IRS by Phone: Have Child Tax Credit or Other Tax Return Issues? Here’s the Best Way To Get in Touch Directly

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It’s getting close to crunch time for filing your 2021 taxes. With just over two weeks to go, you might have concerns that are delaying you from completing your return. Although answers to most taxpayers’ questions can be found on the official IRS site or other trusted websites, not all answers can be found there. In that case, contacting the IRS by phone can get you the help you need.  

The toll-free number for the IRS is 800-829-1040, and representatives are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Higher wait times are on Monday and Tuesday, however, and it being so close to the end of tax season, prepare to wait a long time to speak to a rep — the average wait is 13 minutes during filing season and 19 minutes in the post-filing season.

Before you call, you should conduct a last-ditch search online because the IRS website is always expanding its information base. For example, the child tax credit has its own portal, located here, that allows you to review your eligibility, confirm your personal information and review advance payments you received as part of the 2021 CTC.

Make certain you have everything you need when you call, including your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, your personal information such as birth date, and your filing status — single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, for example. You should have your prior-year tax return, all notices you’ve received and any supporting documentation at the ready.

Make Your Money Work For You

If you have exhausted all website and phone options, you may want to speak to an IRS representative face-to-face at one of the nearly 600 regional Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the U.S. Taxpayers Assistance Centers operate only by appointment, and wait times vary by tax issues and office locations.

To book an in-person appointment at an IRS office, plug in your 5-digit ZIP code on the Taxpayer Assistance Center Office Locator page, which you’ll find here, pick the office closest to you, select “Make Appointment” and then call 844-545-5640 for an appointment.

For your in-person meeting, make sure to bring a government-issued photo ID and your ITIN or Social Security number. IRS guidelines for COVID-19 precautions will be in effect. Note that representatives can help you with any questions you have about preparing your returns, but they’re unable to provide tax advice or prepare a return on your behalf.

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