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Senator Heinrich Supports Direct File Tax Returns

An IRS office (Internal Revenue Service).
An IRS office (Internal Revenue Service).

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Elizabeth Warren of Masseschusets and over 130 lawmakers sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel, applauding the successful pilot of the Direct File program, and urging them to make it permanent and expand its functionality and scope.

The letter follows the conclusion of the 2024 tax season and implementation of the IRS Direct File program in 12 pilot states which allowed taxpayers to file their returns for free, directly with the IRS.

The lawmakers wrote, “Taxpayers want and deserve a free and easy filing option, and thanks to this year’s pilot, taxpayers used Direct File to claim over $90 million in tax refunds and save $5.6 million in estimated filing fees. We applaud your leadership and Direct File’s incredible success this year, and we call on you to make Direct File a permanent program, expanding it and improving it further next year and in the years to come.”

The Biden administration announced in May of last year that they would be launching a Direct File pilot program in 2024. This past tax season, over 140,000 taxpayers used the tool across 12 pilot states, saving taxpayers in refunds and preparation fees on their federal returns. A survey of 11,000 users found that 90 percent ranked their experience with Direct File as “Excellent” or “Above Average,” and 90 percent of survey respondents who used customer service similarly found the experience “Excellent” or “Above Average.”

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.