TaxGeek07.04 has been released as the last major release prior to taxtime. The ever
problematic Schedule D has been updated to pass through line 18 and 19 variables into
1040 as globals, and will now print PDFs under short/long term loss/gain conditions.
Additionally, SSN validation has been added to most forms to assuage users' ire :-).
Again, thanks to everyone who has helped in the debugging process. This program would
not be nearly as reliable without such help.
TaxGeek07.03 has been released as a bugfix release to TaxGeek07.02. Major changes include
better support for overrides on Form 1040, a config.sh script that is more robust, and
improvements to Form 2441. New users or individuals with config.sh errors should download
this version, whereas users of TaxGeek07.02 can download the patch tg07.02.patch1 which is
the equivalent. Thanks to all testers (especially crowbert and trousermonkey) for their
We are pleased to announce the first public release of TaxGeek07. It is late in coming, but
(we feel), significantly better than last year's product with more testing, the introduction
of form overrides for calculated fields, and several more forms that are supported. Please
visit our downloads page to obtain a copy.
After a long delay, TaxGeek07pre, a testers only release, is out. Please go to our downloads
page to get it. Other than being an update of all
the forms that were available
last year, this release has several major changes:
- It comes with a bash-based installer which is generally capable of detecting
compatible browsers and letting you decide which one you would like to use
in running TaxGeek. The installer can also optionally get PDF::Reuse for you if
it is not installed on your system.
- The data and program directories have been separated so that it can more easily
be packaged for distros
- Overrides have been added to nearly all of the forms
- It has been embedded in a XUL wrapper to eliminate all the security pop-ups
(especially with Firefox 3 beta which has a much more restrictive security model
even from the local machine).
- Schedule R is now supported. (Thanks Rachael!)
Please download and try this out. I will be watching the forums for bug reports.
For information about TaxGeek07pre, a testers only release, click
At the current rate, I would expect
this testing release to be out by about January 15, 2008
. At that point, we
will start watching the forums and our email for bug reports, and also
initiate testing using the PATS data from the IRS (although, as before, we
do not do eFiling!). The tentative release of TaxGeek07a is expected to
be on or about January 31, when your employer owes you your W-2 Forms.
Work is underway on the 2007 release of TaxGeek. We'll be doing some reorganization of
the site to make it more useful/informative to developers and users in the short term.
For the time being, the progress of forms development for 2007 will be noted here.
*Helps with new forms design|
*Allows developers to diff PDFs from 2006 to 2007
*Enables flattening of IRS forms so that PDF::Reuse can work
*Merges old coord files with upgraded files
*Enables coord registration of forms
|Form 1040||Tim||Working on overrides|
This was sent to me by someone from the Vermont Department of Taxes:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vermont releases Gateway as an open source project.
Montpelier, Vermont, United States - 17. Jun 2007 : The Vermont Department of Taxes Gateway Team
is pleased to announce the initial open source release of Gateway. Gateway is a JavaEE application
developed by the Vermont Department of Taxes. It provides a web services framework for accepting
Streamlined Sales Tax registrations and returns. It also includes a web interface for manually submitting
transmissions. The goal is to build an extensible framework upon which future tax services can be built.
Many states have struggled implementing Streamlined Sales Tax and other XML-based electronic return
systems. The Vermont Department of Taxes is venturing into the open source arena in an effort to
improve interstate collaboration on development projects. Gateway is built leveraging a number of
open source technologies, and using open source tools. It is designed to be easily modified and easily
extended for use in other states.
The Vermont Department of Taxes Gateway Team is sharing this development work in hopes that it will
help other states accomplish their goals while reducing costs for everyone.
More information can be found at the Gateway project website at http://gateway.sourceforge.net
As tax-year 2006 comes to a close, we will be catching our collective breaths for the next week or so.
I will be grading my students's exams, submitting final grades, and working more on my biomechanics
research. My wife will be enjoying my company in the evenings again, and I will be checking the
tracker and forums a bit less compulsively. That said, plans are underway for the 2007 tax year.
At this point the goals are relatively simple and apply to the 2006 tax year:
- Green out the 1040 - that is support all the branching sub-forms so that there is
no more red left.
- Finish supporting 1099s, 1098s and other income statements.
- Better auto-calc abilities - including user notification via icons showing which forms
TG thinks should be attended to
- Overrides! This is long promised, but complicated to do without totally breaking
everything. We think there's a slick way, but stay tuned.
- Streamlined forms development - I may spend a bit of late spring/early summer
totally rewriting makeform.htm to automate much more of the process of both
creating new forms as well as updating older forms.
- Obsessive PATS testing - we want to make certain that we meet all the standards
set by the IRS without any question
- Experimentation with setting up e-File formats - not e-Filing, per se, just the
formats, the rest depends on...
- IRS representation/registration.
- Investigation of eFiling options/
- Legal representation for the project - just in case someone doesn't read the
*DIRE WARNING* posted.
In short, there is quite a job sheet. By the time November 2006 rolls around it will be time to
- Recruit new developers to adopt forms to either develop/update or check forms. (However,
if you'd like to volunteer now, we'd love to have you aboard.
- Download as many of the new forms from the IRS and start changing over TG to handle
- Reassess to see what other features are desirable.
Thanks to everyone who participated this year and who submitted patches, bug reports, or feedback of
any sort. Check back here for progress reports over the summer.
