The Internal Revenue Service is rolling out its free electronic tax-filing system in 12 states, including New York, ahead of the 2023 tax-filing season.
According to the agency, the in-house filing system will first be available in 12 states as it undergoes final testing before expanding it nationwide at a later date.
“As our transformation efforts take hold, taxpayers will continue to see marked improvement in IRS operations in the upcoming filing season,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “IRS employees are working hard to make sure that new funding is used to help taxpayers by making the process of preparing and filing taxes easier.”
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For now, Direct File will only accept federal tax returns, but the IRS will redirect taxpayers to submit their state’s supported tool (if any) if they wish to file a state return.
The new filing tool is different from the IRS existing Free File program, which allows taxpayers whose income is less than $79,000 to file their taxes for free through participating brand name software. Direct File is open to everyone regardless of income.
Ahead of the launch of the 2023 tax season on Monday, Jan. 29, here’s everything you need to know about Direct File.
What are the requirements for Direct File?
If you report any of these items on your tax return, the IRS says you are able to use their free filing tool:
How does Direct File work?
The agency said Direct File will have a step-by-step checklist approach to filing that will allow taxpayers to go through their returns smoothly.
The tool will also have interactive icons on each screen to help answer common questions, but it will also offer live assistance directly from an IRS Direct File customer service representative if needed.
Once the filing is done, Direct File will show taxpayers a summary of their 2023 federal taxes before sending an email confirmation of the submission, and another email when the IRS accepts your return for processing.
The IRS will then ask users if they want to file state tax returns and redirect them to a state-sponsored tool if any. For New York users will be redirected to the state’s New York State Free File tool.
Direct File does not require any software installation or purchase. It’s also mobile-friendly, so users will be able to file their tax returns on a phone or tablet as well as through a computer.
The tool is available in English and Spanish.
How does New York State Free File work?
Taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $79,000 or less in 2023 are eligible to use New York’s free state tax filing tool.
To use the tool, Free File requires you to have:
- An active email account (enables you to keep track of the status of your return).
- A copy of last year’s tax return or your prior-year federal adjusted gross income.
- A driver’s license or state-issued nondriver ID (for you and your spouse, if filing jointly).
- Birth dates and Social Security numbers (for you, your spouse, and your dependents).
- Proof of income and tax withheld suck as IRS forms W-2, 1098, 1099.
- Your tax account balance
- Forms 1095-A, B, or C, Affordable Healthcare Statement.
- Information related to any income tax credits you’re claiming.
- Your banking account number and routing number.
- NY529 College Saving Account information (if requesting a refund to be distributed).
How can I use Direct File?
To use Direct File, eligible taxpayers will need to create an IRS account and verify their identity via the ID.me tool.
To verify your identity, the IRS will ask you to provide a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or passport card as well as to take a photo of yourself using a smartphone or upload an image of your selected document.
Taxpayers may choose to verify their identity via live chat to bypass automated biometric collection.
When can you start filing tax returns?
The IRS announced it will officially begin accepting and processing 2023 tax returns on Monday, Jan. 29.
When is the tax filing deadline this year?
The federal deadline for filing 2023 tax returns is April 15 for most filers. However, deadlines vary for state tax returns.
The IRS expects more than 128.7 million people to file individual tax returns this year.