Posts Tagged ‘javascript’

Tax Project March Wrap up

So I cheat­ed a bit and pushed the dead­line out a week. While much of the check­list is done the project over­all is nowhere near where I hoped it would be. The issue I think was that I assumed that I would be pro­duc­tive for the whole week­end but it turns out I actu­al­ly do do social stuff and reg­u­lar main­te­nance like clean­ing or iron­ing. Look­ing back I think I com­mit­ted about half the time I expect­ed to.

Tax website screenshot showing layout

Tax web­site screen­shot

Target features

  • Tem­plat­ing sys­tem

    Check. Using TT2 as described ear­li­er. The tem­plat­ing isn’t com­plete but I was
    always plan­ning on grow­ing it as I went. Sad­ly it doesn’t prop­er­ly imple­ment the
    pri­ma­tives I’m using but It’s good to start with a win, even if you steal it.

  • Basic lay­out

    Check. To start off with I had a ghast­ly colour scheme of dif­fer­ent shades of red and rough­ly the lay­out I end­ed up with. I read on one of those innu­mer­able web­site design blogs that colour schemes are impor­tant. All the clas­sic mood stuff, red is firey and aggre­sive, white is seri­ous, bor­ing and reli­able. Reli­able seems like a good mood for a tax web­site but black and white is a bit too hard for some­one as inept as I to pull off. So I went with a cream back­ground and a yellow/browny sec­ondary colour.

  • Func­tion­al data entry

    Check. This works pret­ty well actu­al­ly, change an input box and it’s imme­di­ate­ly pushed to the serv­er. Not per­fect (none of the code is), notably it’s not ful­ly back­ground­ed so you get a slight delay.

  • Javascript data check­ing

    Fail. I didn’t get around to try­ing this.

  • Server­side stor­age

    Check. I went with Mon­goDB and it’s going well so far. End­ed up hav­ing to write a very sim­ple PHP script to expose the DB to the Javascript, pri­mar­i­ly authen­ti­ca­tion wrap­ping.

  • Basic cal­cu­la­tions

    Par­tial. I have some cal­cu­la­tions work­ing but it’s not a reusable struc­ture.

  • Inde­pen­dent domain name

    Fail. The project isn’t far along enough to be use­ful yet so the domain isn’t impor­tant, so I’m mark­ing this as a fail but don’t care. I also couldn’t find a free name I liked.

  • Pub­lic source repos­i­to­ry

    Check.http://github.com/lod/Australian-Tax-Return

Maybe features

  • Client side encryp­tion

    Fail. Didn’t start on this.

  • User login sys­tem

    Check. Pret­ty easy to imple­ment with the DB lay­er in place. I don’t have user
    cre­ation work­ing yet but that is actu­al­ly a fair­ly small amount of work.

  • Basic per­son­al tax pack cov­ered

    Fail. I’m nowhere near achiev­ing this, it’s crazy how much they cram into a few pages.

  • Client side PDF gen­er­a­tion

    Fail. Didn’t start on this.

Goal — Online tax returns

For my first project I am going to make a web based tax return cre­ator for Aus­tralian tax returns.

The Aus­tralian Tax Office (ATO) pro­duces E-Tax, a pro­gram for Win­dows com­put­ers that allows you to pro­duce a tax return and sub­mit it online. Sad­ly it’s very much Win­dows only though they sug­gest explor­ing run­ning Win­dows in a vir­tu­al machine. They are cur­rent­ly “inves­ti­gat­ing” sup­port­ing oth­er plat­forms, but they have been doing this for years now and I’ve seen third hand cor­re­spon­dence that sug­gests the inves­ti­ga­tion isn’t pro­gress­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly quick­ly.

You can also fill in the return by hand on paper, com­plete with explana­to­ry book­lets. In prac­tice the pro­ce­dure for both is basi­cal­ly the same, the advan­tage of doing it dig­i­tal­ly is that it’s eas­i­er to see the cal­cu­la­tions and make cor­rec­tions.

So the goal is to pro­duce a web­site to help enter tax returns. I’ll base it off the paper tax return and as out­put pro­duce a PDF that can be print­ed and post­ed in direct­ly. The ATO actu­al­ly accepts print­outs from E-Tax so I’m fair­ly con­fi­dent that they will accept these.

The sec­ondary goal is to improve my abil­i­ties with Javascript. I have toyed around with Javascript a lit­tle bit, enough to do small tasks for web­pages. In doing this I saw enough to know that Javascript had some fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences but not enough to real­ly under­stand or work with them. By doing a sub­stan­tial Javascript project I hope to get over that hur­dle and start to see how to prop­er­ly design with the lan­guage.

By April 4th I’ll have a pro­to­type site com­plete. Not a usable solu­tion, that will prob­a­bly hap­pen some­time after the new tax returns come out in July. The devel­op­ment site can be seen at http://taxreturn.projects.david.tulloh.id.au/

April 4th fea­tures

  • Tem­plat­ing sys­tem
  • Basic lay­out
  • Func­tion­al data entry
  • Javascript data check­ing
  • Server­side stor­age
  • Basic cal­cu­la­tions
  • Inde­pen­dent domain name
  • Pub­lic source repos­i­to­ry

Maybe fea­tures

  • Client side encryp­tion
  • User login sys­tem
  • Basic per­son­al tax pack cov­ered
  • Client side PDF gen­er­a­tion

Lat­er fea­tures

  • Gen­er­al pack­age refac­tor
  • Com­plete core tax pack cov­ered
  • Com­plete sup­ple­men­tary tax pack cov­ered
  • Retrieve pre­fill infor­ma­tion from ATO
  • Elec­tron­ic sub­mis­sion to ATO
  • Inte­grate with account­ing soft­ware
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