Taxes

If You Need To Call The IRS, Here’s When To Expect The Longest Wait Times

Need to call the IRS? You’re going to have to wait.

Taxpayers and tax professionals alike have reported an uptick in service this season compared to last tax season. That’s likely attributable to new hires—the IRS has hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistors and added more in-person staff to help support taxpayers.

Still, earlier this year, acting IRS Commissioner Doug O’Donnell noted, “Our phone volumes remain at very high levels.”

And it’s about to get worse.

Peak Time For Calls

Monday, Feb. 20, marks Presidents Day in 2023. According to the IRS, Presidents Day weekend, when many people prepare their taxes, historically marks a peak period for IRS phone lines. The volume is expected to continue—so during the two-week period in February following Presidents Day, the IRS recommends putting the phone down and clicking over to IRS.gov. The website is available 24/7.

“The IRS continues to see improvements this tax season compared to previous years, including better phone service,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O’Donnell. “But we always see a significant surge in phone traffic around Presidents Day. With the calendar advancing, millions of people turn their attention to taxes during this period. To avoid potential delays, we encourage people to check IRS.gov first, which can provide much of the same information instantly to taxpayers.”

Online Tools

So what kinds of services are available online? Some of the tools available at IRS.gov include:

  • You can check your personal tax account information by using the Online Account tool—registration is required.
  • If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you may qualify to file your tax returns for free using IRS Free File.
  • If you need additional assistance, eligible taxpayers can benefit from free tax help from certified volunteers at thousands of sites across the country. You can find a location for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs online.
  • You can also go online to calculate how much Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant (EITC) you might qualify for, find answers to EITC questions, and check eligibility for the credit.
  • If you’re looking for your refund, you can use the Where’s My Refund? tool and the IRS2Go app. You can find out more information about refunds here.
  • If you still have questions, check out the IRS Tax Topics and Frequently Asked Questions to find answers.

In-Person Assistance

If you can’t get answers over the phone or online and you need face-to-face service, help is available. The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers available across the country. However, you should make an appointment or check for special Saturday hours before visiting.

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