Tax deduction forms

I sat down this Sunday to knock out all those tax receipts that I try to send to you all at the end of the year. Last year I wrote a bunch of scripts to process the paypal reports into receipts automatically. It was cludgy but lived in the ‘cloud’ as a google app. Unfortunately this year it looks like the reports for paypal are different. They have different columns, UTF-8 format, and a limit of 90 days at a time export (instead of a whole year).

I spent about 3 hours trying to get the new process down and the steps documented. Something like this:

  • Goto paypal and export the first 90 days of the year as a CSV
  • repeat 3 more times, incrementing by 90 days each time
  • Open in LibreOffice to handle the UTF and create a sheet with just the columns we need
  • Save off as a new CSV
  • Repeat for 4 reports
  • Use mysqlimport and a crazy amount of switches to import the new CSVs
  • Use the menu system from Google apps to load the userlist for 2011
  • Click on each user then click on the generate receipt button
  • Save each receipt and email it to the respective email
    I’m missing a few steps like the step where I try to eat a gun. Unfortunately I’m now having problems with the import and what I think maybe a UTF 8 conversion problem as well as some CSV parsing issues for some transactions (ie laser cutter donations). Next year we should have stable and reliable IPN data. This is the data currently used to generate the monthly membership reports. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that working until around November of last year. This year will hopefully be my last year of receipt hell.

Please bare with me, with my schedule it will probably take at least another week to get the receipts out. If you need or want to process your taxes now you can also just grab a donation sheet from the Hive and fill in your membership dues and any donations on there. Hopefully, I have something official shortly.


thanks for your hard work Craig!