Prepare Before You Call the IRS

February 17, 2017

Prepare Before You Call the IRS

Mid-February is crunch time for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees who answer the phones.  It’s the busiest time of year for IRS assistors and a little preparation on your part will help make the process smoother.

Validate Your Identity
Protecting taxpayers’ identities is important to the IRS, so be ready to validate your identity when calling the Tax Help Line.  Individual taxpayers should call 1-800-829-1040 only after gathering together the following information:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for everyone listed on the tax return.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for those without a Social Security number.
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate.
  • Prior-year tax return.
  • A copy of the tax return in question.
  • Letters or notices received from the IRS.

Armed with the above details, you should be able to avoid the need for a repeat call.  If you’re calling solely to check on the status of your refund, the IRS suggests that you check online instead of making a call.  Go to and click “Where’s my Refund”.  An IRS assistor won’t be able to give you any information about the status of your refund that you can’t already find online.

President’s Day Holiday
The weekend of President’s Day is particularly busy for the IRS, so they plan to have the Tax Help Line open over the holiday.  Call on Saturday, February 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (caller’s local time) and Monday, February 20 (President’s Day) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (caller’s local time).

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