Being the accounting firm you trust, we understand the challenges and uncertainties often associated with interacting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The primary way to access IRS services is online, using the ID.me system on IRS.gov. Alternatively, the IRS also offers phone services for more personalized assistance.
Starting with ID.me on IRS.gov
As part of the IRS’s commitment to making tax services more accessible and secure, they’ve adopted ID.me as their identity verification system. Registering on ID.me is the first step to accessing many of the online services the IRS offers.
Here’s a quick overview of the sign-up process:
- Visit IRS.gov and click on the ‘Sign In’ button.
- Select the ‘Create an account’ option.
- You’ll be redirected to ID.me, where you’ll need to enter some basic information to create your account.
- Verify your identity by providing a government-issued ID and taking a selfie.
- With your ID.me account set up, you can access IRS online services by logging in through this platform.
For a more detailed walkthrough of the registration process, we invite you to read our comprehensive guide on How to Set Up an Account with the IRS on IRS.gov. This step-by-step tutorial simplifies the process, ensuring a smooth setup experience.
Once you’re signed in, you can handle many tasks yourself, such as checking your refund status, making a payment, or viewing tax records. These online services are meant to provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need when dealing with your taxes.
IRS.gov also allows you to download your IRS transcripts from within your account, so you can see what the IRS has on file and what you still owe.
When to Call the IRS
While the online services are convenient, there may be times when you need to speak to an IRS representative directly. Before picking up the phone, consider whether your question might be answered more efficiently online, for example, through the IRS’s comprehensive FAQ or the ‘Interactive Tax Assistant’ tool.
Many answers can also be found within your IRS.gov account, answers to account balances, how to set up a payment plan, how much in estimates you paid, and so much more.
However, if your query is more complex, involves personal information, or requires immediate attention, it might be best to call the IRS. For individual taxpayers, the number to dial is 800-829-1040. Businesses should call 800-829-4933. The IRS’s operating hours are typically Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.
If you have a notice in hand, you should follow the directions or phone number on the notice to resolve it. Do not call the general IRS phone number if you have a more direct number.
When you call, make sure to have the following information ready to verify your identity:
- Full name
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Date of Birth
- Address associated with the most recent tax return
- A copy of your most recently filed tax return to answer questions that may be asked to verify your identity
It’s also helpful to have any relevant documents at hand, depending on your issue or question, such as notices from the IRS or tax forms.
Best Time to Call the IRS
The best time to call the IRS is usually early in the morning or after 5 p.m., when the call volumes are lowest. Wednesday through Friday tend to be less busy than Monday or Tuesday. However, anticipate some hold time, particularly during the peak tax season (January-April).
In conclusion, IRS.gov and its ID.me system offer a convenient way to manage your tax information online, but the IRS’s phone services also provide valuable help for more complex issues. As your trusted accounting firm, we’re here to guide you through these processes, offering additional support when you need it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us when navigating your financial path; we’re here to help you every step of the way.