How to get an actual human being on the phone at the IRS (for 2021)

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Don’t call a phone number given over reddit and enter your SSN.


It’s been a while since I extricated myself from interactions with the IRS, but I discovered that a good, old-fashioned letter, the kind you put into a mailbox, worked best. For me, back in the day, it worked, but it might not work now. I had gotten behind and owed the IRS a couple grand in taxes plus interest and penalties. It was to the point where they were threatening to just snatch the money from my bank account, or garnish my paycheck. If they drained my bank account, I couldn’t make rent or buy food. I just needed time to get my shit together. What I found was that if I tried to call the IRS, the humans I spoke to were not very helpful, and would just try to get me to quickly agree to a painful repayment plan, that I’d probably not be able to stick to. But if I sent a letter, everything ground to a halt. They would respond with a letter saying they received my letter, were reading it, and would get back to me with their response. This would inevitably take at least 30 days. The threats stopped, though. Back then, for me, having those 30 extra days was crucial. Now, admittedly, this was a while ago, and may not apply today, but it might be worth a try. I was eventually able to pay off my back taxes on terms that were manageable. I learned that it’s not good to fall behind on your taxes.


I called many times pre may 19th and was told too busy. I finally got through calling at 8AM EST. Wait was only 10 min at that time.


I waited on hold for over 45 minutes after calling right at 7am.


The best part is every time you go through this stupid series of button mashing to get to a human, they just say “all representatives are busy” and instantly hang up on you. Awesome