The financial year hasn’t officially finished, but you can already download the e-tax 2012 software if you want to submit your return electronically. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also confirmed that there will be a Mac version next year, but not for 2011-2012 returns.
You can download e-tax from the ATO web site. It’s a 6.7MB file and will run on any Windows machine with XP (Service Pack 2), Vista or Windows 7. However, you won’t be able to submit your return until after July 1 (and you’ll need a payment summary amongst other crucial documents).
The good news for Mac owners: for the 2012-2013 financial year, there will finally be a Mac version of e-tax. Apparently that was too hard to achieve for 2012, as the ATO explains:
The ATO has commenced developing an Apple Mac compatible version of the e-tax software. Unfortunately, due to a number of complexities related to IT security concerns and usability, e-tax for Apple Mac systems will not be available for Tax Time 2012. The ATO will continue to develop an Apple Mac version of e-tax and work with our IT partners to ensure that the underlying technology can work effectively for next year.
While there have been calls for the ATO to develop a browser-based version, that seems unlikely because of its IT security policies and requirements. You could run e-tax in a virtualised environment such as Boot Camp, but if anything goes wrong the ATO won’t assist you.
Check out our Tax Week 2012 coverage for updates on what’s new this year in tax.