Knowledge Base

13713: Short-Year or Fiscal-Year Return Due Before Tax Forms Released

Fed Returns Generally

How do I file a short-year or fiscal-year return for a corporation, partnership, or fiduciary return that ended in the current year, when the current-year tax forms are not yet available?

In certain situations, a taxpayer may need to file a short-period or fiscal-year return before the newest version of tax software is ready for the next tax year. If a short-year or fiscal-year 20YY return is due before DrakeYY has been released, there are a couple options detailed below. 

YY refers to the future tax year program that is not yet available and XX refers to the latest currently available program. 

  • If the correct tax year forms will be available before the extended due date of the return, you can file an extension for the return.
    • Once DrakeYY is released, you can complete the return in that year of Drake Tax.
    • If it is a short year, follow the steps outlined in "Short Year Return" in Related Links below.
  • If the return is due before DrakeYY is released, prepare the return in the latest available software, making any adjustments and overrides as needed. Mark out the prior year date on the printed form, manually write in the 20YY date, and then paper-file return.  
    • You may consider filing an amended return once the current-year software becomes available (if significant current-year tax changes would affect the return).

For a short tax year, requirements for filing the return and figuring the tax are generally the same as the requirements for a return for a full tax year (12 months) ending on the last day of the short tax year. See the notes on "Short Year Return" Related Links below. 

See Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods, and Publication 4163 for more information. Also See "Period Covered" in the form instructions for short-year and fiscal-year returns:


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