CFO Jimmy Patronis calls for elimination of IRS Direct File pilot

by | Mar 22, 2024

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is advocating for the discontinuation of the IRS’s Direct File program, currently in a pilot phase in Florida among other states, criticizing it as unnecessary and a potential source of confusion.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is calling for an end to Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Direct File program, which is presently being piloted in 12 states, including Florida.

The program, launched ahead of the 2024 tax season, enables eligible taxpayers in Florida to file their federal tax returns online directly with the IRS for free. Aimed at simplifying the tax filing process, the program offers step-by-step guidance and online support from IRS customer service representatives. Eligibility for participation hinges upon meeting certain income, credits, and deduction criteria.

Patronis is calling foul, however, contending that the program is unneeded due to third-party platforms and a track record of poor customer support.

“The new IRS Direct File program is a multi-billion dollar solution in search of a problem. The IRS isn’t known for great customer service and this will only cause more confusion for American taxpayers. Moreover, there are already many options available to consumers to prepare their taxes free of charge without the federal government looking over your shoulder. IRS Direct File is dead on arrival and it should be eliminated following the pilot program.”

Patronis has been particularly strong-handed with the IRS over the past two years, unveiling a four-pronged plan in February 2023 that he said was designed to “protect Floridians from government overreach” and “keep the IRS in check.” Moreover, last July, the State of Florida announced the launch of the Florida IRS Transparency Portal, an online platform aimed at identifying and addressing allegations of discrimination by IRS agents.

The portal allows individuals, private businesses, and non-profit organizations to report instances of discrimination and provide evidence to identify patterns of targeting based on political causes, practices, or beliefs. By collecting data, Patronis stated that Florida officials intend to gain insights into IRS activity, potentially facilitating the development of legislation to protect businesses in the state.


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