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Contacting the IRS: Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, and IRS Offices for Your Tax Issues

Contacting the IRS: Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, and IRS Offices for Your Tax Issues

Need to talk to someone at the Internal Revenue Service? Start with 1-800-829-1040. The last four digits refer to individual income tax return Form 1040. (We see what you did there.)

Of course there are more phone lines to use if you don’t have individual tax questions. Got a simple question about your tax transcript, a concern about meeting the tax payment deadline, or maybe a complaint about your business tax return? Whether you’ve got a complex or simple question, it’s often best to reach out and talk to a real tax professional by contacting the IRS. There’s no shortage of online resources available for basic services, but sometimes you need more than a chat service.

Especially if you are

IRS customer service representatives who can answer questions about individual tax return preparation, including situations where you might have received notice of a tax problem. Fortunately, there are many ways to contact an agent, including live phone lines.

What’s the best way to reach a real person at the IRS? It just depends on what you need to talk about.

Phone lines: From automated services to hotlines to connect you to an actual person about a specific topic, the IRS offers several numbers.

In-person: Especially handy when you have paper tax returns, you can schedule appointments and bring documents to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center office nearest to you. You also can meet with any of the nonprofit or independent organizations who work closely with the IRS, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization that works to make sure every taxpayer gets treated fairly.

Email: There are a few IRS-related email addresses, but the IRS does not answer any personal questions or accept email correspondence. Sometimes you may be able to follow-up with a human representative via email. That said, the IRS only has one public email address: [email protected] for reporting any ongoing email tax scams.

Before contacting the IRS, you need to have

  • Your social security number (SSN) and birth date
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for taxpayers without a Social Security number
  • Filing status, whether single, head of household, married filing joint, or married filing separate
  • Prior-year federal tax return
  • Tax return you’re calling about
  • Any correspondence the IRS sent to you

Calling the IRS on someone else’s behalf, you also need

  • Verbal or written authorization to discuss the account
  • that Taxpayer’s name, SSN or ITIN
  • Valid Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization) or Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative)
  • Preparer tax identification number or personal identification number

Calling the IRS on behalf of a deceased taxpayer, you also need

  • The deceased’s death certificate
  • Court approval letter or IRS Form 56 (Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship) (for estate executors)

How to Call the IRS: Talk to a Real Person About Your Tax Questions

The IRS likes to contact taxpayers through the mail, but when answering back, you may not quite feel like writing a letter and waiting on a response. Just because the IRS prefers snail mail, doesn’t mean you have to. If you’d like to call them to figure out your problem instead of emailing or writing a letter, then you have several numbers to choose from.

The specific one you need depends on the type of inquiry you have. Make sure you’re calling the IRS at the appropriate phone number for the tax question you have.

For individual questions, tax advice, help with your tax return and general IRS assistance call 1-800-829-1040

Here’s a good place to start. Available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. your local time, this number handles common questions, including settling tax debts and setting up payment plans. (If you’re a Puerto Rico resident, the IRS lines have hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.)

There are a few exceptions to what they can handle, but the operators here should be able to direct you to the right department.

During the busiest parts of tax season, January to April, average telephone service wait times can average 4 minutes or longer. Some telephone service lines may have longer wait times. Service wait times get longer on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also, call service can take longer than usual during two special days: the Presidents Day weekend and the tax filing deadline in April. After tax season, call service wait times can average 13 minutes or longer.

Gather your relevant tax information before you call the IRS. This way you don’t hold the phone operator up while you search your house for that one tax form you forgot.

The IRS help lines are open Monday through Friday.

By the way, if you live in Alaska and Hawaii, the customer service hours are in Pacific time.

Tax refund status call 1-800-829-1954

One of the most requested phone numbers at the IRS, the tax refund hotline updates you on the status of tax refunds and, if you filed a paper return, when you can expect the check to be mailed to you. (Of course, this isn’t the only way to check your refund status.)

RELATED: When Will I Get My Federal Tax Refund?

Business tax returns, employee tax forms, and questions about W-2 forms call 1-800-829-4933

Also available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, this general phone line handles business-related tax queries, employment taxes and tax law questions, including help with W-2 forms. They should also be able to help settle tax debts, including walking you and your organization through any installment plan requirements and payment options.

