Elster UStVA implementation in pure JavaScript
JavaScript HTML XSLT C Python ActionScript Other
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by Stefan Siegl

Geierlein is a free (AGPL'ed) Elster client, i.e. an application that allows to send VAT declarations to Germany's fiscal authorities.

It's a complete rewrite of its predecessors libgeier & Taxbird. Opposed to these it's completely written in JavaScript and HTML5, hence it should be rather platform independent. From this it also follows that no compilation whatsoever is needed to get Geierlein to run.

Currently it is not possible to send returns that are due annually (especially the income tax return) since the fiscal authority doesn't allow to do that off the ERiC library (which is proprietary however). It's not clear at the moment whether one day it will be possible to do so.

Getting Started

Geierlein can be used in varios ways, i.e. has multiple interfaces. This file merely discusses installation and use of the Mozilla XUL-based graphical desktop application. For others consult the wiki pages hosted on Github.

As the Geierlein desktop application is based on Mozilla XUL, you need to have Mozilla XUL-Runner installed. Newer Mozilla Firefox versions (all from version 3 on) also ship a XUL-Runner instance and hence are sufficient to run Geierlein.

If you've unpacked Geierlein's ZIP-archive and besides have a Firefox installation around, you simply need to run

firefox -app application.ini

If you'd like to use XUL-Runner instead of Firefox, you may omit the -app argument.

It's furthermore possible to specify a Geierline file to be opened right on the command line.

firefox -app application.ini -load pfad/zur/datei

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Firefox/XUL-Runner complains about incompatible platform versions:

Error: Platform version '20.0a1' is not compatible with
minVersion >= 3.5
maxVersion <= 16.*

Due to the error message Geierlein does not start (any longer).

A: Geierlein is not incompatible to the Firefox/XUL-Runner version you use, as stated in the error message. It just has not been tested against it (or you use an old version).

The maximum version number can easily be edited in the application.ini file. You can just bump it to whichever version of Firefox you use. Simply keep in mind that you might come across incompatibilities due to changed Firefox APIs. In that case simply open an issue ticket at GitHub.


See COPYING file.