IRS Phone Calls…What if You Still Can’t Get Through to a Human?

During the past few tax seasons, making IRS phone calls and reaching a human at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been nearly impossible. Only 13% of callers reached an IRS employee in 2022, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s report to Congress— and that was an improvement over 2021, when just 11% of callers made contact with an IRS employee. You can blame early COVID for that.

But, during the 2023 tax season, taxpayers saw a new and improved IRS, with nearly triple (35%) the number of calls answered compared to last year. That turnaround can be chalked up to the IRS hiring more workers and the lessened complexity in tax laws now that we’re past the early pandemic woes.

But that means 65% of calls went unanswered. So, what if you’re one of the unlucky ones who can’t get through to a human? Here are some tips to improve your chances of talking to a real person at the IRS:

Make Sure You’re Calling the Right Number
The IRS has different phone numbers for different types of tax issues. While they’re all open Monday through Friday, their operating hours vary. Here’s a rundown:
• Individual tax return inquiries: 800-829-1040, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time
• Business tax return inquiries: 800-829-4933, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time
• Nonprofit tax return inquiries: 877-829-5500, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time
• Estate and gift taxes inquiries: 866-699-4083, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT.
• Excise tax inquiries: 866-699-4096, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT
• Installment agreement inquiries: 800-829-1040 (individuals) or (800-829-4933 (businesses.

What if I Still Can’t Reach a Human at the IRS?
If you’re still having trouble reaching a live person at the IRS, try visiting the website and see if you can resolve your issue using one of the online tools. For example, if you’re curious about when you may get your refund, select the “Where’s my refund?” tab and follow the prompts for a “prompt” answer without relying on a human.

If you have not been able to reach a human and are unsure what to do next, contact us! The Highland Tax Group has experience helping people with IRS and tax issues of all kinds.