Version 06e is released. This is the last update prior to April 17th that is planned. There are
many more bug fixes (thanks everyone!) and some new features. Please see the page
to see the numerous changes, updates and checks. This page will
continue to be updated as work on 06f begins.
If you look at the TaxGeek website or that of OpenTaxSolver, you'll see that both are distrustful of
some of the big tax software companies' online products. Friends have asked me to justify my
suspicions, and until now, it has always been a what-if scenario. This
news item mentions tax-software
developers' worst fears: compromised user identity. This is probably a fear beyond that of getting
your users' taxes wrong. So on one hand, I want to say "I told you so", but on the other hand,
I think this is a lesson to all of us.
TaxGeek06e-pre is out. This is the result of 48 hours of crazy coding and testing. Improvements include:
- Numerous cosmetic updates to make the forms more consistent with current IRS forms
- Numerous bug fixes from the last month applied all in one place
- A way to enter statements other than W2
- Better pass-through of values from one form to the next
This is probably
the best release to date. Testers should download it to be as up-to-date
as possible. Intrepid users who can't wait another 24-48 hours for the final pre-April 17th release
can also give it a try. But realize that all the testing is not
TaxGeek06e-testing-only is out. If you are interested in testing this and submitting bugs over the next 48 hours, please
download and do your worst. We want to know what breaks before people start submitting their taxes for real. It is known
that the new forms will calculate proper values, but *will not* print to PDF. This will be taken care of shortly.
Update: please see this page for updates to the testing progress.
Help! While on one hand we are pleased with the response that TG has garnered over the last month,
we are somewhat chagrined by the bugs that have been found in certain areas over the last month. Everyone has
been very understanding about the nature of TG in that it is in alpha-development and that there are definite
risks to using it which increase based on the complexities of ones taxes. A fair number of you have also
submitted excellent patches to make the program better.
We are aiming for one more official pre-April 17th release. We'd like to make it as bug-free as possible so
that now, in the eleventh hour, people might actually be able to depend on TG not to eat their taxes.
As such, this evening, I will release TaxGeek-06e-testing-only.
Any of you who are still on board to help out are invited to a "test-fest" over the next 24-48 hours to
deep-six any of the bugs before they bite. I will post specifics about testing and some of the IRS testing scenarios.
Please use the development group to communicate any issues that are found so that we can make an open-source
product that is dependable.
Again, thanks for all your patience and help!
We are working on getting out the next version 06e by Tuesday, April 10. This version will add support for Form
8319: Federal Telephone Excise Tax Credits; Form 2439: Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term
Capital Gains; Form 4136: Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels; Form 8885: Health Coverage Tax Credit;
Form W-2G: Certain Gambling Winnings; Form 1098: Mortgage Interest Statement; Form 1098-C: Contributions of
Motor Vehicles; Form 1098-E: Student Loan Interest Statement; Form 1099-DIV: Dividend income;
and Form 1099-INT: Interest income. There are some slightly new things under the hood that will
enable us to be more productive with future forms, and there are the normal bug-fixes. The release is
behind schedule, and yet slightly rushed as tax-day approaches. As such over-rides will wait until later.
The first update to version 06d has been released. This update addresses largely cosmetic issues
with printing PDFs and makes them nicer to look at.
For a full update on changes, see the alert page
Slashdotted! At least the news is out there finally. Welcome everyone! Please feel free to
look around, and submit feature requests or bug reports as needed to the forums. The plan is to make
this program a community effort since the big corporations won't support Linux.
TaxGeek06d, a major release with *numerous* bug fixes, more extensive testing based on the IRS
PATS (Participants Acceptance TeSting) test input suite, improvements to the user interface,
and more supported forms, has been released. Several additional forms have been introduced as well.
UPDATE: We have used the PATS test data and outputs. We have *not* been certified by the IRS in
any way, shape, or form at this point!
TaxGeek06c is out. This is a major release in that it addresses a number of bugs and adds support to two more forms.
Upgrades are strongly encouraged. See the release notes for a list of additional features and bugs that have been
Please see our alert page for critical bugs. TaxGeek is still alpha software and should only be used
with care. We will try to publish any bugs that may affect your return as soon as possible and release fixes as soon as we
A minor release, TaxGeek06b, is out. This release addresses some minor cosmetic bugs in Form 1040, and adds a new Form 5695,
Residential Energy Credits for all you solar energy fans out there. We are working on adding Forms 2106 and 8853
as well, but are running into some snags. Stay tuned if you need these.
In addition to the release of TaxGeek06a, the first of the 2006 tax year, I'm excited to be finally getting some assistance
with the project. As part of an independent study, a computer science student from Lincoln University
will be helping me with maintenance and upgrades. Realistically, this means that bug fixes will happen more quickly, more forms
will be supported, and the promised rewrite of the calculation engine (so that you don't have to open a form to get it to
update) will probably begin.
One of the reasons I started this project is because I felt it was ridiculous that people in the US have to pay money to
have their taxes filed in a relatively modern way. Most other countries' tax services provide free tax programs for their
citizens to use. If you're not a die-hard Linux user and have the time (meaning you'd just as soon pass on using
TaxGeek), I've learned of a free program in this country sponsored by
From February 1 through April 15th each year, the AARP Tax-Aide program
offers free one-on-one counselling, as well as assistance on the telephone and
internet to help individuals prepare basic tax forms, including the 1040, 1040A,
1040EZ and other standard schedules.
My understanding from my father who is a volunteer, is that this is free regardless of your income level
free tax filing offered by other unnamed companies.