Friday, February 26, 2010

What to do when SARS eFiling is eBroken

I tried filling in my tax return online using, but it wouldn't work because of my Adobe Reader settings. A call to the SARS "help" desk didn't help. They don't have a clue.
I set up my FRAGG machine with Windows XP, IE7 and Adobe Reader 8, just to get the tax returns filed on time. Now the ordeal is over, I decided to figure out what was wrong.
First, I tried the Adobe web site, which basically says you should uninstall Acrobat completely, and delete all the registry entries.
I used regedit to delete all the Acrobat entries, including the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document settings, and everything else beginning with AcroExch, as well as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader
Next, I downloaded and installed Adobe Reader 8 from, and it worked. See the screen shot above. Unfortunately, the default setting have Javascript enabled, and eFiling uses Javascript, so there isn't anything you can do. After updating to Adobe Reader 9.3.1 I tried again, and got several messages from the Adobe reader asking me to trust all kinds of stuff. That really makes me nervous.
One thing I haven't been able to solve is why my 2009 and 2010 tax calculations won't work online. It seems that the only calculations that do work are the IRP6 forms. The message about the calculation being available in 24 hours has been coming
I have taken Steve Gibson's advice and now I only use IE for the SARS web site and Windows updates. They are listed as "trusted sites" and all other sites are set to "high security" settings so that basically nothing works. Then I use Chrome and Firefox for real browsing.

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