If you’ve ever had questions or concerns regarding your tax returns or tax payments, you’ve likely experienced the pain of trying to get an IRS representative on the line. Sometimes this annoyance is avoidable. For general tax questions, the IRS provides answers via online FAQs and other resources. There are also several methods of contacting the IRS directly, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
However, sometimes you don’t need to speak with an IRS agent at all. In many cases, the smartest option is to contact a skilled and experienced tax attorney to help you navigate the complicated world of tax planning liability resolution.
In this article, we’ll discuss various methods for contacting the IRS, tips for improving your IRS experience, and what to do if the IRS can’t (or won’t) help you.
Methods for Contacting the IRS, Ranked
The IRS recommends taxpayers try to find answers to common tax questions in the FAQ section of their website and with other online tax tools and resources. But if your problem requires you to speak directly with an IRS agent, there are four different ways to do so, which we’ve ranked from least to most efficient.
4. Email the IRS
Although you may find email addresses for the IRS, these are typically not used for contacting them about tax issues. If you receive an unsolicited email from the IRS, you should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org, as this is a common method used in scams and tax fraud schemes.
3. Send Mail to the IRS
If you don’t want to wait around on the phone (and if your tax issue doesn’t require an urgent response), sending a letter to the IRS in the mail might be a solution. The downside to this method of communication is that a response can take anywhere from 30-45 days — bringing a whole new meaning to the term “snail” mail.
2. Visit Your Local Taxpayer Assistance Center
Another option is to visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center in person. Wait times used to approach the level of the DMV, but all centers now allow you to schedule an appointment in advance. Click here to locate a Taxpayer Assistance Center near you.
1. Call the IRS Directly
The most common way to contact the IRS is by phone. Although the hold times can be long and frustrating, calling is still your best option for direct contact with the IRS if you don’t have time to visit in-person or if you aren’t located near a Taxpayer Assistance Center.
Check out the IRS Let Us Help You page for more information about solving your problem online and finding your local Taxpayer Assistance Center and IRS phone numbers.
Calling the IRS: Tips for Improving Your Call Experience
Understand Which Topics You Can Call About
Don’t waste your time by calling the IRS with general questions. As previously mentioned, the IRS wants you to use their website as a resource for most inquiries and won’t handle basic tax questions by phone. You should only be calling the IRS about questions or concerns regarding your specific taxes and payments, including:
- Missing or incorrect W2 forms
- Requests for extensions
- Information regarding your tax payoff amount
- Questions about a notice the IRS sent you
- Updates on the status of previous IRS actions
RELATED ARTICLE: Handling a Notice From the IRS the Right Way
Call Earlier in the Day and Later in the Week
The IRS opens at 7 am, and if you want to minimize your hold time as much as possible, the earlier you call, the better. The opposite is true for the best time of the week to call, with Mondays having higher than average call volume regardless of the time of day.
Be Prompt: Call as Soon as Possible
If you have a question or concern about your taxes, you need to contact the IRS (or your friendly neighborhood tax attorneys) as soon as possible. Clearing up any confusion or mistakes can take a while, so the sooner you make the call, the sooner your problem can be resolved. Waiting until the last minute might be too late, especially if you’re calling about requesting an extension or other lengthy, complicated matter.
Be Prepared Before You Call
You can help expedite the process and save everyone involved a lot of hassle by writing your questions down ahead of time and having all your information in front of you when you call. You may need:
- Your SSN or ITIN
- Your most recent tax return — including your filing status and all names, DOBs, and SSNs on the return
- Any letters or notifications the IRS sent you
Take Notes on the Call
Once you’ve got the IRS on the line, you might have a substantial amount of information thrown at you very quickly. Make sure you take notes on the answers the representative provides, in addition to their name and badge number in case you need to contact them again.
The IRS Can’t or Won’t Help? Call S.H. Block Tax Services Today!
If you’ve called the IRS and a representative told you there was nothing they could do for you or provided unhelpful advice, the staff at S.H. Block Tax Services are here to help. Our tax attorneys have experience communicating with the IRS to resolve tax issues and working with our clients to discover the best solution for all their tax problems.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.