Are Australian online tax return services any good?
September 28, 2008 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Australian MeFites: have you used an online tax return service and been happy with the results?

For the last few years I've been preparing and lodging my tax return using the ATO's free-as-in-beer e-tax software, running it with Wine on my Linux box. Despite what the ATO says about Linux being unsuitable, it's worked very well. This year, e-tax 2008 is failing miserably. Even on ms. flabdablet's Windows XP SP2 box, the help subsystem causes memory access errors instead of browsing the documentation. The ATO's advice is "try a different computer". OK, bye, f*ck you very much.

I hate, hate, hate filling in paper forms, and the nearest accountant is half an hour's drive away, so I'd like to try one of the online tax return preparation services. I'm looking at www.etax.com.au, www.taxreturnsaustralia.com.au and www.taxpack.com.au aka www.elodge.com.au.

Have you used one of these services, or another similar? If so, were you happy with it? If not happy, why not? Did the service actually find any deductions or credits that you wouldn't have found yourself with e-tax or Tax Pack? Do any of them allow automatic pre-filling of tax return items such as gross salary paid and tax withheld from sources accessible to the ATO, which was supposed to be the Wonderful New Thing in e-tax 2008?

Thanks for your time.
posted by flabdablet to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I used www.taxreturnsaustralia.com.au for my last return. I found it very straight forward to use and it prompted me to find rebates based on my stated profession. I can't help you on the automatic pre-filling issue, but I can say that I am planning on using them again this year.
posted by arha at 7:49 PM on September 28, 2008


OK, I went with taxreturnsaustralia. It was almost as straightforward as e-tax 2007 and got me the same refund I would have got myself. The $39 it cost me was worth not having to fartarse about any more trying to make e-tax 2008 work. Not too bad. Thanks, arha.
posted by flabdablet at 11:07 PM on September 28, 2008


Followup, since people seem to be favoriting this: No, it doesn't do automatic pre-filling. I got notified of lodgement in the evening of the same day I filled in the forms. Refund arrived about as fast as I'd expect it to with e-tax. If there is still no web-based version of e-tax from the ATO by next year, I will probably use this service again.
posted by flabdablet at 6:26 PM on October 20, 2008


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