MIL-OSI USA: Free Federal Tax Filing Option Launches for 1 Million+ Washingtonians

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (1st District of Washington)

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01), a member of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, announced the full-scale launch of the Direct File pilot for eligible Washingtonians to file their tax returns online for free directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The pilot has been in testing mode for several weeks, allowing early users to file their 2023 federal tax returns online for free and directly with the IRS. Thousands of taxpayers in the 12 pilot states, including Washington, have successfully used the system. Direct File was made possible with funds from Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.

Now, an estimated 1.1 million eligible Washington residents can utilize this free tool. Taxpayers can log in to Direct File to start their return and complete it any time before the April 15 filing deadline.

“Democrats are focused on lowering costs for families across Washington. For the first time ever, a million Washington taxpayers will have the option to file their federal tax returns for free online because of the Direct File system funded by the Inflation Reduction Act,” said DelBene. “The early results of the program’s test phase make clear that this is a major step forward in easing the burden of filing tax returns for families. I encourage Washington taxpayers to see if they qualify for this new, innovative tool offered by the federal government.”

User Experience

Direct File walks the taxpayer through the complexities of the tax code to complete their filing with an accurate calculation of their refund or tax owed. Direct File is designed to be easy for taxpayers to use.

At every step, it shows the work behind the calculations, so users can be confident that the tax return is complete and accurate. Once taxpayers start their return on the Direct File site, they can pause and exit, and then securely sign in to finish any time before the April 15 filing deadline.

Users can also get support from dedicated IRS customer service representatives through Direct File’s live chat feature. Direct File, like other electronic filing options, allows taxpayers to typically get their refund in less than 21 days when the direct deposit option is chosen.

Who Qualifies?

Taxpayers in Washington and 11 other pilot states who meet certain requirements can use Direct File through the April 15 tax deadline.

The Direct File pilot is an option for taxpayers who fall into these categories:

  • Report income earned from jobs that generate a Form W-2; including taxpayers with more than one job with W-2 wages;
  • Claim Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Credit for Other Dependents;
  • Claim the standard deduction and deductions for educator expenses and student loan interest;
  • Lived in the same state for the entire calendar year 2023.

Interested taxpayers can go to directfile.irs.gov, where they can determine if they are eligible. Using Direct File requires identity verification through ID.me. Once their identity is verified and they’ve signed in securely to Direct File, their tax information is provided directly to the IRS, not a third party.

For taxpayers who visit Direct File but aren’t eligible for the pilot, they will be directed to Free File on IRS.gov. Now in its 22nd filing season, taxpayers across the nation can access free software products provided by IRS Free File trusted partners. Through this public-private partnership, tax preparation and filing software providers make their online products available to eligible taxpayers. Eight private-sector Free File partners provide online guided tax software products this year to any taxpayer with an Adjusted Gross Income of $79,000 or less in 2023.

Free access to online products is available by starting from IRS Free File.

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