May 16,2023

Wyden Statement on IRS Direct Free File Study

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement on the release of the feasibility study showing broad support among Americans for the IRS setting up a system that would allow taxpayers to file returns directly to the IRS online for free:

“Between tricking Americans into accepting unnecessary charges and lobbying relentlessly against reforms that would simplify tax filing, the big tax software companies are some of the world’s most sophisticated pickpockets.

“This study confirms that the overwhelming majority of Americans want the IRS to provide a free voluntary option to file their taxes directly online. This won’t come as a surprise to anybody who’s talked to Americans about their frustrations during filing season or read about the shady practices of the online tax prep industry. That’s why I proposed including a free file option when I introduced bipartisan tax reform legislation more than a decade ago.

“In recent months, there’s been a new effort to quash any progress on direct free file by convincing lawmakers that Congress needs to pass legislation specifically giving the IRS authority to move ahead with it. This is dead wrong. The IRS already has all the legal authority it needs, and anybody who says otherwise is doing the bidding of the tax software lobby.

“All Americans deserve a free and easy option that allows them to file their taxes directly online with the IRS, and I’m elated that the Inflation Reduction Act kicked off the effort that will finally make that a reality. The IRS has begun work on a prototype system, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of their work.”