Alex Sutherland on 17 Mar 2008 13:31:25 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Windows themes (ON-TOPIC, i promise)

Looks like this concept got some starts, but hasn't gained momentum yet:

I agree with Gabriel, I think that you could definitely build a sustainable business model around some cross-platform, open-source tax preparation software, and perhaps get some public institutions to help maintain it once it is built. The tax code may be complex and convoluted, but it is still a finite domain. It shouldn't be too difficult for a small, skilled community of developers to maintain it, especially if there was  a sustainable business model connected with it.

-Alex S.

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 3:28 PM, Gabriel Sean Farrell <> wrote:
On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 01:37:09PM -0400, Art Alexion wrote:
> Some stuff — TurboTax, for instance — may become Linux, but it will never be
> Open Source, nor will there be an open source alternative.  The tax rules
> change drastically once a year, and sometimes there are changes throughout
> the year.  You need accountants in the development team to produce a
> realistic product.  It costs a lot of money to produce and keep up to date.
> There are other programs geared toward certain industries that are like this.

You're right, but I read this paragraph as a challenge.  I bet there's a
business model that could produce open-source tax software.  Something
with a focus on related services, maybe?  Or it could be maintained by
the government, or a non-profit association of accountants.
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