What Is IRS Direct File? Free Online Tax System Explained

The new tax system from the IRS will be free to use, although the pilot program in 2024 is only available in a few states.

There’s a new way to file your taxes in the US, with the IRS announcing a free tool that can help you out, as long as you live in one of the states where they’re launching the pilot.

Tax season is arguably one of the more stressful times of the year, and the myriad of paid tax services don’t help much. All the complicated tax forms and convoluted payment plans can make the entire experience unbearable.

Luckily, the IRS is finally on board with providing a service that can handle the filing of federal taxes without costing users an arm and a leg to get it done.

What Is IRS Direct File?

IRS Direct File is a free online tax system from the federal agency that hopes to alleviate the stress and financial burden of filing your taxes in the US.

“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.” -Lael Brainard, National Economic Advisor

It’s worth noting the IRS Direct File will only allow you to file your federal taxes, so if you have state taxes that need filing, you’ll need to do so with a different tool. However, IRS Direct File does make it possible to integrate your federal tax information to other services, so at least you can get started with the new tool.

Which States Are Eligible to Use IRS Direct File?

While the launch of IRS Direct File is good news for tax payers around the US, only some citizens will have access to file their taxes by April 2024. The pilot program is only available in 12 states across the country, so make sure to check your eligibility before canceling your paid-for tax service.

Here are the 12 states that are eligible to file their federal taxes with IRS Direct File in 2024:

Surfshark logo🔎 Want to browse the web privately? 🌎 Or appear as if you're in another country?
Get a huge 86% off Surfshark with this special tech.co offer.See deal button

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

The future of the service has not been announced, but it’s assumed that more states will be added in the future to eventually provide a full-on national service to file your taxes.

Is IRS Direct File Safe?

When it comes to something as serious as filing your taxes, wondering about the security of the service in question is more than reasonable. It’s even more concerning when you realize that the IRS experienced a security beach just a few short years ago.

Fortunately, it looks like the federal agency is at least trying to take security seriously, with a substantially thorough privacy policy that covers everything from what they track to how to file a complaint. The IRS also plans to use ID.me — the identity verification system — to ensure user data is as protected as possible during the process.

All that to say, IRS Direct File seems as safe as any other tax filing system, although given the increasing number of security breaches across the industry, it’s anyone’s guess to how secure it will be in the long run.

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at contact@tech.co

Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
Explore More See all news
Back to top
close Building a Website? We've tested and rated Wix as the best website builder you can choose – try it yourself for free Try Wix today