Free Tax Filing on Providers

3 min readJan 23, 2023

We are very excited to announce the launch of Providers Tax — a completely free state and federal tax filing tool in the Providers app. Providers users in all 50 states can choose to file their taxes on their mobile phones.

Understanding the need

While Propel is not a tax preparer, we see a critical need to connect our users to high quality, no-cost tax filing services. Households who use the Providers app stand to benefit greatly from filing taxes. In past years, filers received on average 30% to 50% of their household’s annual income through the process. And yet, only 55% of Providers users report filing their 2021 tax return. Through our user research, we found that tax filing is widely seen as stressful and complicated. Many fear they might negatively affect their other public benefits or be penalized for getting something wrong. Moreover, the process can be time-consuming and costly. And finally, it’s hard to know who to trust, with so many options available.

In prior tax seasons, Propel directed users to free tax filing services provided by partner organizations like VITA, GetYourRefund, United Way Worldwide and others. When simplified tax filing became an option in 2020, we partnered with Code for America to help connect Providers users to resources like getCTC in order to receive federal tax credits and stimulus payments. We reached 3.4 million people, and saw over 52k users submit a return through Code for America’s getCTC tool.

Unfortunately, simplified tax filing is no longer an option this year. And with the expiration of the federal Expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), low-income households may be less likely to file taxes than ever — and therefore miss out on other meaningful refundable tax credits.

Adding another high-quality option

Low-income households stand to gain the most from filing taxes. Since these households are core to Propel’s mission, we saw an important opportunity to serve our users in new ways. So this year, we are offering a convenient, reliable and easy-to-use tax filing tool directly in the Providers app*. Our hope is to make tax filing simple, accessible and zero cost for the people it would most benefit. As in previous years, we will continue to link to other free filing resources, to allow our users to choose the tax filing experience that best supports their needs. We vet all services to ensure any service a filer connects with through Providers is no cost and meets quality standards.

What’s unique about tax filing with Providers

Our tax tool is built with the unique needs of our users in mind:

  • Supports a variety of income types — including gigs, full-time jobs, and public benefits
  • Takes as little as 10 minutes to file from a mobile phone
  • Helps users claim all available credits at the state and federal levels, to ensure they get their maximum refund
  • Allows users to get their refund up to 5 days early
  • Completely free!

*Note: Anyone with a Providers Card can use our free tax filing tool. We partner with an FDIC-insured bank to offer this debit card — with no monthly fees or overdraft fees — to anyone with a connected EBT account.




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