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What are the differences between the online and CD/download editions of TurboTax?

SOLVEDby TurboTax53Updated February 08, 2022
  • No installation
  • Prepare and ReFILE your return online from any computer
  • Your private information is stored on secure servers
  • Access tax experts through the Assist & Review service
  • User-friendly interface and instructions
  • Compatible with Windows or Mac
  • Download/install on any Windows PC
  • No internet connection required to prepare your return
  • Store your information on your hard drive
  • Access tax experts through the Assist & Review service
  • Access the Forms method to enter your data
  • Only compatible with Windows (8.1 and above)

Some tax information (unused tuition and education amounts, RRSP limits, unused capital loss, and so on) get carried over from year to year. If your tax return includes these items, every year when you start a new tax return, you need to transfer this information from your previous tax return over to your new one.

While this can always be done manually, an automatic transfer avoids the possibility of mistakes, and is also faster and more convenient. TurboTax Online and CD/Download editions will both transfer your information to your current year return.

Having an easily accessible copy of your tax returns could prove useful for a number of reasons. You might need to refer to previous returns for things such as verifying your identity with the CRA, or to reference as proof of your annual net income.

The process of viewing and printing past tax returns varies between TurboTax editions and can play a role in choosing the product that's right for you. TurboTax Online offers instant access to past returns, while the CD/download edition requires a download of your tax data file.

One of the major factors in deciding which product to buy involves cost. TurboTax products in each edition (Online or CD/Download) offer different value for your money. Calculating your cost-per-tax-return (dividing the price of a TurboTax product by the number of tax returns you need to file) can help you compare and choose products more effectively.

Related information

What are the minimum system requirements for TurboTax software?

How does the end of support for Windows 8 affect my TurboTax experience?

How can I return my software or receive credit toward TurboTax online?

Where can I get help with my OS?

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