General, Guest Bloggers, Taxes

With IRS Direct File, Many Taxpayers Can File Taxes Online for Free

April 2, 2024 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: April 2, 2024

A photo of Danny Werfel.The federal government has many critical responsibilities— protecting the planet; keeping our roads, skies, and food safe; and ensuring that Americans get the benefits they paid into for decades. The money to pay for all those things – and many more essential parts of American life – is collected by the IRS.

But the tax collection process should be easier, less stressful, and free.

This tax filing season, the IRS is piloting an innovative system called Direct File, where taxpayers in 12 states can file their taxes online, directly with the IRS, for free.

Direct File is a key part of the IRS transformation under the Inflation Reduction Act, where we are working to meet taxpayers where they are. More than 50,000 people have already used Direct File and described it as straightforward and easy to use. Many taxpayers report filing in around 30 minutes, and one even called it “fun.” Direct Filers who have questions about their tax return can live chat, directly with IRS customer support agents.

In this pilot year, Direct File is limited to taxpayers with simple tax situations, so it’s perfect for many retirees, seniors who remain in the workforce, students, and veterans recently separated from the military. The system supports taxpayers with wage income reported on a W2, Social Security income, unemployment, interest of $1,500 or less, and who claim the standard deduction and certain other credits. Taxpayers using Direct File who select direct deposit can get their refund in as little as two to three weeks.

Tax filing is an annual civic ritual, but for many taxpayers – particularly those with disabilities – it can be a stressful, burdensome task. In building Direct File, we prioritized accessibility and inclusive design from day one. Anyone who wishes to prepare their taxes with Direct File should be able to do so. The system’s visual design is intentionally straightforward and presents each question on a single screen, so users can focus on one task at a time. We worked hard to make complex tax topics easier to understand, and targeted accessibility standards above and beyond those required by law. Even after we completed testing and officially launched Direct File on March 12, we have continued conducting usability testing with people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technology, to ensure it is both accessible and easy to use for everyone.

This filing season, be on the lookout for more service improvements, like an expanded Where’s My Refund? tool and a call back option on our main 1-800 number. And if you have not filed your taxes yet (and we encourage you to do so soon), please visit to see if you’re eligible for this innovative new service. We will continue to improve our efforts to serve you this tax filing season and in the future.

If you have misplaced your SSA-1099, you can get a replacement instantly with your personal my Social Security account.

Important Note: Please do not call or visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you have questions about Direct File or other tax matters. Direct File is a service of the IRS. If you have questions, please visit the IRS’ Direct File website at where you can text chat live with an IRS employee in English or Spanish.



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  1. pat b.

    I did not see anywhere the list of states that have as of 2023

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  3. Mike K.

    I have found software errors with every direct file company I tried in the last 4 years. I have to do my taxes with EXCEL first so I can tell the companies what to fix. The company I used had four errors and they were the best of the three I tried to use. It shouldn’t be this difficult to do taxes with a poverty level income.

  4. Randy

    ” protecting the planet;”

    The US federal government couldn’t do this if it tried. And currently “trying” if woefully inadequate as the science shows.

    • Mitch E.

      Thank you for your realism. Platitudes like that coming from government employees who don’t bother to shave do nothing for the citizen’s trust.

  5. ShereeSue G.

    It’s funny that my employer can physically disable me as a mentally disabled person, now on a fixed income and going to be homeless again and owe the IRS money while OPKO makes millions

    • Jennifer

      I have 46 chronic illnesses and social security recently denied me assistance with my prescription drug plan because I earn $2461.60 per year to qualify for said assistance however, the 3 drugs my physician wants to prescribe me cost $29,000.00 per year after my insurance pays their portion. Also, they didn’t deduct from my income the prescriptions I’m already paying for or the caregiver not covered by insurance I have to pay to assist me with daily living requirements like eating, going to the bathroom, dressing, sponge baths, etc.

      • Sue

        We’re sorry to hear about your situation, Jennifer. In most cases, to qualify for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription costs, you must have income and resources below a certain limit. In 2024, for an individual, the income limit is $22,590 and the resource limit is $17,220. Your prescription and caregiver expenses are not considered in determining your eligibility for Extra Help. You can learn more in Understanding the Extra Help with Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan publication. Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) may be able to refer you to other programs to help with your prescriptions. We hope this helps.

  6. Jacques

    I’m retired on fixed income with no taxes due for 2023 but I have to pay $179 to Turbo tax because of a small additional 1099 income before I can file my federal and state taxes.
    Can’t wait for direct file to be available in Oregon. Thank you.

  7. Margaret M.

    Can I use my credit card to pay my taxes?
    What is the cost to pay by credit card?


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