Get in Touch with an Actual IRS Agent
We’ve all been there. The beginning of the year comes and goes, and suddenly it’s mid-March and you haven’t thought about filing your taxes since… the last time you filed your taxes. You need to get through to an IRS agent, but instead, you spend way too much time getting to know the automated menu on the other end of the line.
Is it even possible to get through to an actual person? The short answer is YES! It will take a few extra steps, but if you do exactly as the steps say, you have a better chance than most to reach an agent.
Here’s how it works:
1. Collect the necessary information beforehand.
- Social Security cards and the birth dates of those who were on the return you’re calling about
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if you don’t have an SSN
- Filing state (single, head of household, married filing joint, married filing separately)
- The prior-year tax return
- A copy of the tax return you’re calling about
- Any notices or letter sent to you from the IRS related to the call
2. Call the IRS number at 1 (800) 829-1040. This line is open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.
3. Choose your language.
4. Once you’ve set your language, do NOT choose Option 1. This option is regarding refund information. You want to choose Option 2 for “Personal Income Tax” information instead.
5. Then, press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment.”
6. Next, press 3 “for all other questions.”
7. After that, press 2 for “all other questions.”
8. Once the System asks you to enter an SSN or EIN to access account information, DO NOT press anything.
9. After the system asks twice, you will be promoted to another menu.
10. Press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.
11. Lastly, press 4 for all other inquiries. The system will then transfer you to an agent.
Keep in mind that you will still wait for an average of 15 minutes once you navigate through all of the automated menus. According to IRS.gov, the wait times are higher on Monday and Tuesday, during Presidents Day weekend, and especially once April comes.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to speak to an actual agent, start here to find online tools and resources. If the list above does not transfer you to an agent, there are a few other ways you can try.
Other Tips We Recommend
The deadline to file your taxes for the 2019 year is Wednesday, April 15, 2020, so you still have time. However, the longer you wait, the higher the risk is that you won’t be able to get everything done on time.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, consider the following:
Choose a Preparer & Schedule an Appointment ASAP
If you don’t have a tax preparer yet, now’s the time to find one. To find a preparer, ask friends and advisers to make a referral, or contact us; we can help get you connected.
Be sure that the person you choose has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Only those authorized to prepare federal income tax returns will have one. Also ask about fees, which will likely depend on the complexity of your return; steer clear of anyone taking a percentage of your refund. The IRS directory of preparers can help you search by qualification and location.
The sooner you meet with your preparer, the sooner you can begin the process and make the mid-April deadline. Act quickly if you think you’ll get a refund so you can receive your refund payment earlier.
Gather Your Information
By the end of January, you should receive most, if not all of the information you need to complete your tax return. For each form you receive, verify that the information matches your own records.
Here are some of the most common forms*:
- W-2: Filled out by your employer to document your earnings for the calendar year.
- 1098: Reports mortgage interest (1098), student loan interest (1098-E), and tuition payments (1098-T).
- 1099: There are several of these forms; they report all income that isn’t salary, wages, or tips.
- 1095-A: Reports information from the government marketplace from which you purchased health coverage.
Get Your Receipts Together
Which receipts you need depends on whether you choose to itemize your personal deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction. Most people will only choose to itemize their deductions if it gives them a better return. The only way to know for sure is to determine the amount of your itemized deductions and compare them with your standard deduction.
If you are itemizing this year, gather any receipts that will qualify for a deduction. Make sure to look for receipts for medical costs not covered by insurance or reimbursed by any other health plan, property taxes, and job-related and investment-related expenses.
If you have business income and expenses to report, you’ll need to share your books and records with your tax preparer. The more organized you are, the less time it will take your preparer, which translates into lower fees and more money in your pocket.
Decide What to Do with Your Refund
Your tax refund could be the answer to owning your first home, moving up to a larger house/property, or making the leap to a new adventure. We offer a broad portfolio of mortgage products to choose from including conventional loans, FHA, VA, and USDA** loans. Let us help you put that tax refund to good use!
Here are ways you can use your tax refund toward a home purchase:
- Closing costs
- Down payment
- Moving costs
- Future tax benefits
Contact us today to learn how we can turn a tax refund into a down payment!