FS-2024-09: Top things to know about the IRS Direct File pilot as April filing deadline approaches

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IRS Newswire April 9, 2024

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Issue Number:    FS-2024-09

Inside This Issue

Top things to know about the IRS Direct File pilot as April filing deadline approaches

The IRS Direct File pilot is open to eligible taxpayers in 12 pilot states to file their 2023 federal tax returns online for free — directly with the IRS. Direct File is accurate, secure and easy to use.

Try the innovative new option by April 15

IRS Direct File is available 24/7 — in English and Spanish — for eligible taxpayers in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming until April 15. People in Massachusetts can use Direct File until April 17 to file, due to the Patriots’ Day and Emancipation Day holidays.

Direct File is a new option for taxpayers who live in a pilot state and report certain types of income, claim certain credits and take certain deductions. Taxpayers can go to directfile.irs.gov to see if Direct File is the right option for their tax situation. Taxpayers can log in to Direct File to start their return and complete it before the April filing deadline.

Sign-in to Direct File securely and file online directly with IRS

Taxpayers will need to verify their identity and securely sign in to file their return with the Direct File pilot.

If taxpayers don’t have an existing account with the IRS, they will be directed to create an account to verify their identity. Once their identity is verified and they’ve signed in securely to Direct File, they will be providing the tax information directly to the IRS, not a third party.

Live chat with IRS Direct File staff

IRS Direct File customer service representatives will be available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. including April 13 and 14, to help taxpayers file before the tax deadline. Live representatives offer technical support and answer basic tax law questions in English and Spanish. Representatives cannot access taxpayer account data.

After April 17, live chat customer support for Direct File will only be available through April 20 to assist filers who submitted their tax return with Direct File before the filing deadline and need assistance with a resubmission or a technical issue.

Direct File offers Direct Deposit and payment options

Direct File, like other electronic filing options, allows taxpayers to typically get their refund in less than 21 days when they choose direct deposit. Taxpayers can check their refund status at IRS.gov/refunds 24 hours after the IRS accepts their return. Taxpayers who owe tax can make a payment online. Tax payments are due on April 15 for most taxpayers. Learn about IRS payment options at IRS.gov/payments.

What to do when IRS Direct File is not the right fit

Everyone should choose the filing option that is best for them. If Direct File is not the right fit, simply choose another option to file, such as other free filing options, a tax professional or paid commercial tax software. Taxpayers who try Direct File but aren’t eligible for the pilot, are directed to other available electronic options to file including IRS Free File.

No matter their income, all taxpayers canfile an extension with a trusted IRS Free File partner to electronically request a six-month extension of time to file. Filing an extension does not mean additional time to pay taxes owed. To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers should pay the balance in full or pay as much as they can before the April filing deadline.

Direct File pilot does not offer the service to amend a 2023 tax return. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to determine if they need to file an amended return to correct an error or to make other changes after filing. See, About Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for instructions on how to amend a tax return.  

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