Throw away turbo tax disk?

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ww340
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Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by ww340 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:12 pm

I am helping to go through a recently deceased family members financial information. We have found many years of turbotax disks. We are wondering if we can just toss these or if they would possibly contain any personal information. None of us use turbo tax, so we have no clue.
Thanks for any help.

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alpenglow
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by alpenglow » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:27 pm

If there is any concern, why not just physically destroy them?

strafe
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by strafe » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:28 pm

Its unlikely that installation media would contain personal info that someone could dig out of the landfill. But it's at least a theoretical possibility with floppy disks, and it would be reasonable to physically destroy them. (As if anyone has the equipment to read them...)

Product CDs/DVDs are read-only, so nothing to worry about there.

Either way you could have destroyed the media in less time than it took to post this! :beer

chx
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by chx » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:29 pm

I'm sorry to hear about the death of your family member. If this is a CD with the printed logo of Turbotax, then it will be a read-only CD and contain only the Turbotax program with no personal information. If you are worried, though, put it through a sturdy paper shredder, which is an enjoyable cathartic experience.

ww340
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by ww340 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:51 pm

Ok thanks for the help. We could fill a land fill with all the backup drives disks and floppy disks. It is overwhelming at the moment

Thanks chk - we are planning a bashing party later. Hammers and protective eye ware.

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Toons
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by Toons » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:13 pm

I tossed all my turbo tax discs long ago.
It is just the tax software.
It is a read only disk.
Personal data can't be stored on it.

8-)
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

gwe67
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by gwe67 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:18 pm

Those are worth good money. Just look at ebay. Even discs from several years ago are still selling.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:27 pm

The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by dodecahedron » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:40 pm

Old CDs make a great art medium.

I am particularly fond of George Hart's geometric sculptures from old CDs.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by dmcmahon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:02 am

cheese_breath wrote:The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.

Grasshopper
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by Grasshopper » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:29 am

This doesn't happen anymore, but 10-12 years ago you would need a TT disc just to open that years file. Now with .tax extension it is not necessary.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:50 am

dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.
I generally agree with this, and personally keep PDFs of both my submitted return and all the worksheets. But in this specific case, if PDFs or hardcopies aren't available going back to the TT disks might be the only option. Since you wouldn't want to apply later updates since the original return was completed might this still be an option?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by dmcmahon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:29 am

cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.
I generally agree with this, and personally keep PDFs of both my submitted return and all the worksheets. But in this specific case, if PDFs or hardcopies aren't available going back to the TT disks might be the only option. Since you wouldn't want to apply later updates since the original return was completed might this still be an option?
My personal experience from just last week-end was that this does not work. I have physical installation CDs going back more than a decade. But what I found was that after installing (say) TT 2006, the first thing the program does is wants to load updates, and when it can't find them, it packs up. In most cases it won't display anything from my old .tax files.

I've also tried reading older files with newer versions of TT. At best, you get an error message saying "that file is from an older version". In the worst case, I crashed the program and it was wedged until I rebooted the computer. I've learned a hard lesson here - save PDFs every time!

barnaclebob
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:42 am

ww340 wrote:I am helping to go through a recently deceased family members financial information. We have found many years of turbotax disks. We are wondering if we can just toss these or if they would possibly contain any personal information. None of us use turbo tax, so we have no clue.
Thanks for any help.
You don't have to worry about personal information. The disks will be read only. I'd keep enough disks to meet these recommendations from the IRS:

"Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction."

Looks like I can clean out some disks myself...
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:43 am

dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.
I generally agree with this, and personally keep PDFs of both my submitted return and all the worksheets. But in this specific case, if PDFs or hardcopies aren't available going back to the TT disks might be the only option. Since you wouldn't want to apply later updates since the original return was completed might this still be an option?
My personal experience from just last week-end was that this does not work. I have physical installation CDs going back more than a decade. But what I found was that after installing (say) TT 2006, the first thing the program does is wants to load updates, and when it can't find them, it packs up. In most cases it won't display anything from my old .tax files.

I've also tried reading older files with newer versions of TT. At best, you get an error message saying "that file is from an older version". In the worst case, I crashed the program and it was wedged until I rebooted the computer. I've learned a hard lesson here - save PDFs every time!
Is your TT set to automatically install updates? I have mine set to ask me if I want to check for updates when it starts up. What if I select "do not check now"? I can't test out the really old versions myself because I've already thrown away all the disks before 2012.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:15 am

cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:The only reason I can think of for keeping them is if for any reason you might have to reprint an old tax return.
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.
I generally agree with this, and personally keep PDFs of both my submitted return and all the worksheets. But in this specific case, if PDFs or hardcopies aren't available going back to the TT disks might be the only option. Since you wouldn't want to apply later updates since the original return was completed might this still be an option?
My personal experience from just last week-end was that this does not work. I have physical installation CDs going back more than a decade. But what I found was that after installing (say) TT 2006, the first thing the program does is wants to load updates, and when it can't find them, it packs up. In most cases it won't display anything from my old .tax files.

I've also tried reading older files with newer versions of TT. At best, you get an error message saying "that file is from an older version". In the worst case, I crashed the program and it was wedged until I rebooted the computer. I've learned a hard lesson here - save PDFs every time!
Is your TT set to automatically install updates? I have mine set to ask me if I want to check for updates when it starts up. What if I select "do not check now"? I can't test out the really old versions myself because I've already thrown away all the disks before 2012.
Never mind. I answered my own stupid question while I was in the shower (good place to think). You're referring to during installation. I was referring to the process after it is already installed. Obviously if you can't install it my question is meaningless.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by dmcmahon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:50 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
dmcmahon wrote:
Doesn't work. Too many updates needed which are no longer available on line. Save PDFs for all your returns, the old tt files will no longer be useful after about 5 years even if you keep the install disks.
I generally agree with this, and personally keep PDFs of both my submitted return and all the worksheets. But in this specific case, if PDFs or hardcopies aren't available going back to the TT disks might be the only option. Since you wouldn't want to apply later updates since the original return was completed might this still be an option?
My personal experience from just last week-end was that this does not work. I have physical installation CDs going back more than a decade. But what I found was that after installing (say) TT 2006, the first thing the program does is wants to load updates, and when it can't find them, it packs up. In most cases it won't display anything from my old .tax files.

I've also tried reading older files with newer versions of TT. At best, you get an error message saying "that file is from an older version". In the worst case, I crashed the program and it was wedged until I rebooted the computer. I've learned a hard lesson here - save PDFs every time!
Is your TT set to automatically install updates? I have mine set to ask me if I want to check for updates when it starts up. What if I select "do not check now"? I can't test out the really old versions myself because I've already thrown away all the disks before 2012.
Never mind. I answered my own stupid question while I was in the shower (good place to think). You're referring to during installation. I was referring to the process after it is already installed. Obviously if you can't install it my question is meaningless.
I did fresh installs and I specifically asked that it not automatically update. Didn't matter, I could not open the old files because they were written by an updated TT from long past. So, my freshly installed TT, when confronted with opening the old files, couldn't. And indeed simply launching it causes at least a check for updates.

anoop
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Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Post by anoop » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:30 pm

Glad to find this thread.

As a part of decluttering, I'm planning to discard some old TT disks. I think I will just keep the last 3 years and discard everything else. I have disks going back to 2004!

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