Knowledge Base

10855: Comparison Sheet - Frequently Asked Questions

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Review the following Comparison sheet FAQs: 


What is the Comparison sheet?

The Comparison sheet is a form produced by Drake Software that shows summary data for the tax return for the current and two prior years (when available). This data pulls from the COMP screen in data entry and is based on the information carried forward from one year to the next. If this is the first year that the return was entered in Drake Tax, you can manually input return details on the COMP screen to have the information flow to the prior year columns in View/Print mode.

Comparison sheets for Schedules C, E, F, and 4835 are also produced when data from the prior-year is available. Changes for those sheets can be made by going to the C, E, F, or 4835 screen and clicking on the Prior-Year Compare tab.

How do I get the Comparison sheet to show in View/Print mode?

The Tax Return Comparison sheet is enabled globally by going to Setup > Options > Optional Documents tab, and checking the box Prior year(s) comparison form

In an individual return, you can also check the Produce Compare box on the PRNT screen in the return to produce the Comparison worksheet for that return (instead of global setup option).

Can I change the amounts that are printed on the Comparison page?

Yes, changes can be made by going to the federal COMP screen in data entry.

Are there state-specific Comparison pages available?

Yes, a Tax Comparison page is produced for each state in View/Print mode as [StateAbbreviation] Tax Comparison. Changes to the prior year data for each state comparison page can be made by navigating to the state-specific COMP screen.

Note that this state COMP screen is updated from the prior year where available. If the taxpayer no longer needs to file a return for that state, it may be necessary to delete the state COMP screen to prevent a state return from being generated.

What is the difference between marginal and effective tax rates?

The marginal tax rate is the tax on the "next dollar earned" – in other words, the highest bracket to which the taxpayer is subject. The effective tax rate is the overall rate of tax the taxpayer paid, basically the amount of tax divided by the taxable income. 

Where can I see the deductions being compared?

Starting with Drake23, the Comparison page now shows the itemized deduction and standard deduction amounts along with which type of deduction was claimed on the return for each year for which data is available. If you do not want to see these amounts printed, use the checkbox Do NOT print itemized deductions on the Tax Return Comparison if claiming the standard deduction on the PRNT screen. See KB 18435 for details.

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