Thursday, May 16, 2024

Can You Call The Irs For Tax Questions

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A Note About Irs Scammers

Get an Identity Protection PIN

When we discuss trying to speak to a live person at the IRS, its important that we mention the subject of identity fraud and tax scams.

In recent years, you may have seen news stories about scammers pretending to work for the Internal Revenue Service. These phishing scams seek to trick a victim into sending highly personal information about their identity and finances. They may use the agencys name and logo to make their communications seem more legitimate. Sometimes, messages will prompt victims to update your IRS e-file immediately or provide information about life insurance and annuity updates.

The government agency has released official guidance on this subject. Your main takeaway? The IRS will not initiate contact with you through email, texts, or social media profiles. Unsolicited messages purporting to be from the government should be assumed fraudulent. You can verify communications by visiting your local IRS office.

The Agency Has A Backlog Of 29 Million Tax Returns Its Holding For Manual Processing According To The National Taxpayer Advocate

If you need help with your taxes, good luck reaching an IRS representative on the telephone.

So far this tax season, only about 1 out of every 50 calls have gotten through to an IRS customer service representative on the agencys 1040 toll-free line , according to Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate for the independent Taxpayer Advocate Service, an organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve issues with the agency.

Collins praised the IRS for soldiering through a tough tax season compounded by a pandemic, but she also outlined major concerns with how the agency is handling taxpayer calls and returns.

From a taxpayers perspective, it feels like their return has fallen into a black hole: they do not know what is going on, when they will get their refund, why it is being delayed, or how to get answers or help, Collins wrote in a recent blog post.

This filing season, the IRS has seen an increase of over 300 percent in calls to its Accounts Management toll-free lines, Collins said in an interview. But IRS employees had answered just 2 percent of the more than 70 million taxpayer calls to the 1040 telephone line as of April 10. On average, people spend 20 minutes on hold, although many taxpayers have reported much longer wait times. Others just give up and hang up.

What To Expect When You Call The Irs

Say you have a question about your tax return, you need to sign up for a payment plan with the IRS for taxes you can’t pay, or you’re still waiting for your tax return check to come in the mail. You’re probably wondering if it’s OK to call the IRS, and what to expect when you do so. With tips from these experts, you’ll be able to easily navigate what might otherwise be a customer service nightmare.

Also Check: How To Check If The Irs Received My Tax Return

Easy Ways To Contact The Irs For Tax Help

The Balance / Julie Bang

Tax season can be an overwhelming time when you’re not a tax expert, but the IRS stands by to guide you through it. The agency makes itself accessible in many ways if you have questions about completing your tax return, if you want to check your tax refund status, or if you need help for another tax-related purpose.

Staff members are on hand to help you with questions or problems that might arise, so you can get your return completed and filed with as little hassle as possible. But the IRS cautioned in December that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause some delays in services.

Your Tucson Tax Professionals

What Is The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service And How Can It Help Me?

If you own a small business, youll probably have to navigate income tax, payroll tax, sales tax, excise tax, capital gains tax, property tax, and self-employment tax. Luckily, there are resources available to business owners throughout the United States. One such service is the tax preparation offered by Clear View Business Solutions.

Clear View has the expertise and attention to detail needed for tax policy adherence. Our team of Tucson-area fun accountants makes running the numbers completely stress-free. Dont spend all day on the line with the IRS

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Can You Call The Irs And Ask Questions

You can call 1-800-829-1040 to get answers to your federal tax questions 24 hours a day. Tax forms and instructions for current and prior years are available by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Can I email the IRS and get a response?

Send the IRS Comments and Feedback by E-mail Give us your email address if you want a response, but dont include any social security numbers or other personal tax account information.

Other Irs Phone Numbers

While you can always call the main IRS number, lesser-known IRS phone numbers could help you get assistance faster. Heres a list of other IRS phone numbers, categorized by your status or concern, to help you reach the right people who can assist you with your specific situation.

Employment Status

  • Victims of identity and refund theft : 800-908-4490
  • Report scams and phishing, confirm the legitimacy of IRS agent: 800-366-4484

Residency or Special Tax Status

  • Taxpayers who live overseas: 267-941-1000
  • Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number application status: 737-800-5511

Refunds, Payments, and Balances

  • Questions about balances: 800-829-0922 800-829-7650 800-829-3903
  • Check status of a tax refund: 800-829-1954
  • Check status of a tax refund on hold: 866-897-3315
  • Make a payment using Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: 800-555-4477 800-244-4829
  • Verify, pay off, or resolve a tax lien: 800-913-6050
  • Confirm which debts will offset your tax refund: 800-304-3107

Types of Taxes

  • Estate and gift tax concerns: 866-699-4083
  • Questions about excise tax: 866-699-4096

Tax Return Issues

  • International Taxpayer Advocate, English: 787-522-8601
  • International Taxpayer Advocate, Spanish: 787-522-8600

Documents and Transcripts

  • Order a tax transcript: 800-908-9946

Accessibility and Local Services

  • For the hearing impaired : 800-829-4059
  • Schedule an appointment with a local IRS office: 844-545-5640
  • Request paper tax forms: 800-829-3676
  • Find a free tax clinic close to you: 800-906-9887 888-227-7669

Also Check: Can I Still File My 2016 Taxes Electronically

Connect With The Irs Online

One of the best ways to get the information you need is directly from the IRS website at You can download almost any form or publication here. You’ll find a lot of information right at your fingertips, including answers to frequently asked questions, tax law changes, and even planning calculators. It’s not a substitute for talking directly with a tax expert, but the site can point you in the right direction when you need answers to basic tax questions.

