how to reach a live person at the irs

“Somebody PLEASE pick up the phone!”


It’s a desperate plea for many who want to speak with an IRS representative. It’s not uncommon for callers to wait on hold for hours to get through. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic people are lucky if they get a chance to speak with with a live person at the IRS at all. 


What IRS Number to Call

The IRS has several phone numbers available for the public to reach them. The number you dial will depend on the type of tax issue. Here are some of the most useful:


Individuals


(800) 829-1040

Monday to Friday

7am – 7pm


Business


(800) 829-4933

Monday to Friday

7am – 7pm


International


(267) 941-1000

Monday to Friday

6am – 11pm



Hearing Impaired 


TTY/TTD (800) 829-4059



Assistance in a Language Other than English 


(833) 553-9895



How Do I Reach a Real Person at the IRS

The phone lines at the IRS can get tied up pretty quickly. In our experience it is best to try calling either first thing in the morning or late in the day. Callers seem to have the most success towards the end of the week.

The Steps (for domestic individual issues):

  1. Call (800) 829-1040
  2. Choose your language (Press 1 for English) 
  3. Press 2 to speak with a live IRS person about your personal income tax
  4. At the next prompt press 1
  5. Then press 3
  6. Then press 2
  7. Ignore the next message(s) asking for your tax ID number
  8. When the next menu options are presented press 2 for individual tax
  9. Then press 3 to speak with an IRS customer service rep

TIP: If you are bilingual you may get connected faster if you choose to communicate with a live person in another language.


Other Options to Reach Someone at the IRS

If you’ve tried calling the IRS and still can’t get a live person another option is going to your local branch office. The IRS has taxpayer assistance centers throughout the country where taxpayers can go in and speak with a live person. 

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 some IRS taxpayer assistance centers require appointments.

Whether contacting the IRS by phone or walking into a taxpayer assistance center you should gather related documents before you speak with someone. If you received a letter from the IRS have it available. It is also a good idea to have a copy of your recent tax return.

You should also be aware of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). TAS is an independent department within the IRS that provides assistance to taxpayers when they cannot get issues resolved with the IRS.

Tax laws are always changing and that seems to be true now more than ever. Between the advanced child tax credit, PPP loans, stimulus checks, delayed tax refunds and other backlogs it’s easy to get lost with it all.


What to Have Before You Call

President Biden has announced plans to increase funding to the Internal Revenue Service. However, taxpayers have complained recently that calls to IRS customer service are a challenge with many on hold for hours and others not able to reach  a live person at all.

If you are fortunate to call and get through be ready. In addition to any IRS letters you’ve received have your tax return, Social Security number, tax ID and any other pertinent personal information in front of you to reference.

There’s nothing wrong with calling the IRS for certain things. However, be careful when it comes to taking tax advice from IRS representatives over the phone. There are many qualified and knowledgeable IRS representatives who answer calls but they may not know what’s the best tax move for your specific situation.

If this information helped you, share this page with others.

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