In 2024, the IRS launched Direct File, a historic new tool that allowed eligible taxpayers to file their federal returns for free. In collaboration with the states of Arizona and New York, Code for America launched FileYourStateTaxes, a companion filing tool that allowed Direct File taxpayers in those states to easily file their state returns, too.

With FileYourStateTaxes, Code for America demonstrated the promise and potential of state tax filing integrated with Direct File, proving that taxpayers can file both returns in one seamless experience. Evidence of the program’s success is available in our FileYourStateTaxes season-end report. We hope our model will inspire states around the country to join this powerful project.

How it worked

During the 2024 tax filing season, eligible taxpayers were able to file their federal returns with Direct File. The mobile-friendly and bilingual tool provided live chat support and walked taxpayers through the steps of filing a tax return, like many other software options.

Upon completing the federal return on the IRS website, taxpayers in Arizona and New York were able to export their data from Direct File to FileYourStateTaxes. The state filing tool then asked a few more questions specific to state situations and filed the state tax return. Because most state tax return information is on the federal return, it generally took no more than a few minutes for taxpayers to use FileYourStateTaxes. In fact, from the time of data transfer, 88% of filers completed and submitted their state return within 15 minutes.

The following brief demo videos offer walkthroughs of the process of filing a state return via FileYourStateTaxes:

Highlights from the 2024 pilot

In Arizona and New York—the two states in which Direct File users were able to complete and submit a state tax return using FileYourStateTaxes—this pilot’s state tax filing approach was an incredible success. As we share in our FileYourStateTaxes season-end report:

  • In our follow-up survey, 96% of taxpayers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with FileYourStateTaxes. Reflecting on the federal-state data transfer, the most unique aspect of Direct File integrated state filing, 95% thought the transfer was “seamless and quick.” 
  • 90% of Arizona and New York taxpayers who filed a federal Direct File return went on to complete their state return with FileYourStateTaxes. We expect this high conversion rate to increase with additional user experience improvements in future years. Among those who transferred Direct File data, 98% completed FileYourStateTaxes. 
  • Most taxpayers finished FileYourStateTaxes very quickly. From the time of data transfer, 88% of filers completed and submitted their state return within 15 minutes. 
  • While our research focused on state filing, taxpayers also told us they loved Direct File. Nine out of 10 would recommend Direct File and FileYourStateTaxes to their friends and family, with a Net Promoter Score of 83.

What’s next for FileYourStateTaxes?

We believe in the Direct File project to provide free, easy tax filing to every American. Expanding Direct File in future years means supporting state filing in more states. Code for America hopes to share the lessons from 2024 with any state looking to join Direct File, and is exploring the possibility of offering FileYourStateTaxes in partnership with additional states in future years.

Are you a government leader who’s interested in bringing free, easy tax filing to your state?

Let’s work together to deliver state filing to your residents.