As for that tax refund you’re expecting, there’s a special tool available to track its status, too. Just go to “Where’s My Refund?” and click on “Check My Refund Status.”

Using The Taxpayer Advocate Service

When Will I Get My Refund?
  • 1Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service to answer your questions. They can also provide help with problems like audits, missing refunds, or identity theft. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS created to help taxpayers deal with their problems. If you cannot work out your problem with the IRS, then the TAS will help you for free.
  • 2Send in IRS Form 911 via fax or mail. This form officially requests TAS assistance and allows you to specify your problem. You should receive a response within a week of TAS receiving the form.XTrustworthy SourceInternal Revenue ServiceU.S. government agency in charge of managing the Federal Tax CodeGo to source
  • NOTE: The TAS may contact a third party, such as a taxpayer advocate organization, to respond to your request.
  • 3 A simple automated system will quickly direct you to an agent.
  • 4Use the TAS contact page to look up the office nearest you. Each state has at least one office. The contact page will give their phone number and address.
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    No Matter How You File Block Has Your Back

  • Free In-person Audit Support is available only for clients who purchase and use H& R Block desktop software solutions to prepare and successfully file their 2021 individual income tax return . It does not provide for reimbursement of any taxes, penalties, or interest imposed by taxing authorities and does not include legal representation. Additional terms and restrictions apply See Free In-person Audit Support for complete details.
  • H& R Block tax software and online prices are ultimately determined at the time of print or e-file. All prices are subject to change without notice.
  • H& R Block is a registered trademark of HRB Innovations, Inc.
  • Emerald Cash Rewards are credited on a monthly basis. Rewards are in the form of a cash credit loaded onto the card and are subject to applicable withdrawal/cash back limits. Merchants/Offers vary.
  • If the online tax preparation or tax software makes an arithmetic error that results in your payment of a penalty and/or interest to the IRS that you would otherwise not have been required to pay, H& R Block will reimburse you up to a maximum of $10,000. Terms and conditions apply see Accurate Calculations Guarantee for details.
  • H& R Block is a registered trademark of HRB Innovations, Inc. TurboTax® and Quicken® are registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc. TaxAct® is a registered trademark of TaxAct, Inc. Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  • The audit risk assessment is not a guarantee you will not be audited.
  • Keep Calling And Stay Prepared

    The process of calling the IRS can be daunting. You may work your way through automated systems only to be stuck on hold for hours, taking time out of your day.

    But Bell says you may need to call often to reach a representative. He recommends calling early in the morning or just before the IRS phone lines close for your time zone. You may be able to avoid crowds on the phone lines by calling first thing in the morning or as the day winds down.

    But whenever you call, Bell says to be prepared so you can get the help you need when you do reach an IRS agent.

    âCitizens may think that once they reach the IRS, theyâve got a live person, that the agent knows about their particular case.â But Bell warns they donât have that info in front of them instantly, so itâs important to have all your information ready to answer the agentâs questions. Have a copy of your most recent return, your previous yearâs return, and any notices from the IRS handy.

    In many cases, youâll need to reference information on your previous yearâs taxes to verify your identity during your conversation, such as your adjusted gross income. If your most recent tax return is still processing, and you donât have your old return nearby, youâll have wasted your time on hold because the agent wonât be able to help you, Bell warns.

    Also Check: How To Check State Tax Refund

    When Should You Call The Irs

    With so many warnings and caveats, you might be wondering when it is appropriate to call the IRS. The answer is that you should call if you owe money but can’t pay, if you’re being audited, or if you’ve received correspondence asking you to do so.

    “There are a number of reasons to call the IRS directlyyou may have questions regarding your tax refund around an existing installment agreement, or want to confirm your payment on an individual tax return was received,” says Colleen McCreary, chief people officer and financial advocate at “Or, you may just want the location of an IRS office or of a free tax preparation service.”

    If you need to establish a payment plan or apply for an offer for tax debt forgiveness, it’s best to make contact with someone at the IRS who can walk you through the process. If you’re being audited, you’ll want to touch base with someone at the agency to stay on top of the process. Your accountant or tax preparer can also assist here.

    And if you’ve received correspondence from the IRS, you’ll want to call to see what’s going on. There’s a possibility unsolicited contact from the IRS is actually a scam, and the only way to be sure is to contact them directly.

