IRS Warns of Heavy Call Volume, Offers Tips for Faster Answers

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 2/13/2014, 5:23 p.m.
The IRS reminded taxpayers the Presidents Day holiday period typically marks one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing ...
The Internal Revenue Service has lots of tax information online at IRS.gov.

The IRS reminded taxpayers the Presidents Day holiday period typically marks one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for its phone lines. There are other alternatives to help taxpayers find answers to commonly asked tax questions.

The Internal Revenue Service has several easy-to-use, online tools on IRS.gov. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund, request a copy of their tax transcript or get an answer to their tax questions around the clock.

“The entire week of the Presidents Day holiday marks a peak time in the number of calls to the IRS, and we encourage taxpayers to visit IRS.gov as the best place to get quick help,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Due to limited resources, the IRS has changed the services provided at the toll-free telephone number and IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. To save time and find answers faster, taxpayers should make IRS.gov their first stop. A good place to start is 1040 Central for a quick overview. The IRS Services Guide also provides a list of resources.

Here are some of the most common reasons people call us over Presidents Day holiday week and the faster and easier ways to get answers:

Want to know where your refund is?

More than 90 percent of refunds are issued in less than 21 days. IRS representatives will not provide individual refund information before then. Taxpayers can easily find information about their refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool. It’s available on IRS.gov and on the Smartphone app, IRS2Go. Where’s My Refund? provides taxpayers with the most up-to-date information available. Taxpayers must have information from their current, pending tax return to access their refund information. Refund information is updated just once a day, generally overnight, so there’s no need to check more than once a day.

Didn’t get a W-2?

Employers are required to send to their employees a Form W-2, Statement of Earnings, by January 31. Employees should allow enough time for their form to be mailed to their address of record. If form W-2 is not received by mid-February, employees should first contact their employer to ensure they have the correct address on file.

After exhausting all options with the employer, employees may contact the IRS and we will send a letter to the employer. However, we would urge you to call after Presidents Day week to avoid long wait times on the telephone.

Need a copy of your tax return or transcript?

Taxpayers can easily order a return or transcript on the IRS.gov website, on our IRS2Go Smartphone app or by mailing us a completed Form 4506-T. More information on these options is available at IRS.gov.

Ordering a tax return or tax transcript does not mean a taxpayer will get their refund faster. The two are not connected in any way. IRS transcripts are often used to validate income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications and to help with tax preparation.

Need answers to tax law questions?