Kelly, Senate Democrats Applaud Success of Direct File Pilot During the 2024 Tax Filing Season, Highlight Millions of Dollars in Refunds Claimed and Filing Fees Saved

IRS Direct File Pilot (Website)

As the 2024 Tax Filing season comes to a close, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ed Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in celebrating the completion of the first Direct File pilot program in twelve states, including Arizona.  

In January 2024, just 16 months after the passage of new funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS launched the Direct File pilot program for taxpayers with simple filing situations living in twelve states: Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington state, and Wyoming. The pilot was initially launched on an invite-only basis, and then publicly opened in March 2024 to all eligible taxpayers. As of early April 2024, taxpayers had used the Direct File service to claim more than $30 million in refunds and saved millions in filing fees.   

“Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the Direct File tool helped many Arizonans file their taxes electronically without any fees this tax season,” said Kelly. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to deal with a confusing tax system or costly alternatives, and Direct File is an accessible and free resource to make filing easier.”  

“The Direct File pilot program has been a huge win for taxpayers. This year, thousands of taxpayers saved hours of their time and the $150 typically spent on TurboTax and other junk filing fees – money that could be spent on groceries or rent. This is President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act making government work for American taxpayers, and I’m excited to continue to work with the IRS and the Treasury Department to permanently extend and expand this free and easy tax filing solution for Americans,” said Warren. 

“Enabling Americans to file their taxes directly with the IRS online will protect taxpayers and keep them from having to incur the extra costs imposed by third-party platforms,” said Butler. “This is great news and signifies a crucial step in modernizing government to work for the people.”  

“Filing your taxes should never be a hassle. That’s why on this Tax Day, I’m glad that millions of Americans have been able to take advantage of the first-ever simple, easy, and free tool to file their taxes directly through the IRS,” said Carper. “The Direct File pilot program represents a major step in improving the taxpayer experience, and I was proud to help secure funding through the Inflation Reduction Act to make this program possible. Now, I’m looking forward to working with Commissioner Werfel to bring Direct File to taxpayers in all 50 states.”  

“The IRS Direct File pilot allowed thousands in Massachusetts and millions of people across the country to file their taxes for free and claim key credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which have too often gone underutilized. To have a truly fair tax system, filing must be simple, secure, and without cost. I look forward to free direct filing becoming available to millions more Americans in the future,” said Markey.  

“Americans should not have to shell out money just to file their taxes,” said Murray. “Taxpayers should be able to file their taxes directly with the IRS through a secure, free platform, and this tax season, it’s finally becoming a reality. Democrats made a worthwhile investment in the IRS to help ensure giant corporations and the very wealthiest would pay at least the taxes they already owe—part of that investment also means a more efficient IRS that can provide better services and create tools like Direct File that will save people money.”    

“Filing your tax returns should be easy, accessible, and efficient,” said Padilla. “The IRS Direct File pilot program is already saving California taxpayers time and money while providing them with peace of mind that their payments are being made securely and correctly online.”  

“I have long advocated for the IRS to offer a direct, free filing option for taxpayers, and I’m so glad New Hampshire was among the first 12 states where people could file for free with the pilot program,” said Shaheen. “I’ve heard from Granite Staters in every corner of the state about problems they’ve experienced obtaining their tax refunds, and I’m excited to see how the expansion of this service will help taxpayers nationwide save time and money.”  

“The IRS built a great Direct File pilot program that’s getting rave reviews and saving taxpayers tons of money, and Republicans are absolutely furious about it,” Wyden said. “Between the success with Direct File, cuts in call waiting times and huge reductions in tax return backlogs, it’s clear the IRS can provide top-notch customer service when Congress gives it an adequate level of funding. The danger is that Republicans will stop this progress in its tracks and prevent Direct File from expanding nationwide if they have the opportunity, and taxpayers will once again be stuck under the boot of the big tax software companies. We cannot allow that to happen.”