Joe Biden

ICYMI: New Direct File Pilot Helps Filers Save Millions in Estimated Filing Fees Thanks to President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act

April 12, 2024

President Biden is focused on lowering costs for hardworking Americans. For too many households, filing taxes can take countless hours and cost hundreds of dollars each year. Thanks to President's Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, that's changing. This year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a historic new tool called Direct File, which allows millions of eligible Americans in 12 states to file taxes for free directly with the government. Already, taxpayers have claimed more than $50 million in refunds and saved millions in estimated filing fees using Direct File. Filers have overwhelmingly found the tool easy to use, straightforward, and fast – helping them save time and hard-earned money.

Read more coverage, including what real filers are saying below:

New Republic: The IRS Finally Cracked the Code on Making Tax Season Suck Less
[Bryce Covert, 4/8/2024]
"The Inflation Reduction Act created a pilot program that's finally given Americans a free and easy way to file their federal taxes with the government, and it's getting rave reviews…. It was the most convenient way I've ever filed my taxes," [Cindy Black Lynnwood of Washington] said. "I got to be honest, it surprised me how simple it was."

NPR: The IRS has a free digital tax filing system. Here's what users are saying
[Scott Horsley, 4/4/2024]
"Marina Garcia, who lives in Georgetown, Texas, found the IRS system similar to H&R Block's tax software but without the repeated prompts to upgrade and pay more. 'If it sticks around for the rest of my working life, I am doing business directly with the IRS. I don't have to go to a third party. I don't have to pay. It's straightforward. It's easy-peasy.'"

MarketWatch: Early reviews of the IRS Direct File free tax-prep tool are in. Here's what taxpayers say so far.
[Andrew Keshner, 3/27/2024]
Taxpayer reviews are starting to surface on Direct File, the Internal Revenue Service's free online tax-prep program, and they're sounding good so far. It's speedy and straightforward, according to people who've used the service….."It was the fastest I've ever done my taxes," said W. Drew Bertrand, who needed less than an hour to start and finish his tax return using Direct File. I thought it was very easy to use. I wish everyone could do their taxes that easily," said the 60-year-old tech-sector contract worker from Menlo Park, California…. This is finally something that was designed directly for the community," [Marina Garcia] told MarketWatch. "This is definitely a step forward in the work we do. I can only hope it's successful."

AP: A new IRS program is helping its first users file their income taxes electronically. And it's free
[Fatima Hussein, 2/6/2024]
"Warden, a 37-year-old IRS employee from Kyle, Texas, says she saved nearly $400 this tax season by filing her tax return directly to the government from her home laptop instead of paying one of the commercial tax prep services used by millions of people."

The Atlantic: The IRS Finally Has an Answer to TurboTax
[Saahil Desai, 4/8/2024]
"In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act shook loose $15 million for the IRS to study the feasibility of creating its own program—and so began Direct File. The program could have been contracted out, as much of the government's technology is…. Instead it was made almost entirely by the government's own programmers, product managers, and designers, Bridget Roberts, the head of the Direct File team, told me…. Then designers tested language to make sure that taxpayers could easily understand it…. "That way, if there were any bugs, we would fix them before we moved on," [Roberts] said. It all sounds more Sam Altman than Uncle Sam.""

CNBC: IRS adds 'important update' for free Direct File pilot as federal tax deadline approaches
[Kate Dore, 4/8/2024]
"Direct File users can now automatically import key return verification details from the IRS, which has been the top mistake before filing. "This important update will allow Direct File users to take advantage of information the IRS already has to simplify the filing process even further," said Bridget Roberts, who leads Direct File at the IRS."

Investopedia: What's the Early Reaction to the New IRS Free Online Tax Filing Service? (
[Diccon Hyatt, 3/28/2024]
"Khanh Tran, a computer science student at Illinois Wesleyan University, helped his parents use the new website and said the process was simple and user-friendly. He typically helps his 65- and 66-year-old parents through the tax filing process. With Direct File, they were able to fill everything out without his help, he said. "They didn't need to search Google for this term or that term," he said. "I think it's a really good option for people"…Tran said he also appreciated the fact that the website is free. Americans spend an average of $104 on tax prep services each year, according to an estimate by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, an advocacy group."

Houston Chronicle: How IRS Direct File could save you time and money | Opinion
"In 2023, about 2.5 million Texas workers and families received the EITC, totaling $7.1 billion in tax credits. If Texas taxpayers use Direct File proportionately to our state's population, altogether we could save $1.7 billion in filing fees, unclaimed credits and time cost of filing. In credits alone, Texans could claim approximately $739 million more than they do now, with much of that going to low-income families and communities of color.

