May 2, 2024 - IRS Closes its Direct File Pilot Program

Matthew Cuplin |

The IRS has closed its Direct File pilot program after more than 140,000 taxpayers in 12 states used the system to e-file returns. The IRS implemented the Direct File pilot to test the feasibility of a system that allows taxpayers to file their federal income tax returns directly with the agency for free but has not decided whether it will continue the program.

Since the pilot program began in March 2023, the IRS has collected and analyzed user data. The agency will continue its analysis and plans to issue a report on Direct File's scope, technology and taxpayer experience, customer support, state integration, costs and benefits. Over the next few weeks, the IRS will also meet with a variety of partners and stakeholders to learn more about how taxpayers interacted with the Direct File system.

By the final week of the filing season, Direct File was accepting more than 5,000 returns a day and taxpayers using the system claimed more than $90 million in refunds and reported balances due of $35 million. The states from which the most Direct File returns were accepted were California (33,328), Texas (29,099) and Florida (20,840).