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IRS Announces a Pilot Program for a Direct File System for Filing 2023 Returns

By David Donnelly, CPA-Houston


On May 16, 2023, the IRS announced a pilot program for a limited scope Direct File system for 2023 returns to be used in the 2024 filing season. In this program, taxpayers would be able to use a web-based self-preparation tool provided by the IRS. Similar systems are used in many countries around the world. In the announcement, IRS Commissioner Werfel stated that the pilot program will not include the IRS pre-populating any taxpayer information.


The cost of the program to the IRS is estimated to be about $10 per return, which compares favorably to the current cost of about $40 per return to the IRS for other efiled returns. 


The cost to the taxpayer would be free; this program would compete with the existing Free File programs.


Publication 5788 (5-2023) (

IRS submits Direct File report to Congress; Treasury Department directs pilot to evaluate key issues | Internal Revenue Service


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