Direct File: How Parent and Family Engagement in Design Can Improve Access to Refundable Credits

This tax filing season, some people can file their taxes for free, directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as part of a pilot program to provide taxpayers a free, high quality alternative to paid tax preparation businesses. This type of simplified, easy-to-use tax filing tool is crucial for families to be able to access and keep the refunds and tax credits they are owed. The IRS, with the support of partners like the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), has been ensuring that families who are most impacted by barriers to tax filing, such as the complexity and costs, have been delivering feedback throughout the design and development process of this new Direct File program. This process of parent and family engagement can provide a model for creating programs that are responsive to families’ needs, which is critical to advancing economic and racial equity in our public systems.

This piece originally appeared on our Medium channel; read the full story there or download a shareable PDF of the post here.