Avoid the Rush: IRS Extends Service Hours to Assist Taxpayers at Presidents Day Peak

 To help meet the high demand to its toll-free call center that typically comes with the Presidents Day holiday, the Internal Revenue Service is extending its customer service hours.

The IRS toll-free telephone lines will be available Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (callers’ local time) and, despite the legal Presidents Day holiday, on Monday, Feb. 20, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (callers’ local time).

Tuesday, Feb. 21, the day following Presidents Day, is typically the busiest day of the year for IRS telephone assistors, as they field thousands of calls per hour. The IRS reminds taxpayers that most questions can be answered online by using the numerous tools available at IRS.gov.

Taxpayers calling the IRS about account issues should be prepared to validate their identities by having prior-year and most recently filed tax returns available.

The most frequent question posed by taxpayers is, “Where’s my refund?” The IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool helps taxpayers answer that question.” Where’s My Refund?” will be updated Feb. 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit. While some may see a projected deposit date before then, there is no need to call the IRS.

By law, the IRS must hold Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit refunds until Feb. 15. These refunds will likely not start arriving in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27 – if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit.

Avoid the Rush: Online Resources

Finding Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) – If taxpayers changed tax preparation software this year, they may be asked for their adjusted gross income to help verify their identity. Taxpayers must use the procedures outlined on IRS.gov for getting their AGI. Phone assistors cannot provide taxpayers with their AGI.

Letter 4883C – The IRS takes many steps to protect taxpayers from identity theft. If taxpayers receive an IRS Letter 4883C, it’s because the IRS stopped a questionable return. Before calling, be prepared to validate identity. See Understanding Your 4883C Letter for details.

ITIN Renewal – Taxpayers who have an expired Individual Tax Identification Number and need to file a tax return should be aware of new rules.

Get Transcript – Taxpayers can view a tax transcript, a summary of their tax return, online or order it by mail. Taxpayers may need this for non-tax reasons, such as student or mortgage loan income verification. Taxpayers may also request a transcript to obtain Adjusted Gross Income information.

Appointment Service – All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now require an appointment for most services. Most questions can be answered at IRS.gov.

Avoid the Rush: Keyword Search

Use the IRS website’s search tool to track down a topic and get the answer to a question. Or, try the Interactive Tax Assistant. It’s similar to the tool used by IRS customer service representatives when they answer taxpayer questions. The IRS Help and Resources page also contains valuable information.

This tip is part of the IRS Avoid the Rush news release series designed to provide taxpayers with the information they need, when they need it. More details on this series, including information on additional online resources, are available on IRS.gov.

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