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The IRS is beginning to reopen its phone lines

This is good news since millions of Americans are still waiting to get their stimulus checks (otherwise known as the Economic Impact Payment).  Understandably, most people are anxious to find out when their stimulus will finally arrive.  Some people would just like to know if they’re even getting one.

Until now, the IRS has urged people to refrain from calling the service and instead turn to IRS.gov to find out information about when, where, and how your stimulus check is coming.  That’s due to the fact that many IRS employees still have not returned to their offices, as well as the volume of people attempting to call the IRS.

But now the IRS has announced that it is increasing its telephone service capabilities to help answer questions about the stimulus payments.  It will begin adding 3,500 telephone representatives which will handle questions about the stimulus.

The IRS anticipates bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit.

People who call the Economic Impact Payment helpline will still first deal with an automated message for answering their questions.  However, if callers still have questions after the automated message concludes, they can now stay on the line to be given an option to talk with an IRS telephone representative.

However, the IRS isn’t publicizing the number because it still wants most people to access answers to their questions online.

To speak to someone, you will need to call the phone number you were given on your letter informing you of the stimulus checks (that letter was called Notice 1444 and should have been mailed to the last known address the IRS had on file for you).

If for some reason you didn’t receive the letter (Notice 1444) try calling 800-919-9835.  If you can’t get through on this number, the general customer service phone number for the IRS is 800-829-1040.

The IRS stopped accepting direct deposit requests last week, but you could still get a stimulus check in the mail or via a prepaid debit card.

If you missed the May 13 deadline to give the IRS your direct deposit information, that doesn’t mean you missed your chance to receive your stimulus.  You’ll just get your payment a different way.

Most people will now be receiving the stimulus by check.  However, the Treasury Department said it is also sending up to 4 million of those payments as “economic impact payment cards” ” instead of paper checks. 

Expect long waits when calling the IRS.  Even before the pandemic, the IRS has struggled to provide responsive customer service as Congress repeatedly cut its budget and its overall staffing levels fell by 20 percent since 2008.

David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent representing clients before the IRS with over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of four tax books and is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education to the public at its website, YourTaxCare.com. David can also be contacted by email at zublerdavid@gmail.com