RELATED: Information About Online Payment Agreements

If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft and tax fraud call 1-800-908-4490

For those taxpayers who believe they have been victims of identity theft, the phone number is 1-800-908-4490. The hours for this number are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM your local time.

Representing a tax exempt organization, a retirement plan administrator or another government entity call 1-877-829-5500

The IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Customer Account Services is what you need if you’re calling on behalf of an organization in one of those categories. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.

To order tax forms and materials, even if you don’t know what you need call 1-800-829-3676 

If you need to order specific forms or other tax materials, this is the number to call. They can ship whatever you need right to your house or PO Box. Also, if you don’t know what forms you need, the IRS representative can help you.

Estate taxes and gift taxes questions call 1-866-699-4083 

The ideal number to call if you’ve got Form 706 or Form 709 and a bunch of questions. The customer phone service hours run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday.

Excise tax questions call 1-866-699-4096

The customer service team here can answer excise tax questions for the most complex tax situations. Their hours of service are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

To locate the nearest Tax Advocate Service office call 1-877-777-4778 

Sometimes tax problems are too big to solve on your own. That’s when the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization working within the IRS, steps in. They ensure all taxpayers get fair treatment and will advocate on your behalf. This is a free service that helps to ensure that taxpayers have a voice at the IRS and helps to guarantee fairness. Calling this number will help you find the nearest office, and there is at least one in every state. You can also visit the IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate Service page for a digital option. You could complete Form 911 (Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance) and fax/mail it to your local TAS office, but calling is faster.

Contact the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program and locate a clinic near you call 1-202-317-4700

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) help you 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. This number answers common questions and can help you find a nearby office.

You can also use the LITC map to find your local clinic or see IRS Publication 4134 (Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List).

RELATED: Resolving Tax Problems May Be Easier Than You Think

In case your tax problem has gone unresolved, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The job of the Taxpayer Advocate Service is to assist taxpayers as they wade through the complex tax system. 

Call TTY/TDD 800-829-4059 to reach the IRS line for the hearing impaired

Please note that the hearing impaired phone number can only be used by those with a TDD machine. The customer service hours for this number are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

For more information about calling the IRS, please visit the Telephone Assistance webpage.

How to Meet with a Real Person at the IRS: Local Offices, Advocacy Services and Tax Clinics

Sometimes, it’s hard to talk through your paper tax returns over the phone. It’s time to meet with an actual person who can field your tax law questions on behalf of the IRS face-to-face. 

Visit the IRS Offices Near You: Taxpayer Assistance Centers

For face-to-face tax help, the IRS has office locations called Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Visit the Contact Your Local Office page to find the addresses and phone numbers of the IRS office location in your state.

Keep in mind, they are closed on federal holidays and generally operate on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s also smart to schedule an appointment first. 

Visit a Taxpayer Advocate Service Near You

Along with calling this taxpayer support organization, you can visit them. Look up the nearest Taxpayer Advocate Service office location to discuss resolutions to your tax problems. There is at least one advocate service location in every state. 

Visit a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic 

This advocacy service offers 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). This organization is especially useful for helping you settle tax disputes and debts that would be out of your financial reach. 

How to Email the IRS Directly: Advocates, Tax Refunds, and  Scam Reporting

Again, the IRS only has one public email address: [email protected]

IRS tax scams are everywhere, and they generally take the form of an email asking you for (or demand) personal tax information. Do not fall for it. If you ever are a victim after clicking and entering your information, you should report the suspicious email to [email protected]

And ask a second step, visit and Identity Theft Central to start filing a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. 

Email the Low Income Tax Center at [email protected]

If you have a generic question about criteria and qualifications, you may contact the Low Income Tax Center program. However, do not send personal information over email, including social security numbers or copies of your tax return. 

Use the IRS App to check your tax refund status: IRS2GO

While it’s not exactly email, you can check your federal tax refund online or with a smartphone app called IRS2GO. It is limited in functionality to protect your privacy, but you should be able to get a status update with a few taps. 

The IRS also provides a “Where’s My Refund?” online tool that tracks your tax refund by providing three 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).

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