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In a groundbreaking move aimed at simplifying tax season for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners, the IRS has unveiled the Direct File program. This innovative online tool promises a hassle-free and cost-effective solution for filing federal income taxes directly with the IRS. After extensive testing, the program launched recently, and eligible taxpayers in 12 selected states now have access to this game-changing resource.

Direct File represents a significant milestone in tax administration. It marks the first time taxpayers can electronically file their returns directly with the IRS, free of charge. According to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, the program’s simplicity and accessibility are unparalleled. Werfel emphasized that taxpayers with straightforward tax situations, including those with simple W-2s and standard deductions, benefit most from Direct File.

The program’s eligibility criteria are clear-cut. Taxpayers reporting income from Social Security, railroad retirement, wages, unemployment compensation, or interest income of $1,500 or less can utilize Direct File. Additionally, individuals claiming credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit or deductions such as the Standard deduction can use this user-friendly tool.

Direct File operates on a step-by-step checklist approach, seamlessly guiding users through their tax returns. The tool incorporates interactive icons to address common queries and offers live assistance from IRS representatives if required. Once the filing process is complete, taxpayers receive a comprehensive summary of their taxes and confirmation emails from the IRS.

One of the program’s key features is its accessibility and convenience. Direct File does not necessitate any software installation and is fully compatible with mobile devices, enabling users to file their taxes effortlessly from their smartphones or tablets. Moreover, identity verification is streamlined through the user-friendly tool, ensuring a secure and efficient process.

The program’s impact extends beyond its operational efficiency. Direct File aims to empower self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners by alleviating the financial burden associated with tax preparation. By eliminating the need for costly commercial tax preparation software, Direct File puts money back into the pockets of hardworking Americans.

Tax filing deadlines are fast approaching, and taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of Direct File’s benefits. Filing using Direct File commenced at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, offering a timely solution for individuals striving to meet the April 15 deadline. As the IRS anticipates a record number of individual tax returns this year, the availability of Direct File presents an invaluable opportunity for taxpayers to navigate tax season with ease and efficiency.

Source (nbcchicago News).