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Re: Add wiki page for Government requirements around the world and possibly build a testsuite from them.

Hi Peter;

On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM, Peter Dolding <..hidden..> wrote:
> I am from Australia.  The ATO here provides 45 test scenarios to make
> sure software is working correctly to be used todo accountancy in
> Australia.
> http://softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au/testscenarios

Thanks for that.  It may be helpful.
> There is a list of products that pass
> http://softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au/viewproductregister
> Currently there is not one single open source program listed.  This is
> where accountants in Australia will go and look for software.
> I would suspect other countries have the same thing.   Also registered
> developer companies can get access to information about the Australian
> tax system before they happen.  So not being registered is competing
> with one hand tied behind back.
> Yes I want to see more FOSS accountancy software in Australia.  Only
> recently here did we get the means to submit items from Linux systems
> to the Tax Office.
> http://auskey.itmaze.com.au/how-to/auskey-under-linux
> Only end of 2010 did we get auskey for Linux.  Before that to
> electronically submit to the tax office and you were running Linux or
> OS X you could buy a copy of windows and a virtual machine package and
> write that off on the tax return.  So Linux based accountancy was kind
> battling up hill.

> I suspect I am not alone with this problem of FOSS software not being
> registered with thier countries tax offices.  There is also not a list
> of tax offices around the world and there requirements in accountancy
> software.
> Maybe this list should be on the wikipedia or some other joint project
> between FOSS in the hope of getting tax offices to share methods.

Perhaps.  There are some other problems that come to mind here and
they are big problems.....

I have been just now starting to seriously look at what will be
required to make LedgerSMB into a software package with world-class
support for a very large number of regulatory jurisdictions.  This is
a huge problem.

The problem which no single business can address as such is the fact
that all these different jurisdictions  are, well, different.  They
change their regulations on different schedules, the regulations may
be somewhat nuanced, and so forth.  This means that this is not a
problem which is well suited to a single player in the industry to
solve, and it really requires local voices who know the regulations
both in theory and practice, and can act as a voice helping the
community figure out what we need to do to meet the regulatory

Also a lot of regulatory compliance work is a bit difficult to pay for
in a standard pay-for-development open source model since it leads to
one person paying for compliance for everyone else, over and over.  I
think paying for it will require a local party offering support
subscriptions.  (I can partner with you on these if you need
development help etc).

I think this is one thing we are both trying to address.  I would like
to see however the idea that we create a place for local players in
helping get this through.

So I guess I would turn the proposal on its head and suggest:

1)  We look at seeing what we need to do to pass these tests if we
don't do so already
2)  We look into the registration process
3)  We look for local partners in Australia who can help with things
like payroll regulations.

Looking through the set of tests:

1)  We don't currently automate a capital gains reporting, or AIIR reporting.
2)  We don't try to handle franked dividends
3)  The sales tax scenarios would apply
4)  The income tax withholding may be necessary as we get further.
5)  Some of the other reporting stuff is not handled yet but would be
an area where a local partner might have a role in getting that going.

Did I miss something?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers