How to Talk to Someone at the IRS

Updated on January 7, 2024
At a Glance:
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 between 7 AM and 7 PM, Monday to Friday.

  • Choose your preferred language.

  • Select options 2, 1, 3, 2, and 4 in the automated menu.

  • Provide your Social Security number when prompted.

  • Choose options 2 and 4 to speak with an IRS agent.

  • Alternatively, you can visit a local IRS office by scheduling an appointment or call the Taxpayer Advocate Service center.

  • Prepare necessary documents and information before calling.

  • Call during the IRS’s working hours, preferably in the morning.
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    If you pay taxes, you may end up in the situation of having to talk to someone at the IRS, but having a very difficult time getting to speak to a human. You may be wondering whether you should call, go there physically or write a letter to the IRS regarding your question or issue. But things can quickly become frustrating as you cannot get a human on the phone, and you have no idea what to do next.

    Well, if you want to find out how to talk to someone at the IRS, this article can help you figure out the best way to do it.

    How to Contact an IRS Agent Directly

    When you’re having a hard time finding an IRS agent to talk to, you should follow a certain procedure to eventually connect to the IRS customer service. You must go through several steps, but fortunately, the IRS system makes it possible to use this method – for now.

    Over time, the system may be updated by the IRS – therefore, the way you can speak with an agent directly may change too. For now, here is the one thing you can do to talk to a real person from the IRS:

    1. Call the IRS. Their telephone number is 1-800-829-1040. Bear in mind that the phone number can be called from Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
    2. You will have to choose your preferred language as the automated system will ask you to do this.
    3. After your language has been chosen, pick option 2 for “Personal Income Tax”.
    4. Select 1 for “form, tax history, or payment”.
    5. Press 3 for every other question.
    6. Press 2 for all other questions.
    7. You will then be required to offer your Social Security number. However, do not start entering it just yet.
    8. You will be asked for the Social Security number twice. Therefore, don’t answer. You will be prompted by another menu.
    9. In the menu you get, select 2 for individual tax questions.
    10. Next, press 4 for every other question. You will finally be allowed by the system to talk to an IRS agent directly.

    Other Ways to Reach a Live Person at the IRS

    There are a few other ways to talk to an IRS agent directly if you don’t want to take the steps described above. Try one of the following methods instead:

    Visit the Local IRS Office

    Of course, you can go to your local IRS office and speak to an IRS representative. The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Center offices everywhere. All states have such offices.

    But you must remember to book an appointment first. You cannot just go to your local IRS office unexpectedly. Call the IRS at 844-545-5640 and make an appointment early on.

    Call Your Taxpayer Advocate Service Center

    It’s also possible to call the local Taxpayer Advocate Service center. This center is an IRS independent organization that helps people who are dealing with certain problems that they cannot solve alone.

    There is at least one Taxpayer Advocate Service Center in every single state. You should also know that the centers report to the National Taxpayer Advocate Service and they are independent of the IRS office in the area.

    Other IRS Phone Numbers

    The main IRS number is the go-to option for most people who need to ask questions or report potential issues with their taxes. But while this is the case, there are some numbers that may allow you to connect with an IRS representative much faster.

    The other numbers available are categorized based on the problems people might have. This way, you can talk to someone who can help you in a certain scenario. The numbers can be found on the official IRS website, so make sure to check there before calling an IRS number. Look whether the number you are calling matches the problem you are calling for.

    Reasons You Might Need to Contact the IRS

    So, why would you call the IRS, to begin with? Could you simply call them to ask “What is a tax refund?” when you are new to filing taxes? Well, the IRS can be contacted if you need to ask any questions or get any problems solved. But there are also situations when you shouldn’t contact them by phone.

    You can call the IRS if you:

    • Want to request more time as you are about to miss a certain deadline the IRS has set. You may need to pay off your tax balance, for instance, or to respond to a certain notice, and you cannot do it on time.
    • You got an IRS notice (in this case, you should always call the number you see on the notice).
    • Need the amount you have to pay off for tax purposes.
    • “Where’s My Refund?” states you should call the IRS.
    • You want to find out the status of a specific IRS action.
    • You have questions regarding your IRS payment plan.
    • Lost, received an incorrect Form 1099-R or Form W-2, or never received these forms.
    • You have to confirm that the IRS got your payment.

    You shouldn’t call the IRS in these situations:

    • To complain about taxes or any tax-related problem
    • You have requests for transcripts (an exception applies if you call 800-908-9946)
    • You have any tax law questions
    • You need certain IRS forms

    How to Prepare for Your Call to the IRS

    You must prepare before calling the IRS. Depending on why you are calling, you should make sure that you have all the necessary information. Basically, the IRS representative will ask you certain things in order to verify your identity. They will continue the phone call afterward.

    Other than that, some information may be necessary to find a solution to the problem you have.

    Here is some information you need to prepare before calling the IRS:

    • The tax return from last year
    • Your filing status (single, married and filing jointly, married and filing separately or head of household)
    • Your Social Security cards, as well as the birthdates of the individuals involved
    • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number if you do not have a Social Security card
    • Letters or notices that you got from the IRS
    • A tax return copy

    Best Times to Call the IRS

    It’s crucial to call the IRS at the right times. They work from 7 AM to 7 PM from Monday to Friday. You should call during these hours.

    But the best time to call is early in the morning, so get your information ready and call.

    Read More

    Final Thoughts

    Talking to someone at the IRS can be a challenge if you don’t know how to reach a real human. It is not impossible, though. Before calling, you should make sure that you have all the information ready so you can confirm your identity.

    Call the IRS once you have everything in order and make sure that you are calling the right number. There are different numbers that can be used to solve specific issues, so check the IRS website for the right number.

    Then, follow the steps in this article and you should be able to talk to a representative.

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    Frank Gogol

    I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.