Monday, September 25, 2023

How to Get Through to IRS Customer Service

how to get through to irs customer service

Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can sometimes feel like a challenging process. However, knowing the correct procedures and following them can make the process significantly smoother. If you need to get in touch with IRS customer service, this article will guide you through the steps.

1. Know When to Call

The IRS operates a customer service line for individuals to answer tax-related questions. The toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. Their operational hours are Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.

The IRS tends to be busiest in the days leading up to tax deadlines, so it’s advisable to avoid these periods if possible. Early mornings, later in the week, and later in the tax season tend to be less busy times.

2. Prepare Before You Call

Before you make your call, ensure you have all the necessary documents and information at your disposal. This might include:

  • Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Your filing status (Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate)
  • A copy of the tax return in question
  • Any correspondence you have received from the IRS

Having this information ready will expedite the process and make it easier for the IRS representative to assist you.

3. Navigate the Automated Phone System

The IRS uses an automated phone system to handle incoming calls, so you’ll need to navigate through this to speak to a representative. When prompted, you will need to:

  • Enter your Social Security number or ITIN.
  • Select your language preference.
  • Listen to the menu options and select the option that best fits your issue. If none of the options fit your needs, waiting on the line or pressing “0” may get you to an agent. However, the best way is often to follow the system prompts that most closely relate to your issue to reach the appropriate department.

Please note that due to high call volumes, you might face extended waiting times, especially during peak tax filing seasons.

4. Practice Patience

Patience is key when trying to reach the IRS. If the lines are busy, you may be disconnected and need to call back. Try to remain patient, as getting frustrated won’t speed up the process.

5. Consider Other Methods of Contact

If your issue is not urgent or if you’re finding it difficult to reach a customer service representative by phone, consider other methods of contact:

  • IRS Website: The IRS website is a comprehensive resource for tax-related questions. It includes a Help & Resources page with answers to common questions.
  • Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs): These are your local IRS offices.
  • Mail: If you received a notice from the IRS, instructions on how to respond by mail will be included.
  • Online Tools: The IRS provides several online tools like “Where’s My Refund?” and “Get Transcript” that can help answer common questions without needing to contact a representative directly.


While getting through to the IRS customer service can sometimes be a time-consuming process, being prepared and patient can help. By following these steps and utilizing the self-help resources available, you can get the answers and assistance you need. Always remember, the IRS is there to help, and their representatives will do their best to assist you with your tax-related queries.