by Elisabeth Buchwald
During the past couple of tax seasons, it was notoriously hard to reach an actual human at the Internal Revenue Service.
Nearly everyone who tried to reach the agency over the phone ran into some sort of glitch in 2022, with only 13% of callers reaching an IRS employee, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s report to Congress. But that was more people than in 2021 when just 11% reached someone at the agency.
But this year is different so far.
People who call the IRS’ main helpline number are having better luck at getting connected with a representative in a fairly reasonable amount of time. That’s likely a product of the IRS hiring more workers and fewer layers of complexity this tax season compared with earlier in the pandemic.
But before you pick up the phone to call the agency, search through the IRS.gov site to see if there are answers to your questions online.
If not, here’s how you can reach someone at the IRS:
IRS phone number
The IRS has multiple phone numbers dedicated to handling different types of tax questions. All are open Monday through Friday but their operating hours vary. In all instances, residents of Alaska and Hawaii should follow Pacific time, the IRS says.
- For individual tax return inquiries call 800-829-1040, the line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
- For business tax return inquiries call 800-829-4933, the line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
- For nonprofit tax return inquiries call 877-829-5500, the line is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time.
- For inquiries regarding estate and gift taxes call 866-699-4083. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT.
- For inquiries regarding excise taxes call 866-699-4096. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT
For all types of inquiries, hearing-impaired customers should dial 800-829-4059.
For assistance in Spanish, call 800-829-1040.
For assistance in all other languages, call 833-553-9895.
IRS installment agreement phone number
There’s no IRS line dedicated to calls regarding installment agreements, which allow people to pay taxes they owe over an extended period. For those types of inquiries, the IRS recommends calling 800-829-1040 (for individuals) or 800-829-4933 (for businesses) for assistance.
IRS offset phone number
If you owe money to the IRS but are due a refund for the current tax year, the refund money in most cases will automatically be put toward paying down your debt. To determine whether this will happen to you, call 800-304-3107.
IRS live chat
The IRS has a live chat service for general questions. However, it doesn’t handle individual questions.
When you start a chat, the first message you’ll receive from the IRS employee or chatbot will say it does “not have access to your account information.” It will ask that you don’t “enter any personal information into the chat box such as your Social Security number or other taxpayer identification numbers.”
Importantly, your chat session “doesn’t constitute an official contact with the IRS regarding your tax account,” the IRS states before you initiate a chat.
Call the IRS about my refund
You may be able to find out the status of your refund quicker by using the IRS’ “Where’s my refund?” online tool as opposed to calling the IRS. You can also call 800-829-1954 for automated assistance with your refund. If both options don’t answer your question call 800-829-1040.
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