I have seen a lot of questions recently about how to navigate the IRS’s automated phone system so you can talk to a live person at the IRS. While automated systems can be great, sometimes you just need to talk to a human, and it can be hard to figure that out through the IRS’s system. Recently, I came across some great information about how to get a live person at the IRS and wanted to make it easily available to you.
Remember, IRS phone agents are very busy right now, with questions regarding stimulus payments, unemployment, and the extended 2020 filing deadline. So bring your patience. I’m a fan of putting my phone on speaker or on headphones and going about my day, getting other tasks done while I wait my turn in line.
And remember – it’s not the agent’s fault that you have to wait, so be sure to be polite when you do get to talk to a live person at the IRS
Calling the Main IRS Number
Step one – Call the IRS phone number. The IRS phone number is 800-829-1040, but you shouldn’t take my word for it. When someone is giving you information on how to contact the IRS, you should always go directly to the source and make sure that you’re using the right number. Go to the IRS website (either by clicking here or typing in IRS.gov into your browser). There you will find the official number for the IRS.
The offices are open from 7 am to 7 pm local time on Monday through Friday. Wait times can be long, especially during tax season, so be prepared to wait.
Step Two – Press 1 for English (if you speak English)
Step Three – Press 2 at the first menu of prompts after language.
Step Four – Press 1 at the next menu
Step Five – Press 2 at the next menu
Step Six – The next menu will ask for your Social Security Number (this is why you made sure the number you were really calling is the IRS). Enter your SSN.
Step Seven – At the next menu, do nothing. You will be prompted to select a number of options, but if you just wait, you will be placed in a hold queue to talk to the next person at the IRS.
Simple as that!
Try Your Local IRS Office
Sometimes, the wait on the main number is just too long, and that’s understandable. There are a lot of people who have questions. So consider trying the number for your local IRS office. To find that number, click here and enter your zip code. Your wait may end up being significantly shorter.
Of course, do make sure that you have all of your information at hand when you’re calling, to save time for both you and for the IRS agent. And remember, just because you may despise the confusing rules of the IRS, the agent you’re talking to isn’t to blame for that. You catch many more flies with honey than with vinegar, as my grandmother used to say. So be kind, and good luck!
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Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.