Call the IRS

As taxpayers, the need to contact the Internal Revenue Service can arise for several reasons. Whether it’s to ask a question about filing taxes, to dispute a discrepancy, or to make a payment, it’s crucial to know how to call the IRS customer service in a professional and timely manner.

Why can’t you reach a real person when you call the IRS? Each year, it is estimated that their customer service receives over 95 million telephone calls on its toll-free lines. Although answers to taxpayers’ questions can be found on the website, they are unwilling or unable to use these resources. They believe if they know the right number to call and know how to talk to someone at the IRS will provide them with more accurate answers than looking online. It’s important to note that the IRS representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m to 7 p.m local time unless otherwise noted. In the fiscal year 2018, only four out of ten taxpayers trying to reach an IRS live person succeeded. Let’s explore the best ways to contact Uncle Sam and some tips on navigating the process.

Best time to call IRS

The best time to call the IRS is during the early morning hours. IRS customer service hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in your local time zone, Monday through Friday, with the exception of residents in Hawaii and Alaska, who should use Pacific time as their reference. The main IRS phone number is 800-829-1040, this is also the number you can use to call the IRS to check the status of your refund. For business tax account, you can call 800-829-4333.

Prepare before you call the IRS hotline

Before you contact the IRS, make sure you have all the required personal information.

  • The IRS phone number related to your need.
  • Social Security numbers and birthdates for any dependents you claimed on your income tax return.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if you don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
  • Prior-year tax return. The IRS agent may need to verify your identity before answering certain tax law questions
  • A copy of the tax return you’re calling about
  • Any letters or notices you received
Call the IRS customer service

One benefit of calling the hotline is that you can reach a real person at the IRS who can provide assistance to your tax problem.

If you plan to call the IRS about your tax refund status, the agency indicates that its phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your tax refund 21 days after you filed electronically; 6 weeks after you mailed your paper return; or you can call the IRS if Where’s My Refund directs you to contact the office.

How to speak to a live person at the IRS?

Trying to speak to a live person at the IRS can be a frustrating process, especially during the busy tax season. Fortunately, we’ve crafted a streamlined 10-step guide to help you swiftly connect with a live IRS agent in under two minutes, ensuring prompt assistance for your tax inquiries.

After you call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-0922 number, follow these steps:

Step 1 – The first question the automated system will ask you is to choose your language – Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish.

Step 2 – Once you’ve set your language, do NOT choose Option 1 (regarding tax refund info).

Step 3 – Choose option 2 for “Personal Income Tax” instead.

Step 4 – Press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment”.

Step 5 – Press 3 “for all other questions.”

Step 6 – Press 2 “for all other questions.”

Step 7 – When the system asks you to enter your SSN or EIN to access your account information, do NOT enter anything.

Step 8 – After it asks twice, you will be prompted with another menu.

Step 9 – Press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.

Step 10 – Finally, press 4 for all other inquiries. The system should then transfer you to a live IRS agent who can help with your tax questions.

For many, trying to reach a live person for IRS taxpayer assistance can be a frustrating process. Fortunately, the steps above, the right phone number, and some planning can get you to quickly talk to someone.

IRS customer service number live person

IRS Live person

Before you try to call the IRS, identify the tax issue you need the IRS help with to make the process easy. In addition to the main phone number: 800-829-1040, there are other numbers you can call for tax help. Here’s a list of other IRS phone numbers and service hours to try so you can reach an IRS live person faster. They are available Monday to Friday: 7 am – 7 pm Local time except when noted.

  • For tax assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 1-800-829-4059
  • IRS contact number for individuals: 1 (800) 829-1040
  • IRS telephone number for businesses: 1 (800) 829-4333
  • IRS contact number for victims of identity theft: 1 (800) 908-4490
  • National Taxpayer Advocate Service: 1 (877) 777-4778
  • Exempt Organizations, Retirement Plan Administrators, and Government Entities: 1 (877) 829-5500
  • IRS help line for International Services: 1 (267) 941-1000
    • Monday – Friday: 6 am – 11 pm Eastern time

Contact the local IRS office

If you call the IRS and still can’t reach a live agent by trying the federal IRS phone number to answer your tax questions, it’s time to think about other alternatives. One of the other alternatives is to use the IRS office near me tool to find a local IRS office next to your home. The local Taxpayer Assistance Center is a great resource to  help you navigate complex tax issues. The local offices operate by appointment only, schedule an appointment by calling the number for that local IRS office or visit the IRS website: Appointment hours vary by specific tax issues and office locations.

When you receive a notice and need to call the IRS for assistance, look no further than the top right-hand corner of the notice or letter. Pay close attention, as this section contains vital information – a direct IRS phone number to the specific department responsible for sending you the notice. Reading it diligently ensures you’ll connect with the right IRS department promptly. Cannot find that information, don’t hesitate to contact a tax professional at H&S Accounting & Tax Services for assistance – we are known to be IRS problem solvers. You can also call the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS. Find a Local Taxpayer Advocate Service in your area, they can also help with IRS refunds.