How to Talk to a Live Person at the IRS



The tax deadline is approaching fast, and people still working on their tax returns may look to the IRS directly for help to quickly resolve issues. If you find yourself in this situation, how could you to talk to a live person at the IRS?

IRS Phone Numbers

Your first step in talking to a live person at the IRS is to find a valid phone number. The current phone numbers are always listed on the IRS’s website, as well as additional information regarding hours of availability if they differ from the general 7am to 7pm window advertised by the IRS.





Hearing Impaired


Except Organizations, retirement plan administrators,  and government


Estate and gift tax


Excise taxes


Preparing to Talk to a Live Person at the IRS

IRS employees are extremely busy, especially during the tax season. Your issue will be resolved much easier and more quickly if you have the following information in front of you before you pick up the phone:

  • Social Security Numbers (of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and birth dates of everyone on the tax return
  • Filing status
  • The current year’s tax return
  • The previous year’s tax return
  • Any letters or notifications received from the IRS

Without this information, the IRS representative may ask you to collect the information and then call back.

Wait Times

The IRS states the average wait time during filing season (January – April) as 15 minutes. Wait times may be longer on Monday and Tuesdays, on President’s Day weekend, and as the filing deadline approaches.

The average wait time during the off season (May – December) is 27 minutes, with wait time again being longer on Monday and Tuesdays.

Keep in mind these are average wait times, and may vary significantly in either direction on any given day.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

Some areas have Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) which provide face-to-face services. To find a TAC in your area, use the Taxpayer Assistance Center Locator and then call 844-545-5640 to make an appointment. Taxpayer Assistance Centers operate by appointment only.

Many resources exist to help taxpayers answer tax related questions including tax professionals as well as online resources provided by the IRS. However, there are times when direct contact with a live person at the IRS is helpful or even required. For those situations the phone numbers provided or a face-to-face appointment with someone at a Taxpayer Assistance Center is an option.

Have you ever attempted to talk to a live person at the IRS?  Were you able to get through, and how long did you have to wait?

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About the author

Brock Kernin

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