Mar 19, 2024 - News

Millions of Texans can file taxes directly, and for free

A sign post with different markers for aspects of the tax filing form

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

About 3.8 million Texans are eligible to use a new Internal Revenue Service tool to file their 2023 federal taxes for free.

Why it matters: Texas is one of 12 states participating in the IRS Direct File pilot, which could reshape how millions of Americans do their taxes and disrupt the multibillion-dollar tax preparation industry, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.

The big picture: April 15 is the filing deadline for most taxpayers to file their federal returns, pay any taxes owed or request an extension.

How it works: Users can check their eligibility using the Direct File website and, if they're eligible, enter their income information to file their federal taxes.

  • The tool comes with customer support, a checklist for completing the steps and tutorials in English and Spanish.
  • Users can review the information they've entered and see how much they owe before filing the return.

Yes, but: Eligibility depends on your type of income and tax credits. You also can't itemize deductions.

  • And, the tool only does federal filings — not state ones. Texas doesn't have a state income tax, but people who conduct business where there's a state income tax have to file returns there.

What's next: The IRS says it issues most refunds within 21 days but taxpayers shouldn't depend on receiving a payment by a certain date because of delays.

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