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Have you received a notice from the IRS with a change to the amount of your refund due to an Advance Child Tax Credit or Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus) discrepancy? Well, don’t try to call them.

Honestly – they are not answering the phone. You don’t even get the opportunity to sit on hold for 6 hours. Instead, they inform you that “due to extremely high call volume on this subject, we cannot answer your call at this time. Please try again later”.

2020 – 2022 has been one of the most frustrating times to be a tax preparer, dealing with notices your clients send you from an agency that cannot get it together and even pick up the phone. They continue to send out notices daily but have not processed millions of returns and refunds, and no one is available to help taxpayers and tax preparers resolve any issues.

Taxpayer Advocate Service

Some taxpayers may benefit from using the Taxpayer Advocate Service. This is an agency independent from the IRS and helps taxpayers resolve issues with the IRS when direct contact with the IRS has not solved the issue. They can be reached at 1-877-777-4778. You may also find some helpful information on their website at https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/

I called them to see what advice they had for handling client notices, and they said they are currently only taking on “hardship cases” and not Economic Impact Payment or Advance Child Tax Credit issues. This means that unless you haven’t received your refund and it’s causing you economic hardship, they probably will not be able to help you at this point.

So what’s a taxpayer to do?

Well, we are currently writing lots of letters in our office. It’s not the quickest solution, but it allows us to send documentation, explain the issue and give our contact information in order to at least respond to the notice by the due date on the notice, so our clients don’t get penalized.

Some other options you may want to try if you have an unresolved notice are:

  • Call right when the IRS opens or right before they close
  • Sign up for an IRS.gov account and view your payments, returns, child tax payments, and more
  • Contact your local IRS office and see if you can make an appointment. You can find office locations here.
  • Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service
  • Call your representative and voice your concerns over the IRS delays

Be sure to have your social security number, date of birth, address on your most recently filed tax return, and notice/return that’s in question ready when you are calling!

And while you’re waiting on hold, take a look at the Taxpayer Roadmap tool created by the IRS. This shows the various departments and stops that your tax return and refunds pass through before money hits your bank account. And it’s a little insight into how frustrating it can be to deal with such a disorganized and complex agency.

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