The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) e-tax service is about to see its fifteenth year of Aussies filling out their tax online. The service has been steadily gaining popularity for some years now, as users are beginning to realise that not only is the e-tax form more intuitive to fill out for those of the digital generations, but tax forms completed via e-tax tend to see their tax returns within a couple of weeks.
However, despite the fact that this is e-tax’s fifteenth year and despite the rapidly increasing popularity of Apple computers, anyone using an Apple OSX device (such as an iMac or Macbook) will once again be left out in the cold. That’s right, there is still no Apple device support for the ATO’s e-tax service.
The continued omission has been once again blamed on a lack of Mac user support within Australia. While that excuse would certainly have flown 15, or five years ago, Apple’s user base both globally and within Australia has grown enormously since the release of the original iPhone in 2007. So much so that we’re left scratching our heads wondering why it is that the ATO hasn’t pulled its socks up and made a Mac-compatible version yet.
Even more curious is that the Mac-friendly version of e-tax was apparently first created way back in 1997, but has encountered problems each year causing a delay in release. This time round it’s due to alleged problems with security and usability, but after fifteen years is that really an adequate excuse anymore? We think not.
This issue really needs to be addressed by the ATO. Of course there are always bigger fish to fry, but if the ATO really wants to push e-tax as a viable, easy and accessible alternative to traditional paper and ink forms then it would make sense to appeal to Australia’s second largest OS user-base, rather than only number one. If even small software companies are capable of making both Mac and Windows compatible versions of the same product, surely the Australian Taxation Office can sort out a few “security and usability” issues before Mac users miss out for the 16th year running.