Press Release

New Survey Reveals IRS Direct File Made Filing Taxes Simpler, Cheaper, and Faster

04. 25. 2024

National Survey by David Binder Research for Economic Security Project Finds 82% of Users Would Recommend Direct File Tool

NEW YORK—A new survey commissioned by Economic Security Project found that taxpayers who used the IRS Direct File program, an innovative service allowing eligible taxpayers in 12 pilot states to prepare and file their tax returns for free online, reported high levels of satisfaction, cost savings, and increased efficiency compared to other tax filing methods.

David Binder Research surveyed 4,261 people nationwide on their experience filing taxes in 2024, including 440 who used Direct File in the 12 Direct File pilot states. The results show a strong majority of users think Direct File is a valuable tool. Specifically, Direct Filers recommend it, and prefer it to other ways of filing taxes:

  • 74% of Direct File users prefer Direct File to other methods of filing taxes;
  • 82% of Direct File users rated it 8-10 on likelihood they would recommend it to others.

Compared to individuals who filed using other methods such as professional tax preparers, paid software, or self-preparation, the research finds that Direct Filers are much more likely to say the process is simpler, cheaper, and faster:

  • 61% of users reported that tax filing this year was more straightforward than last year when Direct File was not available (vs. 25% among those who used other filing methods saying the same);
  • 44% of Direct File users said tax filing was less expensive than last year (vs. 10% among others);
  • Over a third (36% vs. 13% among others) said that tax filing took less time than last year, with more than 60% of Direct File users being able to file in under an hour. 

“The two essential things the IRS needed to do to make this year’s pilot a success were to build a stable tool that worked and to make sure that users liked it and found it easy to use. This survey shows that Direct File users loved this free and simplified tax filing option and found it simpler, cheaper, and faster,” said Adam Ruben, Vice President of Campaigns and Political Strategy at Economic Security Project. “That makes this year a big win and a strong foundation for expanding Direct File next year to more states, more tax situations, and with the IRS filling in more of the data it already has.”

The IRS Direct File program was launched this year as a pilot in 12 states, with plans for potential expansion in the future. The service aims to streamline the tax filing process and alleviate the financial burden on taxpayers by providing an optional alternative to paid tax preparation services or software.

See the survey summary and analysis at