The IRS is making its free Turbo Tax alternative permanent

The Treasury reports the Direct File pilot program was a success this past tax season.

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The United States notoriously makes tax filing stressful and expensive thanks to greed, the tax lobby and the idea that basically nothing should be free (fun stuff!). However, there's a little glimmer of hope, as the IRS is making Direct File, its free digital tool announced in late 2023, permanent. According to the US Department of the Treasury, a Direct File pilot program saved 140,000 individuals an estimated $5.6 million in filing costs for the 2024 tax session.

Not only is the program here to stay (with the current government, at least), but its access is expanding. Taxpayers in 12 states could use Direct File this year, but the tool will be available in all 50 states and Washington DC starting with the 2025 filing season. The Treasury reports that Direct File users approved of the tool, with 90 percent of the 11,000 taxpayers surveyed rating the system "excellent" or "above average."

Right now, the free TurboTax alternative only works for taxpayers with simple filings like a W-2 or standard deduction. However, the Treasury plans to "expand the reach and tax scope" it offers in the coming years. Despite this expansion, it will be up to states whether they want to participate in the program.