[nSLUG] Taxes and Open Source

Hatem Nassrat hnassrat at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 23:15:23 AST 2009


Its that time of year again and i was wondering if anyone knows of open
source programs that can safely submit a CRA NetFile.

The CRA approves of a bunch of applications. Some of them are "freeware"
with certain restrictions.

    http://www.netfile.gc.ca/sftwr-eng.html

I have found the following thread on Slashdot:

    http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/09/011259

Which basically says don't bother with open source. I don't agree with
the opinions expressed in the comments of that thread.

Some of them state that it is hard to trust open source software with
the CRA (or US tax) policies that get updated to frequently. Moreover,
it was expressed that it would be hard to trust OSS with something that
can send you to jail.

I guess its due to the claim that OSS does not provide 
"Warranties and Limitation of Liability TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT
PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW", ironically so does VISA
(http://www.visa.com/globalgateway/legal.jsp#Warranties).

I still think that OSS wins even in this situation. I can't imagine that
this doesn't exist, but maybe this will make for a cool project for next
year ;).

-- 
Hatem Nassrat



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