The Drake Tax Planner

How do I assist a client with future planning? Does Drake Tax offer any features for this? 


The Drake Tax Planner is designed to help you assist your clients in planning for the future. By comparing a client’s current tax situation to different scenarios that could occur—such as marriage, the birth of a child, buying or selling a house, change in income—you can see how these changes may affect their finances and tax liability. Because scenarios are set up using the same Drake Data Entry Menu and data entry screens you’re already familiar with, building your different scenarios is quick and easy.

Tax planning scenarios are only available for individual returns in Drake22 and prior. Starting with Drake23, you can also create tax planner scenarios in business returns. 

Open a client's return and click the Tax Planner icon to open the Tax Planner dialog box.

The original return is listed as are any other scenarios you have created. In the example above, two scenarios have been added to explore events anticipated in the next tax year.

Toolbar Button Functions

  • New - Click New to create a new scenario for 20XX or 20YY (20YY scenarios incorporate known tax changes for the coming year, once available*). Select the tax year, enter a scenario name, and click OK. A new scenario, containing data from the original return, appears in the list, available for you to open to data entry.
  • Open - Select a scenario and click Open to open it. A scenario opens as a return.
  • Remove - Select a scenario from the scenario pane and click Remove to delete the scenario.
  • Compare - Select up to three scenarios and click Compare to compare them to the client’s original return.
  • Help - Click Help to get explanations and direction for using the planner.
  • Exit - Click Exit to close the planner and return to Drake data entry. You can also exit the planner by opening the original return from the scenario list.

Scenarios. Each scenario looks and behaves like a normal return, except,

  • The main data entry menu displays "Tax Planner."
  • Documents in View/Print display a "Tax Planner" watermark (except letters).

Note: Tax Planner scenarios do not update year to year.

Note: If you want to Email your client a Tax Planner, you can do so by following the same process as Emailing a return. If you are unsure of how to do this, follow the steps listed on KB 10126.

​For more assistance, contact Drake Support at (828) 524-8020.

*If you choose a 20YY scenario, while the printed forms will continue to show the current year values, future rates are applied wherever possible. For example, on the tax computation worksheet, the tables will display the 20XX amounts, but the 20YY rates will be used in the actual calculated tax amount.