Miami Herald: For Latinos, tax filing is a game of sink or swim. A new IRS direct-file tool may help | Opinion
[Andrea Cristina Mercado, 3/29/2024]
"Improving the U.S. tax system is not just a matter of modernizing government systems – it's a matter of justice. That is why it is so exciting that millions of eligible taxpayers across the country, including in my home state of Florida, now have an easy, free and secure option this year through the IRS' new Direct File pilot program…. If lawmakers want a tax system that works for all people, Direct File should be part of the solution."

El Pais: The IRS launches Direct File, a pilot program for free online tax filing available in 12 states
[3/13/2024, Translated to English]
The Treasury Department estimates that one-third of all federal income tax returns filed could be prepared using Direct File and that 19 million taxpayers may be eligible to use the tool this tax season. "Direct File will offer millions of Americans a free and simple way to file their taxes, with no expensive and unnecessary filing fees and no upselling, putting hundreds of dollars back in the pocket of working families each year, consistent with President Biden's pledge to lower costs," said National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard.

Dallas News: Texans are leading the way on IRS pilot program for direct filing of tax returns
[Joseph Morton, 3/21/2024]
A Texan was the first person to use a new, free electronic tax return filing system, and thousands have followed suit since, but millions more are eligible. The IRS launched the pilot program known as Direct File in a dozen states this year, including Texas. About 50,000 people in those states have used it so far.

CBS News: Direct File, a free tax filing service, is now available to over 1 million in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
[Neal Riley, 3/12/2024]
The IRS launched its new Direct File tax filing program in 12 states on Monday, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where it says more than a million people are eligible to use the free online service "following weeks of successful testing." President Joe Biden's administration says the service funded by the Inflation Reduction Act is an easier way to file taxes and can even be done on a smartphone.

Las Vegas Sun: IRS launches pilot program for free online tax filing available in Nevada
Federal officials announced today that an estimated 480,000 Nevada taxpayers are eligible to participate in a free electronic tax filing service. Nevada is among the 12 states to take part in the Direct File Pilot Program, available in both English or Spanish, according to the IRS. Direct File can be used from a smartphone or personal computer and is a free, secure option for taxpayers with simple tax situations, the IRS said."The benefit of a program like this, that is simple for users, is immense," [Derek Wheeler, director of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at the University of Florida's Law School] said.

Business Insider: The IRS's free tax filing system is officially open. Here's everything you need to know.
[Allie Kelly, 3/12/2024]
"Direct File is a result of President Biden's 2022 Inflation Reduction Act…. With Direct File, taxpayers can file their taxes directly from their smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer. The program can't process complex tax information, such as gig work-based incomes, but the Treasury Department estimates that one-third of all federal income tax returns could be filed through Direct File, benefiting about 19 million taxpayers this spring."

NBC News: The IRS's new, free 'Direct File' service for simple tax returns is now available in 12 states
[Rob Wile, 2/27/2024]
The IRS's new, free filing software for relatively simple tax returns is now available in 12 states. To qualify for Direct File, you have to have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for yourself and any spouse or dependents you claim. You also need a current driver's license, state identification card, U.S. passport or passport card. Direct File is one of many provisions enacted through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which allocated $80 billion in additional funding to the IRS.

WKMG Orlando: Florida part of IRS pilot offering new way to file federal tax return
[Jerry Askin, 2/25/2024]
It's tax season and as many of you are looking to file this year, there is a new way for some people to do it for free. The Internal Revenue Service is offering a pilot electronic filing system for people in select states, including here in Florida. The pilot program, known as Direct File, is open to people who lived in one of 12 states last year and it's only to help people prepare their federal tax returns.

Nerdwallet: IRS Direct File Launches: How to Access, What to Know
[Sabrina Parys, 3/14/2024]
"The IRS Free File program is a partnership between the tax agency and several commercial tax software providers, such as TaxSlayer and TaxAct, that offers free filing services to taxpayers who make below a certain income. Direct File, on the other hand, is an IRS-run, free tax filing service being piloted by the agency for the 2024 tax season. The income thresholds to qualify are higher than those of the Free File program; however, Direct File is more limited in what it can handle. The program is sponsored by funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and will only be available to taxpayers in certain states who have simple tax situations."

Nexstar: New direct file system rolls out to make tax season easier
[Basil John, 4/6/2024]
Time is running out, as tax day is approaching. The IRS has a new program to make filing your taxes easier and cheaper. "As simple as possible, as fast as possible, as free as possible," Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said. It's called direct file and Adeyemo is encouraging people to see if they qualify for what he calls an easy to use service. "This is a tool that allows Americans with simple tax returns, this year in 12 states to be able to file their taxes through the IRS directly," Adeyemo said.

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: New Direct File Pilot Helps Filers Save Millions in Estimated Filing Fees Thanks to President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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