||02-05-2006 11:55 PM
Linux-Friendly Tax Prep Site
I just finished doing my taxes this evening. For the last several years i've either used TurboTax (retail software for windows) or TurboTax For The Web, which is their online version of the same program. I've been using linux for about 4 years now and i'm quite happy with it. Until TurboTax came out with a web-interface, i still had to do my taxes using Windows (or a pencil, ewww...). But last year their system blocked my web browser (firefox) even though i had been using the same service with Mozilla for the lasttwo years
! So in protest i fired off a nasty letter and told them they lost a customer.
I then found a list of sites through IRS.gov that let you file FREE if you meet certain income requirement. I tried one called CompleteTax and was basically happy with their web interface but it was still a bit linux unfriendly. In fact, i had no way to view my return since their idiot Windows-centric system tries to scan your computer for Adobe Acrobat Reader (the scan only works on windows and, of course, fails on linux systems even if they have acrobat reader installed
, so you don't get to view your return at all). So i fired off a bunch more complaints and jumped through hoops to get my return printed (ultimately, on another computer running Windows since i had no choice). This year i went back to see if the service had improved. And thankfully they now have a link that says "click here to download your return if your it does not show in your browser" which allows you to simply download the stinking PDF file and open it on your choice of PDF reader. I also found a "designed with Firefox in mind" and the blue and orange Firefox logo at the bottom of their front page.
LONG STORY SHORT:
I got my taxes done online using Firefox on Linux without a hitch this year! I even got my federal return done for free (i make less than $29k a year, pity me). For the record, my return is fairly simple. Just a W-2 and some interest and dividends. No marriage, kids, house or anything more complicated, so YMMV.
I hope fellow linux users benefit from my experience. Pass it on: