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13 states join the IRS direct-file test after tax prep firms dropped the ball

The IRS headquarters on April 27th, 2020. | Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

An Internal Revenue Service pilot might just eventually bring US citizens a free direct-file alternative to commercial options like TurboTax and H&R Block. Yesterday, the agency announced that 13 states are joining its pilot program for the 2024 filing season, four of which will also be able to integrate their state taxes into the pilot.

Since 2001, a partnership between companies like TurboTax maker Intuit and the IRS called the Free File Alliance has given consumers a free alternative to paying for tax preparation. However, it turned out that when you try to get companies to offer an alternative to giving you money, they will do their best to hide that option. When the IRS updated the agreement to forbid companies from doing that — and…

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