of your return files. If you are unable to locate your return file and are unable to restore from a backup, successfully filed returns can be obtained from the IRS by calling 800-829-1040. You will need to recreate any returns that were not filed.


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