Call the IRS

How to reach a real person at the IRS?

Each year, it is estimated that the IRS receives over 95 million telephone calls on its toll-free lines. Although answers to taxpayers’ questions can be found on the IRS online services, they are unwilling or unable to use these resources and heavily depend on telephone to get answers.

In fiscal year 2018, only four out of ten taxpayers calling to reach a live assistant succeeded. To make the most out of your time when you need to call the IRS phone number, please follow the instructions in this guide.

Before you call, make sure you have all the information that you need.

  • Social Security cards and birth dates for those who were on the return you are calling about.
  • 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 assistant 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

IRS phone number

The IRS phone number for individuals is 1-800-829-1040, and they are available from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

The best time to call is early in the morning.

Call the IRS: Step-by-step

The first question the automated system will ask you is to choose your language.

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

Choose option 2 for “Personal Income Tax” instead.

Next, press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment”.

Next, press 3 “for all other questions.”

Next, press 2 “for all other questions.”

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

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

Press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.

Finally, press 4 for all other inquiries. The system should then transfer you to an agent.

IRS phone number

If you still can’t reach a real person over the phone, it’s time to think about contacting your local IRS office. Most of the time it is recommended to use the IRS phone number located on the top right-hand corner of the notice or letter that you received, the IRS also provides a great service called the Taxpayer Advocate. Find a Local Taxpayer Advocate