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​📰​ ARTICLE: Direct File pilot from the IRS in 2024 free for taxpayers


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In 2024, the IRS is launching a Direct File pilot and eligible taxpayers who choose to participate in the pilot can electronically file their 2023 federal tax return for free directly with the IRS.

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This free tax service in English and Spanish will let taxpayers:

  • Follow a step-by-step guide to help understand your taxes
  • Get real-time online support from IRS customer service representatives
  • Use your smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer
  • File a 2023 federal tax return

This is a pilot program on a small scale in a dozen states to get the nuts and bolts right. At first, the Direct File pilot will only be open to a small group of taxpayers, then IRS will open the Direct File pilot to more people later in the filing season to file their 2023 tax returns.

Who’s eligible?

You can file your 2023 federal tax return with the Direct File pilot if you:

  • Live in one of the pilot states
  • Report certain types of income, credits and deductions

Participating states

The Direct File pilot will be available to eligible participants in these states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington state
  • Wyoming

The pilot is not an option for you if you did not live in one of the 12 participating states in 2023.

State returns in Arizona, California, Massachusetts and New York

The Direct File pilot doesn't prepare state returns. However, if you live in Arizona, California, Massachusetts or New York, the Direct File pilot guides you to a state-supported tool you can use to prepare and file your state tax return.

If you live in Washington state, Direct File guides you to a state site where you can apply for the Working Families Tax Credit when you file your federal return with the Direct File pilot.

Types of income, tax credits and deductions

You may be eligible to join the pilot if you live in a pilot state and report these items on your 2023 federal tax return:

Income

  • W-2 wage income
  • SSA-1099 Social Security and RRB -1099 railroad retirement income 
  • 1099-G Unemployment compensation
  • 1099- INT Interest income of $1,500 or less

Credits

  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Credit for Other Dependents

Deductions

  • Standard deduction
  • Student loan interest
  • Educator expenses

At this time, the IRS says the pilot is not an option for if you:

  • Have other types of income, such as gig economy or business income
  • Itemize deductions
  • Claim other credits like the Child and Dependent Care Credit, Saver’s Credit or the Premium Tax Credit

No one is required to use the Direct File pilot and it doesn’t replace any of the existing options for filing.

IRS Direct File help

If you have questions during the pilot, you’ll be able to get answers from our dedicated IRS Direct File customer service representatives who will provide technical support and provide basic clarification of tax law related to the tax scope of the Direct File pilot, in both English and Spanish. The assistors will not have access to your IRS account data. Any questions or issues that fall outside of Direct File will be routed to the other IRS support channels.

Read more about the Direct File pilot in A Closer Look.


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