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-   -   Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia (http://www.linux-archive.org/debian-user/499234-re-2-us-tax-forms-acroread-debian-multimedia.html)

03-09-2011 03:49 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
From: Camaleon <noelamac@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:34:41 +0000 (UTC)
> Form 1040 can be filled fine with Evince (from lenny) ...
> I'm not sure if it's okay with just filling the data
> and then print it or sending the file via e-mail or by direct upload.

Isn't a Web based tax calculation more efficient? The arithmetic is
performed spreadsheet style. Then you can submit the return electronically
and save both a database image and a pdf for future reference.

Regards, ... Peter E.

--
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Personal pages http://members.shaw.ca/peasthope/ .


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John Hasler 03-09-2011 04:10 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
Peter E. writes:
> Isn't a Web based tax calculation more efficient?

Sure, if you don't mind publishing your tax returns.
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John Hasler


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Camaleón 03-09-2011 04:18 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
On Wed, 09 Mar 2011 08:49:18 -0800, peasthope wrote:

> From: Camaleon
> Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:34:41 +0000 (UTC)
>> Form 1040 can be filled fine with Evince (from lenny) ... I'm not sure
>> if it's okay with just filling the data and then print it or sending
>> the file via e-mail or by direct upload.
>
> Isn't a Web based tax calculation more efficient? The arithmetic is
> performed spreadsheet style. Then you can submit the return
> electronically and save both a database image and a pdf for future
> reference.

Sure it is! :-)

Is just here in Spain I do not trust so much how the "e-gov" works. Most
of time behind the PDF form there are "humans" handling the data and
asking you many trivial questions ("we have not received the PDF",
"filled data is broken or incomplete", "please, go to your nearest office
to provide the data -again-" and so on...). You filled all the data
online but "something" fails -misteriously- in the middle of the process
which finally translates into time lost.

So I trust the technology but only when it is completely automated and
not so "human-dependant". Many of the public sector employees want to be "
indispensable" to keep their jobs.

Greetings,

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Camaleón


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"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr." 03-09-2011 05:58 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
On 2011-03-09 11:10:39 John Hasler wrote:
>Peter E. writes:
>> Isn't a Web based tax calculation more efficient?
>
>Sure, if you don't mind publishing your tax returns.

"Publishing" is perhaps a bit harsh. Most web-based tax services use end-to-
end encryption to prevent the data from being intercepted both times it is "on
the wire": from you to them and from them to the IRS.

You *do* have to share your information with that entity and (implicitly)
trust them not to disclose that information through malice or fault. It is
likely they have terms that significantly limit their liability for such
actions.

Similarly, if you engage a tax professional you have to share your information
with them and they will likely store that information on media they (or the
entity they represent) owns. The same level of trust is required in this
case, though it may be easier to obtain.

"Publishing" has a connotation of "public", not neither of these sharing acts
guarantees (or even significantly increases the chances) that the general
public acquires access to your tax information.

I've had a excellent experience using TaxAct's web-based software to file my
personal taxes for at least the 5 past years.

Even if you are capable and confident enough to file your own tax return, the
normal method of filing "off-line" provides far fewer guarantees than the end-
to-end security provided by a trusted TSL connection. As such, it is actually
easier to subvert.

I am not sure if the IRS supports direct electronic filing by individuals or
if the tools to do so are available in Debian. I think not, which is one of
the main reason I engage third-party in filing my U.S. taxes.
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John Hasler 03-09-2011 06:44 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
I wrote:
> Sure, if you don't mind publishing your tax returns.

Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
> "Publishing" is perhaps a bit harsh. Most web-based tax services use
> end-to- end encryption to prevent the data from being intercepted both
> times it is "on the wire": from you to them and from them to the IRS.

It's secure from them to the IRS but the Web is inherently insecure.

> I've had a excellent experience using TaxAct's web-based software to
> file my personal taxes for at least the 5 past years.

What are their penalties should they breach their contract with you and
disclose your confidential information? Do they promise to make you
whole or just to pay some sort of liquidated damages?

> I am not sure if the IRS supports direct electronic filing by
> individuals...

They do not. The IRS does not trust the Web.
--
John Hasler


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"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr." 03-09-2011 08:04 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
On 2011-03-09 13:44:32 John Hasler wrote:
>I wrote:
>> Sure, if you don't mind publishing your tax returns.
>
>Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
>> "Publishing" is perhaps a bit harsh. Most web-based tax services use
>> end-to- end encryption to prevent the data from being intercepted both
>> times it is "on the wire": from you to them and from them to the IRS.
>
>It's secure from them to the IRS but the Web is inherently insecure.

Well, that statement is false on it's face. Properly implemented TLS trust
chains are equivalent to the PGP/GPG web-of-trust and are the most secure way
to exchange information publicly available. AES is aging well and the best
attack against the full cipher is still brute-force. SHA-1 is much older and
has some valid attacks against the full hash, but none that a feasible to
crack a single TLS session, even if it would allow you to completely "pwn" the
average citizen. Soon, it will be replaced with SHA-3; SHA-2 is already
available and it would be relatively easy to switch to it if attacks against
SHA-1 starting coming about more often.

The Web, like many *many* technologies was not designed with security in mind
so it is insecure by default. That doesn't prevent it from being secure.
Ethernet, IPv4, and TCPv4 weren't built with security in mind. That doesn't
make all your ssh connections "insecure".

It is secure from the individual to them.
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/

John Hasler 03-09-2011 09:11 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
I wrote:
> ...the Web is inherently insecure.

Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
> Well, that statement is false on it's face.

History disagrees with you.

> Properly implemented TLS trust chains...

Some probably exist, somewhere. They do not include Verisign.

> ...are the most secure way to exchange information publicly available.

That statement is certainly false on its face. No electronic
transmission method can be as secure as walking into my CPA's office and
handing him papers.
--
John Hasler


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"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr." 03-09-2011 09:47 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
On 2011-03-09 16:11:47 John Hasler wrote:
>Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
>> ...are the most secure way to exchange information publicly available.
>
>That statement is certainly false on its face. No electronic
>transmission method can be as secure as walking into my CPA's office and
>handing him papers.

PGP/GPG and TLS are *significantly* more secure than mailing your papers.
--
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John Hasler 03-09-2011 09:58 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
> ...are the most secure way to exchange information publicly available.

I wrote:
> That statement is certainly false on its face. No electronic
> transmission method can be as secure as walking into my CPA's office
> and handing him papers.

Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. writes:
> PGP/GPG and TLS are *significantly* more secure than mailing your
> papers.

I wrote:
> No electronic transmission method can be as secure as _walking into_
> my CPA's office and _handing_ him papers.
--
John Hasler


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"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr." 03-09-2011 11:10 PM

Re (2): US tax forms with acroread from debian-multimedia
 
In <87aah3hpf0.fsf@thumper.dhh.gt.org>, John Hasler wrote:
>I wrote:
>> No electronic transmission method can be as secure as walking into
>> my CPA's office and handing him papers.

In <201103091258.46708.bss@iguanasuicide.net>, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
>Similarly, if you engage a tax professional you have to share your
>information with them and they will likely store that information on media
>they (or the entity they represent) owns. The same level of trust is
>required in this case, though it may be easier to obtain.
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/


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