Knowledge Base

10719: Short Year Return

Fed Returns Generally

Can I do a "short year" return in Drake Tax?

Individual Returns (1040):

You cannot generate a short-year individual return in Drake Tax. Only a calendar-year individual return can be generated. There is no option to change this.

Business Returns (1120, 1120-S, 1065, 1041):

Drake Software produces short-year business returns that can be e-filed in the current year and two preceding years. A short-year business return older than two preceding years can be produced in prior versions of Drake Tax, but it must be paper-filed.

Note: The return must reflect the laws and calculations applicable to the short-year period even though the software being used is the prior-year software. The program may not correctly calculate depreciation, gains, or losses for a short-year return. Depreciation for a short-year should be entered on screen 4562 and/or screens 6, 7, and 8; see note 321 for details. 

To generate a short-year return:

  • Enter the appropriate dates in the fiscal year fields on screen 1.

  • If this is an initial or final return, also check the box Initial Return or Final Return on screen 1
  • If this is not an initial or final return, you will need to make an short year election on the YEAR screen.
    • Note: 1041 returns do not support short-year elections or filing other than in the initial or final year. 
  • If appropriate selections are not made, EF messages will generate: 
    • 0081 or 0084 for an 1120
    • 0720 or 0727 for an 1120-S
    • 0101 for a 1041
    • 1023 for a 1065

Short Year Elections 

In 1120, 1120-S, and 1065 returns, use the YEAR screen to elect a 52-53 week year or to select that it is a short-year for another reason.

  • To elect a 52-53 week year in the company’s first year, complete the first part of the YEAR screen. The required statement is produced.
  • If the short-year reason is "final year," take the following steps:
    1. On screen 1, enter the dates of the short year (20YY) in the Fiscal year begins and Fiscal Year End fields.
    2. Mark the Final return check box.
    3. Open the YEAR screen, and from the Other short year reasons drop list, select General Explanation.
    4. In the Explanation text box, type Current Year Software Not Available - Final Year.
  • if the reason is a change in tax year, take the following steps: 

    1. On screen 1, enter the dates of the short year (20YY) in the Fiscal year begins and Fiscal year ends fields.
    2. Open the YEAR screen, and from the Other short year reasons drop list, select Filed under Revenue Procedure 2006-45 or 2006-46.
      • No explanation is needed in the "Explanation" text box, but you may need to consider if Form 1128 should also be filed.
      • If Form 1128 is to be included, it must be completed and signed outside the program and attached as a PDF with Form 1128 for Short Period Return as the Description on screen PDF. 
  • To elect a short-year return for some other reason, that is not on the Other short-year reason drop list, select General Explanation as the reason, and in the Explanation field, type an explanation. Statement 1935 is generated in View mode.

See Publication 4163, for more information. Also See "Period Covered" in the form instructions for short-year returns:

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