back to article Tax office will let you deduct virtualisation software

The Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) e-tax software doesn't run on Macs, which has long been a grumpiness-inducer for those who like their computers fruity and their tax affairs digital. But the ATO now has a cost-effective way out: run Windows in a virtual machine, run e-tax in that VM and then – this is the good part – …

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Boffin

IANAAccountant

But I believe you also only get back the /income tax/ on the amount, not the whole amount. Which is good if you already have the software, but if you are buying it just for this, you will still be 79, 67.5, 63, or 55 percent (depending on your tax bracket) of your costs out of pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IANAAccountant

...or possibly the sales tax (I'm not an accountant either). But still: you have to pay *something*. Otherwise I could just buy an entire office and write the entire building off as an expense!

Just a tip to our Aussie journos: either write "AUD" or "AU$". But not "AUD$": that's just weird.

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Tax Deductions

IANAA either but LaeMing is essentially correct in this situation

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Linux

Wine

After some faffing, the instructions for WINE are:

* Make sure you're running Wine 1.4 or above. (Which in Ubuntu means installing the wine PPA and installing wine1.3 from it. Yes, version 1.4 is in package wine1.3. Try not to think too hard about it. Version 1.2 will not work, which is what's in the Ubuntu repositories.)

* Use winetricks to install ie7 and msxml4

* Load it up and figure out how much you owe the government.

The main showstopper lay in SSL support, which affected (if I'm reading the bug reports right) any HTTPS connection. And if there's a case where you want working encryption, it's with your financial details.

The simplest test is that when you start up etax20*.exe, the first screen prompts you to check for updates. If this does not work, then none of the online functions will work. If it does work, then communications have been established, and the rest should be good to go.

Share and enjoy.

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Linux

I have a better suggestion, the ATO could put their hand in their pocket and develop a website that all Operating Systems can use. Problem solved.

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What a load of

Who in their right mind would purchase virtualisation software and/or windows OS just for the purpose of lodging a tax return? Can you deduct your time to install the software at IT rates? If the ATO really wants you to lodge on-line, it should provide software that runs on multiple OS.

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Windows

Does it work on Windows 8 RP?

Assuming Windows 8 RP still works in October, that would be a good way to run Windows for free, at least for this year, if you had your heart set on lodging using your Mac.

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Facepalm

Would a website be to much to ask for?

Website, ultimate in crossoplatform. And no bullshit about it not being possible, if I can sign up for PayPal on a website I can lodge a tax return.

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FAIL

I bet that for a couple of hundred bucks they could get that 14 year old kid next door to design a web site that'd work on any OS.

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