1

Topic: Taxes

I am at the point in my life where I have to start doing taxes and would prefer not to have to make my mom do them for me anymore. Whenever I ask for help, people constantly tell me to use TurboTax.

First of all, I highly doubt TurboTax is open source much less libre but more importantly it's not really effective unless you pay for the various different "premium" accounts and so on.

It seems insane that I have to pay to pay the government....

I know that I can do my taxes without this kind of software but that seems to be theoretical and not practical.

How do you guys do your taxes? What libre tools are there for taxes? I have found some open source alternatives but I can't find them in the Hyperbola repositories, or else I don't know what I'm looking for.

I'm in the US by the way. Of course taxes are different in different countries. I'm curious about what people think about this in general though.

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Re: Taxes

Hello rinakra, thanks for opening this interesting thread and discussion. First of all that I think giving something back to the community is a really good thing but I have also my personal problems with managing taxes. Here in Germany we have only complete proprietary toolsets and as the rules change more or less every year there are also new version every year I have to buy. Mostly the version is named something like "Taxmanager 2020" for example and this is ongoing. Besides the fact that I cause therefore unneeded trash - the software from last year is completely useless - I'm also in search for more libre alternatives but I understand that this is not so easy because of the different rulesets from every region and I don't know if there are also some kind of rules to forbid making libre software being not certified. Even the last mentioned point is one of the major problems at all as it is the same with patents and the copyright in general, but this is another discussion.

For now I'm using GNU-Cash for a daily base look on the "money" and especially OpenOffice and LibreOffice for taxes when it comes up the time to do so - meaning therefore listing the different parts. What are those open-source alternatives you mention?

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

3 (edited by rinakra 2020-04-18 17:12:20)

Re: Taxes

Oh wow the situation in Germany sounds pretty bad.

The software I was thinking of is called "OpenTaxSolver".

Maybe the best idea really would be for me to learn about what the taxes really are and just do them myself using a spreadsheet.

It can't be that bad if everyone has to do it...

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Re: Taxes

Uh yeah, the situation is really not okay, but I think this sticks also to many countries at all when speaking about "public money, public software" (referring to the slogan of the FSFE in a concurrent project). As we speak about free, libre software for taxes it is complicated as there are so many different rulesets on planet earth. So software making this is very big and those rulesets must be also open. Perhaps we have some projects gripping that in the future and the campaign of the FSFE can bring up more points?

Thanks for OpenTaxSolver: There is already a PKGBUILD in the AUR of Arch Linux, so it could be more easy creating a package from this in the future (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/opentaxsolver/).

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

5 (edited by zapper 2020-04-18 22:11:20)

Re: Taxes

throgh wrote:

Uh yeah, the situation is really not okay, but I think this sticks also to many countries at all when speaking about "public money, public software" (referring to the slogan of the FSFE in a concurrent project). As we speak about free, libre software for taxes it is complicated as there are so many different rulesets on planet earth. So software making this is very big and those rulesets must be also open. Perhaps we have some projects gripping that in the future and the campaign of the FSFE can bring up more points?

Thanks for OpenTaxSolver: There is already a PKGBUILD in the AUR of Arch Linux, so it could be more easy creating a package from this in the future (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/opentaxsolver/).

Question for you and whoever, is there any libre way to do your taxes online? Aka, file them online?

As in, not have to mail them in?

I live in usa just as a heads up.

Hyperbola:

The Stable Secure Libre Arch!

6 (edited by throgh 2020-04-19 09:44:18)

Re: Taxes

zapper wrote:

Question for you and whoever, is there any libre way to do your taxes online? Aka, file them online?

As in, not have to mail them in?

I live in usa just as a heads up.

Proprietary service named ELSTER is available (speaking for Germany and I think there is more for other countries), but here is the same with also more problems: Sending personal data through trusty channels? Impossible as the implementation is centralized and proprietary. So there is no way getting an approval about safety, freedom and privacy. When we are talking about taxes, we should talk about complete open rulesets, available for everyone. Because that is one base of democracy: Participation for everyone - yes that's a little bit simple drawn by myself. smile

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!