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Australian Government 'E-Tax' software

Posted 08-16-2010 at 04:16 AM by William (Dthdealer)

My brother had rung up a few minutes ago, wanting to know if any computers in our house ran Windows. He is a Mac user, and was unsure about our operating systems knowing we all use Ubuntu.

I replied by saying I had not removed Windows from any of our computers, but instead have the two operating systems parallel in a 'dual-boot' setup, where I can choose which I want when I start the computer.

I enquired why he needed such an inferior platform, and he responded that he wanted to use a piece of software called 'e-tax', provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). From the site ( ) here is a good extract to explain its purpose:
What is e-tax?

E-tax is a free and secure service provided by the ATO so you can prepare and lodge your individual tax return online.

E-tax is easy to use. In 2009, over 2.3 million individuals lodged their tax return using e-tax.

The vast majority of e-tax returns are processed within 14 days of their successful lodgment.
Note the misspelling of 'lodgement' in the last sentence.

My faith in my government only providing services to those in possession of a particular operating system from only one particular company led me to think that they were not as bright as they could be. But then I found this ( ) :
General information

E-tax may not work on operating systems other than those we recommend that have been tested and comply with our security and privacy requirements. If you choose to use an operating system that we have not recommended, you may experience problems using e-tax.

E-tax is not compatible with Linux or Apple Macintosh computers. However, e-tax has been tested successfully on an Apple computer running OS X v10.6.3 with VMWare Fusion 3, Parallels Desktop 5 and Boot Camp software, running a recommended Windows operating system. Some Linux users have reported success using 'Wine', but we have not tested this. Wine is a translation layer (a program loader) capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other POSIX compatible operating systems.

We are committed to providing you with an easier, cheaper and more personalised service and to improving e-tax, and we are investigating ways to make e-tax available on different computer platforms.
+1 Karma for the Australian Taxation Office. They listen to their users.
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