    Be Ready To Verify Your Right To Call

    Guide To IRS Tax Forgiveness Program

    The IRS takes steps to help protect taxpayers from identity theft. When you call, an IRS agent will need to verify your identity before talking to you about your specific issue. Having your tax return from the previous year can help with that.

    And if youre a tax professional or an individual calling about someone elses issue, the IRS will need to confirm you have the right to act on that other persons behalf. If youre acting as someone elses legally designated representative, the IRS will need written or verbal confirmation from that person, and probably some paperwork such as a Tax Information Authorization form and a power of attorney.

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    The Irs Probably Wont Call You

    Because scammers can call pretending to be an IRS agent, theres one more super-important thing to know before you talk to IRS agents: You might call them, but they wont call you out of the blue.

    In fact, the IRS says that when it needs to talk to you, it will probably send a letter first through regular old snail mail. It doesnt normally initiate contact through email, text messages or social media. In some situations, an IRS agent may call. The agency will likely send a letter or notice first to alert you, but not always.

    So how can you tell if youre really talking to someone from the IRS or to a scam artist? Here are clues that a call purporting to be from the IRS could be a scam:

    • You get a message from a robo-call demanding an urgent callback.
    • The caller says you must immediately pay owed taxes or penalties, using cash, a prepaid debit card, credit card or wire transfer. The IRS will never call you about taxes you owe without first sending you a bill in the mail.
    • The caller threatens you with arrest, deportation or revocation of your drivers license if you dont pay immediately. The IRS always gives you the chance to question or appeal any amount you owe.

    If you get this kind of call and you know you dont owe any taxes, hang up immediately and report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 or through the TIGTA website. You should also report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Review The Irs Website First To Find Answers To Faqs

    Video by David Fang

    “Asking a tax preparer or tax attorney, utilizing help from your tax software provider, and talking with a family member or friend about your questions” are all good options, Mark Jaeger, vice president of tax development at TaxAct, previously told Grow.

    A certified tax professional can offer guidance and help you avoid mistakes, experts say.

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    Call At The Best Time

    A good rule of thumb: Call as early in the morning as possible.

    Phones are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, except:

    • Residents of Hawaii and Alaska should follow Pacific time.
    • Puerto Rico hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

    Wait times average 15 minutes to 27 minutes the rest of the year. Wait times are higher at the beginning of the week, during Presidents Day weekend, and close to the filing deadline.

    Lost Or Stolen Checks

    Estimated Tax Payments

    Contact the paying agency and report the loss or theft. You will be sent information on the check claims process, including forms you must return for processing.

    After you have completed all the required steps, you can call and request and update of the status of your claim:

    1-855-868-0151, option 1

    Also Check: How Tax Loss Harvesting Works

    Best Time To Call Irs Customer Support

    IRS customer support, which can be reached at 1-800-829-0922, is available Monday through Friday from 7AM to 7PM.

    According to the IRS website, wait times average fifteen minutes in the months preceding the filing deadline , and average twenty-seven minutes in the months following the filing deadline . Based on our experience the best times in general are afternoons and Thursdays & Fridays.

    *Taxhub Insider Hack#1: Call the IRS one to two days BEFORE A HOLIDAY and the wait time is usually less than 5 minutes!

    Be Prepared To Identify Yourself And Your Accounts

    When you’re ready to call, you’ll want to have some basic info and forms on hand to help the conversation go smoothly.

    First, you’ll need to be able to identify yourself.

    “I’m sure this sounds silly, but you’ll need to have your name, date of birth, and your social security number ready,” Oware says.

    If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, say an elderly parent, you’ll need to have proof of power of attorney showing you have the permission and authority to do so before getting information about that individual’s account.

    Once you’ve identified yourself, it’s down to the nitty gritty. You should have the following forms on hand in a pinch:

    • Your completed tax return
    • Your EIN or Tax Payer Identification number
    • Proof of past payments if you’ve made quarterly payments or put money toward a debt to the IRS

    “The better prepared you are, the more efficient the phone call will be,” McCreary says.

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    How To Talk To A Live Person At The Irs

    Author: George Birrell

    When questions about tax returns come up, many people turn to IRS customer support. However, how to talk to a live person at the IRS, is usually easier said than done!

    With many Americans struggling with issues regarding their stimulus payments, the IRS is receiving more calls than ever. To address this, the IRS plans to gradually add 3,500 agents to handle the influx of phone calls. While this may seem to be helpful for those with general IRS inquiries, with all the focus on handling stimulus payments, other areas of IRS service are understaffed. Alternatively, we offer CPA coaching calls at a rate of $39 for fifteen-minute consultations if you have a question that can be answered by a CPA.

    While it is difficult to reach a live person at the IRS, it is not impossible. Dont waste your time trying to figure it out on your own we have the inside track to getting through the calling system and getting to a live IRS person as quickly as possible. Follow the steps below to avoid much of the frustration and put yourself in the best position to speak to a live person as soon as possible.

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