Note: While it may seem that posting this update in November, long after the April filing deadline and even after the October extension deadline, is too late to be helpful, we have in mind more than just getting an early start for next year. The first Tuesday in November is the best time to think about taxes, as you consider which candidates to support at the ballot box. The winners on Election Day will determine your tax liability into the future.

Popular DIY tax preparation applications affirm that they support Windows and Macintosh, but generally are silent concerning Linux:

Earlier this year, the website for TaxAct stated that none of its downloadable software was compatible with Linux and that even its online tax preparation option was not guaranteed to work on Linux. But do not worry. This is not the end of the story.

As of November 2016, TaxAct has revised its website to state (emphasis added):

We do not support the use of TaxAct on Linux/Unix-based systems at this time. (The use of compatibility software like Wine or emulators makes no difference.) For Linux users we recommend using the online version of TaxAct.

Even before TaxAct posted the invitation to use the online version, we were able to verify from experience that the online version of TaxAct in fact works on Linux (Xubuntu 14.04) with the Chromium browser. Our clients have successfully submitted TY2016 Forms 1040 (Individual Income Tax) and 1120S (S Corporation Return) as well as the corresponding state returns for Minnesota, including the Minnesota Property Tax Refund return. In addition to confirmation receipts from the various revenue offices, the taxpayers also received tax refunds (when applicable) within a few weeks of filing. So, no question about it, TaxAct works on Linux.

While we cannot guarantee that other Linux users will experience the same success, we do find this Xubuntu-Chromium success story, as well as TaxAct’s revised statement, to be encouraging.

Our clients also report that TaxAct conforms to IRS Publications, whereas Tax Cut (at least in prior years) occasionally required a manual override of a calculation in order to adhere fully to IRS Publications.

For these reasons, we recommend TaxAct to our clients.

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