Allow TurboTax file imports from the TurboTax directory, or at least clarify the error message

Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
[Edited the title and body to reflect further research]

Current versions of TurboTax create long file names with embedded spaces by default. In my case it is
2020 Harman J Form 1040  Individual Tax Return.tax2020.

I run Quicken on the same PC as TurboTax, as I am sure many users do. Attempting to import the TurboTax file from the default TurboTax directory fails with Error 5 and no further explanation.

Copying and renaming the file to ttax20.tax2020 allows me to import the file, but I had to guess why that fixes it.

This has been reported several times in this forum and has been a problem since at least 2016.

Quicken should allow users to import TurboTax files from the default directory without renaming them, or at a very minimum change the error message to "Error 5 -
Rename the TurboTax file or copy to another directory before importing".

See comment below for further explanation.
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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2021
    Update: This error is stranger than I originally thought. If I change the default multi word file name so it ends with "Returx" or "Xeturn" instead of "Return" it imports without error. Very weird - it is not the length of the filename or the embedded spaces that cause the problem.

    Apparently it has to do with the fact that TurboTax leaves a backup(?) version of the .tax2020 file with the same name but a tilde (~) at the beginning in the same directory as the main file.

    When I moved the tilde file to another directory, the original .ttax file imported with no errors. It also imports OK if I rename the .ttax2020 file or copy the original .ttax file to another directory and import from there.

    Perhaps Quicken thinks there is a duplicate file in the TurboTax directory.

    I can easily see why testers who are not importing a TurboTax file created on the same system would say "No problem found, it works for me!"

    I hope this helps to resolve this longstanding problem.
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