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Lawmakers Push to Make IRS Direct File Program Permanent After Successful Pilot

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U.S. Senator Bob Casey, along with over 130 congressional colleagues, has endorsed the IRS’s Direct File program through a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel. The program, piloted in 12 states during the 2024 tax season, enabled free, direct tax filings to the IRS, claiming over $90 million in tax refunds and saving $5.6 million in filing fees.

The Biden administration initiated the Direct File pilot in 2024 to provide a modern, online tax filing option, previously unavailable. Surveys from the pilot indicate high user satisfaction, with 90% of 11,000 respondents rating their experience as “Excellent” or “Above Average” and a similar approval for customer service.

Senator Casey has advocated for the IRS to simplify tax filing processes and supported the Direct File program through the Inflation Reduction Act, which also funded improvements in IRS customer services. The program has been well-received, with individual users reporting significant savings in time and money, contrasting the prior average cost of $150 and nine hours spent on tax filings annually.

The letter calls for making Direct File a permanent feature, suggesting expansions like additional income types, more integrated state systems, flexible identity verifications, and enhanced tax benefits accessibility. The potential extension aims to increase efficiency, reach, and taxpayer benefits, capitalizing on the successful pilot’s momentum.

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Vincel B. Flasher 1950-2024

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