How to Call the IRS and Get a Live Person in 2019

Calling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be a daunting task, especially during tax season when millions of Americans are seeking assistance. However, with the right approach and some patience, you can successfully connect with a live person at the IRS to get the answers and help you need. Here are some useful tips to make the process smoother:

1. Gather all necessary information: Before making the call, ensure you have all relevant documents, such as your Social Security number, tax return forms, and any correspondence from the IRS. This will help the representative assist you more effectively.

2. Use the right phone number: To ensure you reach the correct department, visit the IRS website (irs.gov) and search for the appropriate phone number to call. Different departments handle specific inquiries, so it’s essential to dial the right number for your specific tax issue.

3. Call early in the day: Calling the IRS early in the morning is generally recommended, as wait times tend to be shorter. Avoid calling on Mondays or the day after a holiday, as these days are typically busier.

4. Be patient and persistent: It is common to encounter long wait times when calling the IRS. Be prepared to wait, and don’t give up easily. If you are on hold for an extended period, consider using a speakerphone or hands-free device so you can continue with other tasks while waiting.

5. Stay calm and polite: When you finally connect with a representative, remain calm and be polite, regardless of any frustrations you may have. Remember, the IRS representative is there to assist you, and being courteous will increase the likelihood of receiving the help you need.

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6. Take notes: During the call, jot down important details, such as the representative’s name, ID number, and any instructions or information they provide. These notes will be helpful for future reference or if you need to follow up on your inquiry.

7. Escalate if necessary: If you feel that the representative is unable to address your concern adequately or you need further assistance, politely request to speak with a supervisor. They may have additional knowledge or authority to resolve your issue.

8. Follow up when required: If the IRS representative promises to take any action or provide further assistance, make sure to follow up if you do not receive a response within the specified time frame. This shows your commitment and may expedite the resolution of your problem.


1. How long can I expect to wait on hold when calling the IRS?
Wait times can vary significantly depending on the time of day and the volume of calls. It is not uncommon to be on hold for an hour or more, especially during peak tax season.

2. Can I request a call back instead of waiting on hold?
Yes, the IRS offers a call-back service where you can leave your contact information and a representative will call you back. This service is available during certain hours and may help you avoid long wait times.

3. Can I get tax advice over the phone?
The IRS does not provide personalized tax advice over the phone. However, representatives can provide general guidance on tax-related questions and direct you to appropriate resources.

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4. What documents should I have on hand when calling the IRS?
It’s best to have your Social Security number, tax return forms, and any correspondence from the IRS readily available. This will help the representative better understand your situation.

5. What if I need assistance in a language other than English?
The IRS provides assistance in several languages. When calling, you can request a representative who speaks your preferred language.

6. Can I check the status of my tax refund over the phone?
Yes, you can check your refund status by calling the IRS hotline dedicated to refund inquiries. Make sure to have your Social Security number and the exact refund amount available.

7. What if I receive a notice from the IRS and need clarification?
If you have received a notice from the IRS and need further clarification, call the phone number provided on the notice. The representative will guide you through the necessary steps to address the issue.

8. Can I make payments over the phone?
Yes, the IRS provides a telephone payment option. You can pay your taxes using a credit or debit card or set up an electronic funds withdrawal. The representative will guide you through the process and provide further instructions.

Calling the IRS may seem intimidating, but with the right approach and preparation, you can navigate the process successfully. Remember to remain patient, gather all necessary information, and be polite when speaking with the representative. By following these tips and utilizing the provided FAQs, you can ensure a smoother and more productive conversation with the IRS.

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