[PLUG] ITR e-filing on Linux

Arun Khan knura9 at gmail.com
Thu May 27 19:36:57 IST 2010

On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 6:49 PM, Mayuresh <mayuresh at acm.org> wrote:
> Income tax department provides MS Excel based software (Excel sheets) for
> preparing income tax returns on this page:
> https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/individual_huf.do
> They state MS Excel as a system requirement for using this.
> If anyone has tried/succeeded in e-filing returns using this software on
> Linux (using Openoffice / otherwise) please do post your experience.
> I could see that the file seems to open fine in oocalc and I could also
> enable Macros which were disabled by default. Worry is more about
> following aspects:
> - Functioning of all macros properly (non-working of some of which may
>  cause data integrity issues. Worse if such issues are hard to notice.)
> - Generation of a "valid" xml file that will be loadable correctly on
>  e-filing website.

With the Indian e-Governance scene, typically the "aam janta" has no
choice in this matter.   S/he is caught in a catch-22 situation -
heads they win, tails you loose.

You can protest with the authorities, it they at all get back to you -
the response will be "Everyone is using Windows and MS Office, aapke
paas Windows nahi hai?"

There is some discussion going on about using open standards which
includes document format but let's see how it progresses.   This is
the kind of thing that encourages software piracy in my opinion.  In
this case the Govt. is mandating it's citizens to use MS Windows
desktop and the MS Office suite; kind of an endorsement of MS

I end up using my accountants Windows desktop to do such activities - YMMV.

-- Arun Khan

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