You can try the IRS alternative to Turbo Tax in 12 states today

Estimated read time 2 min read

April is just around the corner, so if you’re not stressed about filing taxes yet, it’s likely coming any day now. Thanks to the lovely (read: horrible) tax lobby and the politicians who take their money, the headache taxes bring is as American as apple pie. The IRS is attempting to simplify things a bit with a Direct File tool, a free digital program that provides step-by-step guidance for taxpayers submitting their returns, The Associated Press reports. The IRS first announced this tool was on its way back in October.

To clarify, yes, even this development still requires filing your taxes and determining how much you owe (why tell us when we can just guess?), but it should be a more straightforward process and save you some money. However, it’s far from open for all. The IRS pilot program is available to residents of 12 states and only those with a simple tax situation — we’re talking basic W-2s and standard deductions here. Other potentially eligible reporting includes SSA-1099 Social Security income, the Child Tax Credit and student loan interest. The IRS has a complete list of eligibility requirements and a tool to check if you qualify.

Direct File is available to residents of Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Washington, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and New York. The last four also require state tax returns, so their residents who use Direct File will be directed to tools for filing those once they are finished. Alaska was initially in the mix but has seemingly been dropped since last year’s statement.