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Pilot IRS Direct File Program a Success: Taxpayers Get $90 Million in Refunds

Pilot IRS Direct File Program a Success: Taxpayers Get $90 Million in Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service has just announced on X (formerly Twitter) that it has officially closed down the pilot IRS Direct File program, with over 300,000 taxpayers in 12 states signing up for Direct File accounts and over 140,000 taxpayers using the service to file their federal income taxes.

Direct File users in the 12 pilot states were able to claim over $90 million in tax refunds and report $35 million in unpaid tax balances.

The IRS began offering Direct File Pilot in mid-March, but incrementally increased availability of the option over time.

According to the IRS, the Direct File option was well received by taxpayers across the nation. Direct File processed more than 5,000 accepted returns every day.

There were millions of people who visited the Direct File website – including many outside the 12 pilot states. The eligibility checker alone was used by more than 3.3 million taxpayers during the pilot.

As a whole, the IRS’s expectations for the limited pilot were exceeded and the agency had much more data than was required to evaluate the program.

Customer Support Technology

A live chat feature was available in Direct File pilot, where users could contact IRS employees in English or Spanish.

By integrating live chat directly into Direct File, taxpayers were able to get assistance without having to leave the product to use another communication channel, like the phone. Which assisted in providing a seamless taxpayer experience.

IRS Direct File Program User Feedback Was Good

Data was collected and analyzed by the IRS since the pilot began. An agency report on the pilot’s scope, technology, taxpayer experience, customer support, integration with states and costs will be released in the coming days. As Direct File proceeds, the report will highlight both the pilot’s strengths and areas for improvement.

According to a survey of more than 11,000 Direct File users, 90% said they had an “Excellent” or “Above Average” experience with the service.

Most respondents said they liked Direct File because it was free, easy to use, and trustworthy.

The following states participated in the program:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington state
  • Wyoming

No decision has been made about the future of Direct File at this time.


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