How to Get a Live Person at the IRS

by Tamila McDonald

Tax time can be incredibly stressful, but managing it isn’t optional. Before the deadline passes, you must file your taxes (or at least request an extension). But, sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

Maybe you have an important question and must speak with an IRS live person to handle it. Maybe you just want real details about your refund and can’t access it online.

Whatever you need to accomplish, getting through to a live person at the IRS can feel challenging. After all, those phone trees seem insurmountable.

Luckily, it is possible to get an IRS live person with relative ease. If that’s what you need to do, here are some steps to follow.

Preparing to Speak to a Live Person at the IRS

First things first, you need to prepare for your conversation with an IRS live person. Usually, you just need a few basic details about yourself to be ready.

First, make sure you have the Social Security Numbers or ITINs and birth dates for every person on the return. Next, review your filing status and get your prior-year return. Finally, gather any documents for your current tax year that you might need to reference.

Once you have those, you should be ready for the call.

Call the Right Number at the Right Time

For individuals, you need to call 800-829-1040 to reach an IRS live person. Businesses should contact 888-829-4059.

The IRS doesn’t have 24-hour phone coverage. You’ll need to call Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time to reach a representative.

Select the Right Options

Once you dial, you’ll hear the phone tree options. First, you need to choose your language. Then, whatever you do, do not selection option 1 for return info. (The return info line will dump you into an automated system, and you’ll never get to a person that way.)

Instead, choose option 2 for personal income tax. Then, you can select option 1 for form, tax history, or payment. Follow this with option 3 for all other questions. Follow that with option 2, which is also for all other questions.

You’ll then be prompted to provide your Social Security Number or EIN, but don’t enter it. Instead, do nothing. The system will ask you twice then present you with another menu.

On the menu, choose option 2 for personal and individual tax questions. At that point, you’ll end up in a queue that actually gets you an IRS live person.

Be aware: the wait time can be long during tax season. However, if you hang in there, a real live person should answer your call.

It’s important to note that phone systems can change, so what works today to get an IRS live person might not work next year. But, for now, this is the fastest way to get to an actual human agent.

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Ready to learn more from Newlyweds on a Budget? Check these articles out:

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Troy Bombardia @ Bull Markets April 22, 2018 - 6:05 pm

Hey, at least the people at the IRS know what they’re talking about. I was calling the ATO (Australian version of the IRS), and those people know nothing. They literally read the ATO’s website for me. It’s like “I know how to read too!”

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Newlywed and Bankrupt: A Survival Guide - Newlyweds on a Budget March 26, 2018 - 7:05 am

[…] How to Get a Live Person at the IRS […]

Tamila McDonald March 8, 2018 - 4:23 am

Hi Nora. That’s wonderful! I’m so glad you found the tip helpful!

Norah @ Money Management IQ March 8, 2018 - 4:16 am

Wonderful tip!!! It works!! I was able to speak to someone after trying multiple times.

NagsHeadSelfStorage March 7, 2018 - 10:06 pm

thank you sir i will try to this job


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