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Before you call, please know that there are some wonderful people who work there who are trying to help many frustrated and confused people who usually are upset or flustered. Your patience and kindness will get you more out of the conversation than your frustration (coming from years of experience).

With that being said, here are the steps you need to take to reach a real person on the phone at the IRS.

When to call

The IRS is available from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The best time to call is early in the morning.

Make sure you’re prepared

Before you call, make sure you have all of the information that you need.

  • Social Security cards and birth dates for those who were on the return you are calling about.

  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if you don’t have a Social Security number (SSN)

  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate

  • Your prior-year tax return. We may need to verify your identity before answering certain questions

  • A copy of the tax return you’re calling about

  • Any letters or notices the IRS sent you


How do you speak to a live person at the IRS?

  1. The IRS telephone number is 1-800-829-1040.

  2. The first question the automated system will ask you is to choose your language.

  3. Once you’ve set your language, do NOT choose Option 1 (regarding refund info). Choose option 2 for “Personal Income Tax” instead.

  4. Next, press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment”.

  5. Next, press 3 “for all other questions.”

  6. Next, press 2 “for all other questions.”

  7. When the system asks you to enter your SSN or EIN to access your account information, do NOT enter anything.

  8. After it asks twice, you will be prompted with another menu.

  9. Press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.

  10. Finally, press 3 for all other inquiries. The system should then transfer you to an agent.


Need help? Try contacting your local IRS office.

If you can’t reach a real person over the phone, you can contact your local IRS office. The Taxpayer Assistance Center operates by appointment only, where you can get help directly from an agent.

The IRS also provides a great service called the Taxpayer Advocate. Click here to find a Taxpayer Advocate in your area.

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