The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

How to break e-tax: a network printer!

I’ve long had my doubts about e-tax, the Tax Office’s supposedly “easy” solution for lodging individual tax returns electronically. Not only is it a Windows-only application, it’s a poorly designed Windows application. Heck, that much is obvious from the kludgy Win16-style interface.

But this evening I discovered just how poorly designed it is. Suppose your default printer in Windows is a network printer, in my case a home multifunction shared over plain old SMB (the default Windows printer sharing). Supposed said printer and the computer it’s attached to are offline, because you have no reason to turn them on right now. Try opening e-tax.

[ATO e-tax with error: Access violation at address 0055F9C0 in module 'etax2006.exe'. Read of address 00000008.]

You get the delightful message “access violation at address 0055F9C0 in module ‘etax2006.exe’. Read of address 00000008.”

Solution: change your default printer, or turn on the network printer. Cos, you know, you absolutely must have a printer ready and raring when you type in your tax file number.

  1. Thank you!

    Next year I’ll have a go with CrossOver Office/WINE – this year I’m suffering with Virtual PC for Mac

  2. Glad to help. Not sure how you’ll go with CrossOver though, since e-tax feels like one of those clunky apps that just won’t play nice under Wine (think MYOB) …

    Be sure to complain loudly when you get to the “offer feedback on e-tax” step. They’ve been promising a Java app for years …!

  3. Yeah yeah… all you do is whinge you loser. I used to work at the e-Tax IT Helpdesk last year, and I actually do have the solution to the Access Violation error but because you’re a dickhead, I’m not going to tell you what the solutions are! You most certainly do NOT need to turn on your printer OR set up a default one (hahaha). As a matter of fact you don’t need a printer AT ALL!!!

  4. Thank you for reconfirming my frustrations with the Tax Office.

    In my 2.5 years of tech support I never told anyone, no matter how annoying they were (or how frustrated they felt way back at the time of writing this post), “I know the solution, but I refuse to share it”. Are you sure you’re not six years old?

    This workaround fixed it for me and at least one other person, and the fact you don’t recognise that also leaves me wondering what sort of “helpdesk” you were running.

  5. Yep, I had the same problem and had no default printer. Error went away as soon as I set it.
    Dumb software. Not as dumb as the insanely rude ex-ATO-helpdesk staff tho’ :)

  6. Thanks for the excellent advice. I had the same problem and there was absolutely no guidance on this from the ATO website. In addition, they only work office hours.

    Thanks again for the help.

  7. Man! ATO staff are just as rude this year as they were back in 2007, still no portable java app and their eTax still doesn’t meet the rest of the world halfway by working on the default cross-platform Windows standard of CrossOver/WINE.

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