blog The reluctance of the Australian Taxation Office to provide a working version of its e-tax lodgement software for the Apple Macintosh has been a long-time bug-bear with Mac users around Australia for a long time. But some of them may not realise just how long angry parliamentarians and others have been harassing the agency about the issue. An article by Crikey today (we recommend you click here to read the full article) highlights the fact that Labor Senator Kate Lundy has been questioning ATO bureaucrats on the issue since at least 2004:
“Complaints about the ATO’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of Mac and Linux have been rife for a decade or more … pretty much every other country surveyed has conquered the apparently insurmountable problem of allowing non-Windows users to file their tax online.”
The ATO recently conducted a round of interviews with journalists to discuss the issue, which it appears to be working on, but it does appear strange that an organisation with the resources of the ATO — it recently spent $814 million on its core IT transformation, known as the Change Program — has been unable to get something as simple as a Mac port of its e-tax platform working, with a decade or more up its sleeve.
One suspects that implementing a web version of e-tax is going to be the long-term answer for the ATO; this will also no doubt resolve quite a few issues in terms of updating the Windows version of e-tax and uploading data to its servers. However, one also suspects that in considering this kind of long-term quest, the ATO has lost sight of just how many Mac users there are out there in Australia. The number is easily in the millions. And those customers need to file e-tax too. It’s time to get this fixed, no matter how much it costs.
Image credit: Apple