Where to Go For IRS Govt Tax Help

Jill Bridges
Expert Contributor
Last Updated:
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  • Dealing with the IRS can be complicated, which is why the agency offers several resources to assist taxpayers.
  • You can get information about tax issues directly from the IRS by visiting their website, calling a representative by phone, or mailing a letter.
  • Taxpayers can also get assistance from paid tax professionals such as tax attorneys and tax resolution specialists.

Tax season is a stressful time, especially if you have a lot of information to sort through. If you’re not an expert on taxes, the tax process can be overwhelming, but the IRS is there to help.

If you need guidance completing your tax return, need to check on your refund status, or have questions about another tax issue, you can contact the IRS in multiple ways. Many representatives are available to address any concerns or questions you have, so you can get your tax return filed quickly and easily.

Online

The internet is a great way to get information about virtually any topic and to connect with businesses, and the IRS is no different. The IRS website provides downloadable forms, frequently asked questions, tax law updates, calculators, and other tax-related information. While this is no substitute for speaking with a tax professional directly, the IRS site can help you with basic tax information.

Phone

If you need to contact the IRS but prefer to talk to a real person, the telephone may be the best option for you. Use the numbers below to connect with representatives who can assist with specific tax problems:

  • 1-800-829-3676 — This number is for instructions or ordering forms. The IRS can ship the form you need to a home address or P.O. box, and if you’re not sure of the forms you need, an IRS representative can help.
  • 1-800-829-1040 — This number is for tax questions in regard to personal income taxes or general inquiries.
  • 1-800-829-4933 — This number is for tax questions in regard to business taxes, such as information about filing business taxes or employee tax forms.
  • 1-877-777-4778 — This number is the Taxpayer Advocate, which handles tax questions you can’t resolve using other methods.
  • 1-800-829-4477 — This number has recorded messages related to an array of tax topics, directing you to the information you need.
  • 1-800-829-1954 — This number is the direct IRS refund hotline. You can get updates on the status of your refund or information about when you’ll receive it.
  • 1-800-829-4059 — This number is for tax help for those with hearing impairment. You must have a TDD, or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, to use the number.

The second number connects you with a representative to answer your questions, so it may have a considerable wait time. This is especially true in February, March, and April, which are known as “tax season.”

Where to Go For IRS Govt Tax Help

Try to have your information and documents ready before you call. With such long waits, you don’t want to hold up the operator while you organize your paperwork.

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By Mail

If your tax problem isn’t time-sensitive, you can use traditional mail to contact the IRS. It’s best to contact the director for the local IRS district.

Keep in mind that it can take 30 days for a response, or as many as 45 days in some cases. If you’re sending your tax refund in by mail, it may delay processing. Your refund will be issued by paper check and may take up to eight weeks, compared to the three weeks you can expect with e-filing and direct deposit.

Visit the Local Office

The IRS has many local offices, called taxpayer assistance centers, that allow you to get service and assistance for your tax issues. A directory of local taxpayer assistance centers can be found on the IRS website.

Some local offices provide walk-in services, while others are appointment-only. The website listing should give you information about the policies and business hours of your nearby center.

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By Fax

If you need forms or instructions, rather than advice and guidance, you can have the IRS documents sent to you by fax. Simply use your fax machine to contact the IRS TaxFax service at 703-368-9694. You’ll have audio prompts to get to the forms you need, which will then be faxed.

Tax Preparation Assistance

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If you want an expert to help with your tax return, many different kinds of free and paid tax preparers are available, all with different expertise and credentials.

Free Tax Help

The lowest level of tax preparer includes those who have a Volunteer Training Certification, which is provided by the IRS. This type of tax preparer is unpaid and works on a volunteer basis after undergoing training in the Standards of Conduct and passing a certification test.

For those seeking free tax assistance, two primary programs exist:

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): This is available through community organizations.
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE): This provides tax assistance to qualifying elderly taxpayers through different organizations.

Each paid tax preparer must obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and register with the IRS. Paid tax preparers must also sign the tax returns they prepare.

There are four primary types of paid tax preparers:

  • Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRPs): An RTRP is a tax professional who must pass the IRS competency exam, suitability check, and a tax compliance check. RTRPs are considered “un-enrolled” preparers and have limited rights to practice.
  • Enrolled Agents (EAs): An EA is a tax professional who is licensed by the IRS, is trained in federal tax matters, and has unlimited practice rights. EAs need to pass a comprehensive examination and complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.
  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs): A CPA must pass the Uniform CPA Examination and be licensed by the state boards of accountancy, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. CPAs have specialized certification and training and need to meet certain education and experience standards. CPAs have unlimited representation rights and can provide a variety of tax-related services.
  • Tax Attorney: A tax attorney is someone who has been licensed by a state court or the state bar to provide a variety of tax services. They may also be CPAs or hold an advanced legal degree.

Contact Solvable

If you need assistance with a tax-related matter that can’t be solved by contacting the IRS, Solvable can help. We can put you in contact with tax professionals with the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through your tax issues. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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Jill Bridges
Expert Contributor
Last Updated: