cbslee

DRAKE TAX PLANNER

9 posts in this topic

Since I am seriously considering switching from ATX to Drake, does Drake have a Tax Planner and how does it compare to the ATX Tax Planner, pros & cons ?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tax Planner in Drake is an integral part of the program.  From right inside the return, you can choose the Tax Planner and then an alternate current-year scenario or next-year scenario.  Change things to your heart's content, and you can also *compare* the results between different scenarios.  I really like it.

The ONE thing to be aware of is that changes to the original return *after* you have made up a scenario do NOT transfer over:  so it's worth it to make sure the base return is finished (or close as makes no never-mind) before adding scenarios.  Unless the projections are for really different possibilities (say, couple is expecting and wants to figure if they can make it with wife staying home - no childcare costs and drop a bracket might make up for loss of income).

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it works really well, and once I saw how it worked, I really like it too.  If all you want are estimate calculations in less complex returns, Drake has an adjustment screen that will allow adjustments to the current income for purposes of calculating the next year's estimates. It will then carry those figures over to the worksheet from the 1040-ES package.  If you do nothing else and are satisfied with those figures, it will try to use the safe harbor and does take into account the 110% requirement for those with current year AGI over $150K. As a default, it will produce the estimates based on these calculations if no other input is made on the ES screen.  You still have the ability to change the estimates to any figures you want. I don't usually use this as I find it easier and get something more to my liking for printouts with the other method.

For more comprehensive planning and the method I mostly use even for just the next year's estimates:  Finish a return and with it open, click on the "tax planner" icon and select the current return. You'll understand this once you are using the program and see the screen that appears.  The program gives you the choice of another current year scenario or the next year's projection, in this case would be either 2016 or 2017, and you name the scenario. It is possible to have many different ones that you can choose 2 to compare later on in a simple one-page format, or print (hard copy or pdf) of selected pages or an entire planning return with a "tax planner" watermark across each page. 

Basically, with this second method, for the first projection it replicates the file and input screens from the current year's original return with all of the data pre-filled that allows you to change any of the input in the new scenario.  With additional scenarios from within the planner section, the program allows you to choose which scenario to replicate as a starting point.  As Catherine said, once that file is replicated, any changes to the file used as a starting point do not carry over to the replicated one.

For my clients that I calculate estimates each quarter, I start with the original and replicate for the next year's 1st quarter as a starting point and make my adjustments to that. With each subsequent quarter, I start with the one immediately preceding it and don't go back to the original file each time.  It isn't much different than the way ATX allows creation of duplicate files that are renamed and would appear in the return manager except that all the named scenarios are within the one client file and then accessed by clicking on the tax planner icon to see the list of planning scenarios for that particular client.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me this sounds like an upgrade. Is this tax planner, Federal Only, or is a state tax planner included ?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It populates any state included in the original file, and you can make any changes to the state returns, can add or delete states as desired.

You should really ask for a free copy of the program. It will be a prior year because Drake won't give you a 2016 copy until after 10/15, but the back year program you receive is a fully functional one without the ability to e-file until you set up an account with the company, but you could actually use it for paper filing back year returns.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't add anything that Catherine and JKLCPA haven't already said, and I agree it's awesome.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jklcpa said:



You should really ask for a free copy of the program. It will be a prior year because Drake won't give you a 2016 copy until after 10/15, but the back year program you receive is a fully functional one without the ability to e-file until you set up an account with the company, but you could actually use it for paper filing back year returns.

According to Ashley, the sales rep I have been emailing back & forth, I can download any year from 2013 thru 2016.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cbslee said:

I can download any year from 2013 thru 2016

Then do that!  At least, download the 2016.  Play with it.  They have sample returns (all start with 400 itin's) or put in your own client's information.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.