Presidents Day weekend marks the busiest time of the year for calls to the IRS, but taxpayers can easily avoid the rush by using IRS.gov.
Here are some tips taxpayers can follow to avoid the rush:
IRS.gov has several online tools to help taxpayers get fast answers to common tax questions:
Use "Where’s My Refund?"
Taxpayers can access Where’s My Refund? anytime to track their refunds. They can find this tool on both IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time. Agency customer service representatives can’t answer refund questions unless it has been:
- 21 days or more since the taxpayer e-filed.
- Six weeks or more since the taxpayer mailed their return.
In some cases, Where’s My Refund may tell the taxpayer to contact the IRS. Taxpayers can also call the automated IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.
Be ready to validate their identity
Taxpayers with account questions who need to call the IRS should be ready to verify their identity. IRS phone assistors will ask a series of questions to confirm the identity of callers. Having a prior year tax return handy will help.
Avoid the peak days and times
The peak call dates are the week after Presidents Day, especially that Tuesday. The peaks time also includes the week before April 15. Taxpayers should also avoid the busiest call hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Folks should try calling before or after those times. Before calling, taxpayers should remember that IRS.gov is available 24/7 to answer their questions.
Replace a missing W-2
Employers usually mail or provide Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to their employees by January 31. Anyone who didn’t get their forms by the end of January should first contact their employer to let them know about the missing form. Even if someone doesn’t get a Form W-2, they must file on time. In this case, they may need to use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
Use Free File and free tax prep options
Taxpayers who earned $69,000 or less can use free online tax preparation software that does all the hard work. People who want more personal tax prep assistance can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance locator. This tool helps people find a location near them where volunteers can help complete their taxes.