Mac users to get e-tax in 2013

Mac users will again miss out on Mac-compatible e-tax software to do their taxes in 2012, but the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has promised that this will be fixed by 2013.

The ATO's e-tax application, developed using Delphi, currently only supports Microsoft Windows, but the release of the Delphi XE2 platform in September last year would have allowed the ATO to port the e-tax application to OS X, because Delphi has a cross-platform graphical user interface (GUI) framework called FireMonkey. This would allow software developers to create GUIs that work on Windows, OS X and iOS, but the ATO would first need to convert the e-tax GUI to FireMonkey to make it work.

The ATO today said that it has been working with its technology partners since late 2011 to see whether e-tax could be brought out on OS X, but, as of yet, there are still a few unresolved issues.

"Complexities in applying this recent technology, including security and usability issues, mean that we are unable to make e-tax compatible with Apple Mac systems for tax time 2012," the ATO said in a statement. "The ATO continues to work through these issues with a view to delivery of a version suitable for Mac users in 2013."

In addition to getting an OS X version of e-tax ready for 2013, the ATO said that it is looking at redeveloping e-tax as a web-based product, meaning that most operating systems used by Australian taxpayers would be able to access e-tax.

The e-tax software continues to gain popularity in Australia, with 2.6 million taxpayers in total filing their tax documents via e-tax last year, an increase of 5 per cent from 2010.


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