Call the IRS

As taxpayers, the need to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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 the IRS customer service receives over 95 million telephone calls on its toll-free lines. Although answers to taxpayers’ questions can be found on the IRS website, they are unwilling or unable to use these resources. They believe if they know the IRS 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 am to 7 pm 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 the IRS and some tips on navigating the process.

Best time to call the IRS

The main IRS phone number to talk to a live person is 1-800-829-1040, and the IRS customer service hours are from 7 am to 7 pm local time Monday through Friday. This is also the IRS phone number for refund information.

The best time to call is early in the morning.

Prepare before you call the IRS hotline

Before you call the Internal Revenue Service, make sure you have all the required personal information.

  • The IRS phone number related to your need.
  • Social Security numbers and date of birth for any dependents you claimed on your 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 questions
  • A copy of the tax return you’re calling about
  • Any letters or notices you received

One benefit of calling the IRS hotline is that you can reach a real person who can provide assistance.

If you plan to call about your tax refund status, the IRS 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 if Where’s My Refund directs you to contact the office”

Call the IRS customer service

How to reach a real person at the IRS?

Trying to speak to a live person at the IRS can be a frustrating process, especially during tax season. Fortunately, we put together a simple 10 steps process that shows you how to talk to a live IRS representative in approximately five minutes or less.

After you dial the 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 at IRS customer service can be a frustrating process. Fortunately, the steps above, the right IRS phone number, and some planning can get you to talk to someone at the IRS very quickly.

IRS phone numbers to Contact the IRS

How to get through to IRS customer service? 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 IRS phone number 800-829-1040, there are other IRS phone numbers you can call for IRS help or speak to IRS customer service. Here’s a list of other IRS phone numbers and service hours to try so you can reach an IRS live person faster.

  • For tax assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 1-800-829-4059
  • IRS contact number for individuals: 1 (800) 829-1040
    • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 7 pm Local time
  • IRS telephone number for businesses: 1 (800) 829-4333
    • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 7 pm Local time
  • IRS contact number for victims of identity theft: 1 (800) 908-4490
    • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 7 pm Local time
  • National Taxpayer Advocate Service: 1 (877) 777-4778
    • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 7 pm Local time
  • Exempt Organizations, Retirement Plan Administrators, and Government Entities: 1 (877) 829-5500
    • Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm Local time
  • IRS help line for International Services: 1 (267) 941-1000
    • Monday – Friday: 6 am – 11 pm Eastern time
IRS Live person

Get help at a local IRS office

If you still can’t reach a real person 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 Taxpayer Assistance Center is a great resource if you need help with your taxes. The local offices operate by appointment only, make yours by calling the number for that local IRS office. Appointment times vary by tax issues and office locations.

Most of the time, when you receive an IRS notice and need to call to talk to someone at the IRS, all the information you need is located in the top right-hand corner of the notice or letter. It is of the utmost importance to read it carefully as it contains a direct number of the IRS employee in charge of your case. 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. The IRS has also an IRS taxpayer assistance center called the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Find a Local Taxpayer Advocate Service in your area, they can also help with IRS refunds.