Contact the IRS

Staff Reports
by Staff Reports

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to get in touch with the IRS. You may want to contact the IRS if you need to help with responding to an IRS notice, resolving a tax dispute, settling tax debt, or checking the status of your tax refund. Fortunately, there are many different ways to contact the IRS.

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General Tax Inquiries

Here is a list of IRS hotlines if you are looking for telephone assistance:

• Tax Help Line for Individuals: 800-829-1040
• Tax Help Line for Businesses: 800-829-4933
• Order Tax Forms and Publications: 800-829-3676
• Information Return Reporting: 866-455-7438
• Employer Identification Numbers (EINs): 800-829-4933
• Help Line for Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE): 877-829-5500
• Help Line for Forms 706 and 709: 866-699-4083
• Help Line for Excise Tax and Form 2290: 866-699-4096
• Help Line for FBAR and Title 31: 866-270-0733
• Special Hotline for U.S. Military (Disaster or Combat Zone): 866-562-5227
• Telephone Assistance for Overseas Taxpayers: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
• Telephone Assistance for the Deaf (TDD): 800-829-4059

For more phone numbers, please see “IRS Hotlines and Toll-Free Numbers” and “Telephone Assistance.”

Where’s My Tax Refund?

If you want to check the status of your Federal tax refund, you can do it online, by telephone, or even with a smartphone application.

The IRS provides a “Where’s My Refund?” online tool that tracks your tax refund by providing 3 simple alerts: Tax Return Received, Tax Refund Approved, and Tax Refund Sent. To use this online tool, visit the IRS’s Tax Refund Center. Note that you will need to enter your personal information – including your Social Security Number (SSN), filing status, and tax refund amount (in exact whole dollars).

To check the status of your refund by telephone, call the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954.

To check the status of your refund using a smartphone, download the “IRS2GO” application from the app store. This will allow you to communicate with the IRS and request your refund status using your mobile device.

RELATED: When Will I Get My Federal Tax Refund?

Settle IRS Tax Debt

If you cannot pay your taxes, there are a few ways you can contact the IRS to resolve your tax debt.

You can request to set up an “Installment Agreement” which allows you to pay your tax debt in monthly payments over a period of time. This type of payment plan can be applied for online through the official IRS website, or by mailing a completed Form 9465 (Installment Agreement Request). For details, see “Information About Online Payment Agreements.”

Another way to resolve IRS tax debt is with an Offer in Compromise (OIC), which allows you to settle for less than the full amount owed. OICs have strict eligibility requirements and the IRS will consider this type of arrangement only in certain circumstances. To make an offer, you must submit an application package that includes Form 656 (Offer in Compromise), a collection information statement, a $186 application fee, and your initial offer payment. For more information, see Form 656-B (Offer in Compromise Booklet).

>> Owe the IRS? Get a Free Tax Relief Consultation

Regardless of your situation, it is in your best interest to contact the IRS to discuss your payment options. If you received an IRS tax bill or notice in the mail, call the phone number listed on your notice. You can also call the tax help line for individuals (1-800-829-1040) or businesses (1-800-829-4933) to speak with an IRS representative.

Resolve Tax Disputes

If you are involved in a tax dispute with the IRS, there are a few ways you can resolve it. It’s generally recommended that you seek the advice of a reputable tax professional (such as a tax attorney) who can help you understand your situation and deal with the IRS. There are also 2 organizations associated with the IRS that may be able to assist you:

Contact a Local Taxpayer Advocate – The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization that operates within the IRS. The TAS helps ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly. If you are having trouble resolving your tax problem(s), you can contact the TAS to get assistance from a local advocate. There is at least one TAS office in every state. To find the address and phone number of your local TAS office, visit the IRS website or call 1-877-777-4778. Or you can complete Form 911 (Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance) and fax/mail it to your local TAS office.

Find a Local Taxpayer Clinic – Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) help individuals to resolve tax disputes with the IRS, including tax audits, appeals, and collection matters. The LITC Program receives some funding from the IRS, but it’s considered an independent organization. You may qualify for free or low-cost assistance if you meet certain LITC income requirements and other criteria. Use the LITC map to find your local clinic or see IRS Publication 4134 (Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List). For general questions, you can contact the LITC Program Office by phone (202-317-4700) or by email (LITCProgramOffice@irs.gov).

RELATED: Resolving Tax Problems May Be Easier Than You Think

Local IRS Offices

If you are seeking face-to-face tax help, the IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) located across the country. Note that TACs are closed on federal holidays and generally operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit “Contact Your Local Office” on the IRS website to find the addresses and phone numbers of TACs in your state.