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Filing taxes without non-free software: Slovak company appeals fines

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In a case of a Slovak company protesting against being forced to use non-free software to file taxes, a court has failed to rule on the substance of the case.

Slovak textile importer EURA Slovakia, s.r.o. is facing EUR 5600 in fines because it refused to use the Microsoft Windows operating system to submit its electronic tax reports. Since May 2012, EURA is appealing against the fines in court.

"We believe that the court failed to correctly interpret the procedural law when it refused to assess whether the tax authorities were right in imposing the fines", says Martin Husovec, a lawyer assisting EISi.

In total, the Slovak tax authorities have imposed eleven fines on the company, which submitted its tax reports on paper. As in other European countries, Slovak companies are required to file their tax reports electronically. The official software for doing so only works on the non-free Microsoft Windows platform. Along with FSFE and EISi, EURA demands that the state should stop forcing businesses to use a certain product, and calls for a platform neutral solution based on Open Standards instead.

"This kind of approach of any government should not be tolerated. We encourage everyone who might be damaged by this practice to follow EURA's example and seek for justice on courts." concluded Karsten Gerloff, president of the FSFE.

Executive summary of the EURA case