The IRS is committed to significantly improving services by giving taxpayers the tools, information and help they need to meet their tax filing obligations.

One of the goals of the IRS Strategic Operating Plan is to give taxpayers choices in how they interact with the agency.  This includes how they prepare and file their taxes, whether it’s through a tax professional, commercial tax software, paper tax return or free filing options.

The Direct File pilot adds another free option for eligible taxpayers to file a 2023 tax return next year.

Filing season 2024 pilot

As directed by the Treasury Department, the IRS is taking steps to implement a limited Direct File pilot for the 2024 filing season to further assess customer support and technology needs and address solutions for issues identified in the report the IRS submitted to Congress earlier this year.

The Direct File pilot will provide eligible taxpayers with the choice to electronically file their 2023 federal tax return for free, directly with the IRS. It will be an interview-based, mobile-friendly service that will work as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.

Participation in the pilot will be limited to eligible taxpayers with relatively simple returns, including limits by income type, tax credits and deductions that the service can initially support in 2024.

As we get closer to filing season, the IRS will share more information about the pilot, including who may be eligible to participate.

The Direct File Report to Congress

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 directed the IRS to study the possibility of a free, direct e-file program. The IRS submitted the results in a report to Congress on May 16, 2023.

The Direct File report:

  • is based on information from the IRS Taxpayer Experience Survey
  • incorporates findings from an independently led survey by the MITRE Corporation
  • combines additional testing to better understand taxpayer perspectives
  • includes a separate, independent third-party analysis

The report found that a majority of taxpayers are interested in using a free IRS-provided service to prepare and file taxes, and that the agency is technically capable of delivering a Direct File program.


Laws and guidance

IRS Inflation Reduction Act Strategic Operating Plan