Many taxpayers in Florida and other states can file for free under the IRS Direct File Pilot Program

In 2024, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is introducing an innovative pilot program called Direct File, offering eligible taxpayers in certain states, including Florida, the ability to file their federal tax returns for free directly through the IRS. This initiative represents the agency’s first foray into providing a free tax filing service that rivals existing commercial software.

Direct File is a product of the funding from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and is part of the IRS’s larger efforts to transform its services. The pilot is intended to test the feasibility of offering taxpayers a new option to file their returns for free, directly with the IRS.

It is expected to cover various tax provisions, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit.

The program is user-friendly, providing step-by-step guidance for filing a 2023 federal tax return. It is designed to be accessible from various devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers, and will be available in both English and Spanish.

Additionally, the IRS will provide customer service representatives to assist filers with technical and basic tax questions. However, queries that fall outside the scope of the program will be redirected to other IRS customer support representatives.

The Direct File pilot is rolling out in phases and is not yet available to the public. It is slated to become more widely available around mid-March. The program will initially be limited to taxpayers with simple tax returns in select states, and the IRS hopes to gather insights from the trial to inform the program’s future development.

This pilot program is a significant step forward for the IRS in offering a free, direct tax filing option, aligning with its ongoing transformation efforts and commitment to enhancing taxpayer services.