I'm trying to open my TurboTax2008.bak file. Help?
Ah, the joys of tax time. I had a similar issue in with my H & R Block software this year and understand how helpful it is to import last year's data into the current software. I assume that you're using TurboTax 2009 and need to import last year's data into this year's software, correct?
The BAK File Extension
The BAK file extension is typically used as a backup file. Your computer may have both the original TurboTax 2008 data file as well as this backup copy. TurboTax 2008 used the file extension .tax2008 for its data files, so if you named your tax return "MyTaxReturn," the file would be "MyTaxReturn.tax2008." Depending on how the backup file was made, the backup file could be "MyTaxReturn.bak."
Renaming the BAK File Extension
First, check to see if you can find the original .tax2008 file. If that file is missing, damaged, or corrupt, you can try renaming the BAK file extension to the TAX2008 extension. Do this by right-clicking the .bak file and choosing rename. Make the change and see if you can open the renamed file in TurboTax 2008.
Viewing or Importing the TurboTax File
According to TurboTax's support pages, you will need to use the 2008 tax-year version of TurboTax in order to view your 2008 tax return, not TurboTax 2009 which would generate an error message.
However, if you don't need to view the file but rather import it into TurboTax 2009, you don't need the old software. Instead, start a 2009 return in TurboTax 2009 and find the "Let's Transfer Your Info" screen which will have a Browse prompt. Browse for your .tax2008 file and the software will import it.
Viewing the Copies of your 2008 TurboTax File
If for some reason the renamed BAK file doesn't work, you do have other options. For example, if you completed and filed your 2008 TurboTax return online, you can sign into your TurboTax account and retrieve PDF copies of the return. In addition, the IRS can issue a free transcript of your return. TurboTax support details these various options on its Access Your 2008 or Earlier Tax Returns page.