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Just tried it again:

> It looks like you need to pay first to instantly access your TurboTax returns

> For instructions on how to access your returns, click help in the upper right hand corner of your screen and type “Prior Year Return” into the search box

and when I do that:

> To access your prior year return before you file, you have to:

> Be in an upgraded version of TurboTax (or add PLUS to TurboTax Free Edition).

The fact that it makes you search their help system for the answer to your question is just the icing on the cake...

Interesting. Now that I think about it, maybe I've only attempted to do this after paying for the current year's software. I also pay for the self-employed version, which might play a part.

My original thinking was coming from going through the mortgage application process last year, and I was able to retrieve my previous PDFs mid-year without a problem.

It’s especially egregious since the IRS will give you a transcript for free.

TurboTax will also give you the complete return free... if you download it right after you file it.

(This sort of thing is why it's a good idea to do just that regardless of which service you're using.)

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