Tax season can be a headache for many Americans, but here's good news for New Yorkers! The Direct File pilot program is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and 2,659,000 New Yorkers will be able to file their taxes for free directly with the IRS.

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Doing taxes can take a ton of time and money. Did you know that Americans spend around 1.7 billion hours and $31 billion annually on filing their taxes? The Direct File pilot program which launched for the 2024 tax filing season will offer a free and easy digital tax filing service to taxpayers across 12 states, including New York.

The Direct File program doesn’t replace all tax filing options but it’s a nice option for New Yorkers. Anyone who wants to use a private company or personal accountant still can but if you want to use Direct File, you can save around 13 hours and $250 every tax season.

Direct File Program Helps File Your Taxes For Free

Direct File is good for people who think filing taxes is hard and expensive. Around 1 in 5 families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit miss out because of the frustrating tax system. By giving people the chance to file for free, the Direct File pilot can help people who need the help under the current system.

The Direct File pilot program covers different types of income, including W-2 forms, unemployment benefits, and interest up to $1,500. It also includes certain tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for Other Dependents.

Some deductions, like the standard deduction, student loan interest deduction, and educator expenses subtraction, will be eligible for Direct File. The Direct File program is designed to help low and moderate-income families.

Direct File Program Available in Many Languages

It's available in English and Spanish, and you can ask for other languages if needed. People with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) will be able to use the tool, not just those with Social Security Numbers (SSN).

The pilot program will have limited functionality this year, but there is hope that it'll expand and cover more people in the future. In fact, polling from Hart Research shows that 88% of Americans support the Direct File pilot program, and over 75% of respondents would likely try the free file tool.

The Direct File pilot program wants to make tax filing easier and accessible for New Yorkers. By providing a free and user-friendly digital tax filing service, this can and will save families time and money.

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Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster