E-tax 2012 not available for Mac, but there is a way

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E-tax 2012 not available for Mac, but there is a way

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released the 2012 version of e-tax, though Mac users still miss out - or do they?

The financial year ends in just a few days and although you might use an accountant for your business tax return, your personal income tax is something you can tackle yourself.

The ATO has released the 2012 version of e-tax, its personal income tax tool. It was used by 2.6 million people last year with the average return processed in 12 business days. 
 
If you are using  Windows you can get up and running now by heading to the e-tax site here. However there is not a Mac version of the e-tax software. As our sister site iTnews notes (we recommend you read the story here), a Mac version is in testing, but cites ease of use for visually impaired and security as issues preventing its release this year. The ATO has been promising that a Mac-friendly version of e-tax would be coming soon for some time. 
 
The official line is that the ATO is working on making a Mac version ready for next year, according to Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo in a statement on the ATO web site.
 
Mac users aren't completely out of luck though. If you run Windows on your Mac by using software like Parallels and Bootcamp, you might be still able to get e-tax running.
 
While the ATO site warns that e-tax may not work on operating systems other than Windows and "you may experience problems" it does note: "e-tax has previously 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."
 
We note that the ATO web site also explains that a portion of the cost of "emulation software" for lodging a tax return using e-tax is tax deductible.

For those wondering, the PC requirements for e-tax, as listed on the ATO site are:
 

Component

Requirements

Computer processor

PC with Intel Pentium or equivalent

Operating system

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (32 bit), Vista Service Pack 2 (32 bit) or Windows 7 (32 bit or 64 bit)

For other operating systems, see Information about other operating systems for e-tax users.

Browser

The lodgment process does not require browser components.

Vision impaired

Screen reader - Jaws (11.0, 12.0 or 13.0) or Window-Eyes Professional (5.5, 6.0 or 7.0) and select the vision impaired option for the vision impaired during installation

Magnification software - Most commercial versions of screen magnification software should work with the standard installation ofe-tax.

Other

Direct internet access, not through a proxy server

Standard Windows user privileges are sufficient to run e-tax. However, to install or update the e-tax application, you will need to elevate your standard privileges to 'administrator'.

If you've never used e-tax before, the ATO has prepared a bunch of instructional YouTube videos so you don't need to guess what to do. 

According to Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo "You can save time and ensure your return is accurate by pre-filling your e-tax return with information we receive from your employer, bank, Government agencies, health fund and more. All you need to do is check the information and add any missing details."
 
For your business return, you'll still need to do things through a tax agent or the old fashioned way but for an individual, e-tax is a free, easy and secure way to complete your annual obligation.
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