irs phone numbers

IRS Phone Numbers: How to Contact the IRS

Sometimes you have tax questions or need to get in touch with the IRS. When their knowledge database online doesn’t answer your question or you have a pressing matter, you may need to call.

Before you contact the IRS, make sure you know the information you’ll need and your potential wait time, so you aren’t caught off guard.

IRS Phone Numbers

The phone number you use to call the IRS depends on why you need to call them. Are you an individual, business, or charity? Differentiating yourself will determine which number you should call.

  • Individuals – 1-800-829-1040
  • Businesses – 1-800-829-4933
  • Non-Profit – 1-877-829-5500
  • Estate taxes – 1866-699-4083
  • Hearing impaired – 1-800-829-4059

How to Verify your Identity When Calling the IRS

When you call the IRS, they must verify your identity beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they’ll ask for a variety of information to ensure you are the person you are calling about.

Before you call, make sure you have:

  • Your social security number
  • Your most recent tax filing status
  • Your most recent tax return (they may ask questions from it)
  • Any letters or notices you might be calling about (they may ask for the reference numbers on them)

Questions IRS Representatives Cannot Answer

IRS representatives can help you with a large variety of questions, but some topics are too complex to answer over the phone.

The list of questions they cannot answer is listed here in detail, but in general, if your topic has anything to do with any of the following topics, they may not be able to help:

  • Complicated business topics
  • Capital gains and losses
  • Corporations
  • 529 Savings Plans
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • International tax topics
  • Trust questions

Typical IRS Wait Times

No one likes waiting on hold and when you call the IRS, you might be pleasantly surprised. During filing season, which is January – April, expect your wait time to be around 13 minutes. They usually have more staff available to answer phones during this busy time to keep your wait times down.

During post-season, which is May – December, you’ll wait slightly longer, but the average wait is 19 minutes. 

No matter the time of year that you call, Mondays and Tuesdays usually have the highest call volume. For most questions, the call lines are open from 7 AM to 7 PM.

Other Ways to get IRS Help

If you can’t get your questions answered by calling the IRS or you want more help, here are other ways to get IRS help.

Head to your Local IRS Office

You’ll need an appointment or at least to call ahead before you go to your local IRS office, but here is a list of local offices. Some local offices also offer free taxpayer assistance, but you must call ahead to find out if and when they offer it. 

Get Help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service

If you need a voice or someone on your side as you tackle serious tax issues, contact your local tax office to connect with the taxpayer advocate service. While they work within the IRS, they are independent of them, helping you to solve your issues with the IRS feeling supported. 

There is at least one TAS in each state, contact your local office to find out how to get in touch with yours. 

How to Protect yourself from IRS Scams

Millions of people are taken by IRS scams every year. First, know that the IRS will never call you. If someone calls claiming to be the IRS, to throw you in jail, or any other adverse actions because of any tax issues, it’s a scam. Hang up and do not give them any information.

In general, the IRS only contacts you via mail. They don’t send emails or make phone calls. They never threaten and they only state the facts. Don’t fall for any scams that ask for money upfront or demand a large sum of money to clear up the ‘issue’ they’re calling about – it’s not the IRS.

Final Thoughts

Contacting the IRS isn’t as hard as it used to be. They have many phone numbers to help you get the answers to your questions fast and they have lowered their wait times significantly through the years.

While they can’t answer every question you ask and sometimes you’ll need help from your tax professional instead, the IRS can be very helpful in getting you to the resource that has the answers to your questions or concerns.

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