How to get through to IRS customer service

How to get through to IRS customer service. How to reach the IRS with questions about your taxes. How to speak directly to an IRS agent. The main IRS phone number is 800-829-1040, but these other IRS phone numbers could also get you the help you need.

The IRS indicates that “our phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund 21 days after you filed electronically; 6 weeks after you mailed your paper return; or if ‘Where’s My Refund?’ directs you to contact us.” Here’s how to get through to IRS an agent.

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 during their support hours
    of 7 AM to 7 PM local time Monday to Friday.
  • Select your language, pressing 1 for English or 2 for Spanish.
  • Press 2 for questions about your personal income taxes.
  • Press 1 for questions about a form already filed or a payment.
  • Press 3 for all other questions.
  • Press 2 for all other questions.
  • Make no entry when queried for the SSN.
  • Press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.
  • Press 4 for all other questions.

How to contact IRS customer service directly via phone

The main IRS phone number is 800-829-1040, but that’s not the only IRS number you can call for help or speak to a live person. Here’s a list of other IRS phone numbers to try so you can reach the people you need.

You’re welcome to call the main IRS number (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time), but one of these lesser-known IRS phone numbers might get you to help faster.

IRS TOPICSIRS PHONE NUMBER
Missing child tax credit payments800-908-4184
Stimulus check the wrong amount or never received800-919-9835
Self-employed taxpayers with account or tax law questions800-829-4933
Identity and refund theft victims; get a new IP PIN800-908-4490
Disaster victims866-562-5227
Overseas taxpayers267-941-1000
Balance due questions800-829-0922; 800-829-7650; 800-829-3903
Estate and gift tax questions866-699-4083
Excise tax questions866-699-4096
Report phishing and other scams; see if an IRS agent’s name and badge number are legit800-366-4484
Check the status of a tax refund800-829-1954
Check the status of a tax refund being held866-897-3315
Check the status of an amended tax return866-464-2050
Order a tax transcript800-908-9946
Make a payment using Electronic Federal Tax Payment SystemEnglish: 800-555-4477
Spanish: 800-244-4829
Report incorrect income on a substitute return866-681-4271
Verify, payoff, or resolve a tax lien800-913-6050
See if bankruptcy changed your tax debt800-973-0424
Innocent spouse relief866-681-4271
See which debts will offset your tax refund800-304-3107 (866-297-0517 TTY/TDD)
Lost ITIN documents800-908-9982
Status of application for Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number737-800-5511
Taxpayer Advocate Service877-777-4778
International Taxpayer AdvocateEnglish: 787-522-8601
Spanish: 787-522-8600
Tax assistance for the hard of hearing (TTY/TDD)800-829-4059
Schedule an appointment with a local IRS office844-545-5640
Whistleblower hotline800-829-0433
Ask IRS to mail you paper tax forms800-829-3676
Find a free tax clinic near you800-906-9887; 888-227-7669

How to contact the IRS for inquiries

What’s a taxpayer to do if you have questions and the information in your online account doesn’t solve the mystery? What if the IRS sends you a billing notice for something you already paid?

Your first step should be to check your online account at IRS.gov. This free account is free to set up and allows you to view information about your balances, prior tax records, payments, and economic impact payments (better known as stimulus checks).

If your online account doesn’t have the information you need, Bell offers a few tips for maintaining your cool as you navigate IRS systems during this incredibly trying time.

1. Use The Where’s My Refund Tool—but Understand its Limitations

The IRS encourages taxpayers to use the Where’s My Refund tool to check the status of their tax returns instead of calling the agency. The tool displays your refund status for the most recent tax year the IRS has on file with one of three status notes: refund received, refund approved, or refund sent. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the expected refund amount to access this information.

But the Taxpayer Advocate Service notes limitations to the tool: It doesn’t explain why your refund is delayed, where the return is in the filing process, or steps you need to take to address the delay.

“It just reflects that the return has been received, that the refund was approved, or that the refund was sent,” the office’s 2021 report to Congress, written by Collins, explained. “For millions of taxpayers, that meant many months without any status updates, and some are still waiting for their refunds.”

Customer service representatives often lack additional information that can put a taxpayer at ease, the report said. “Particularly for taxpayers who need their refunds to pay for current living expenses, the absence of information can cause deep concern and sometimes panic, leading to more telephone calls that are just as unproductive.”

2. Keep Calling and Stay Prepared

The process of calling the IRS can be daunting. You may work your way through automated systems only to be stuck on hold for hours, taking time out of your day.

But Bell says you may need to call often to reach a representative. He recommends calling early in the morning or just before the IRS phone lines (which are open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) close for your time zone. You may be able to avoid crowds on the phone lines by calling first thing in the morning or as the day winds down.

But whenever you call, Bell says to be prepared so you can get the help you need when you do reach an IRS agent.

“Citizens may think that once they reach the IRS, they’ve got a live person, that the agent knows about their particular case.” But Bell warns they don’t have that info in front of them instantly, so it’s important to have all your information ready to answer the agent’s questions. Have a copy of your most recent return, your previous year’s return, and any notices from the IRS handy.

In many cases, you’ll need to reference information on your previous year’s taxes to verify your identity during your conversation, such as your adjusted gross income. If your most recent tax return is still processing, and you don’t have your old return nearby, you’ll have wasted your time on hold because the agent won’t be able to help you, Bell warns.

3. Lean on Your Tax Professional

If you worked with an enrolled agent or accountant to file your taxes, contact them to get further insight into your issue with the IRS. They may not be able to speed up delays in the IRS system, but they can help you decipher notices from the agency and call on your behalf if further information is needed.

If you haven’t worked with a tax professional before and want extra help figuring out your situation, you might consider contacting one in your area. Expect to pay a fee for their services if you’re a new client, as the accountant or tax preparer will need time to get familiar with your situation before calling (and waiting on hold) on your behalf.

4. Contact Your Local IRS Office

Local IRS taxpayer assistance centers can help you with account problems, allow you to make payments or adjustments, and look into issues with your stimulus payments.

Search for your nearest IRS office and use the phone number specified to make an appointment.

If you live very close to an office, Bell says you can also walk in to request an appointment for the future. If you take this route, he recommends taking your documents with you, just in case there’s an immediate opening.

IRS taxpayer assistance centers are open Monday through Friday, and some are closed for a brief period during the workday for lunch.

5. Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service

If you’ve exhausted the first three methods, it may be time to exercise your last resort: The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). It’s an independent office within the IRS that works to protect taxpayers, and it’s free to use. Since 2011, the TAS has handled more than 2 million taxpayer cases.

Every state has at least one TAS office. If you haven’t been able to reach anyone at the IRS or haven’t received a response in the time frame you were promised, the TAS may be able to help you; if your problem is causing a financial struggle while you wait for a resolution, you may also qualify for help.

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