Getting ahold of the IRS

By: Corry Hunter, CPA

Anyone who has ever had to call the IRS after receiving a notice in the mail will tell you to expect a long hold time. It can be a challenge to get an issue resolved on your own when you are trying to run a business or simply take care of everyday life.

Fortunately, years ago the IRS created a Tax Practitioners’ Hotline. This is a special number for tax practitioners only (they will not talk to you if it is regarding your own tax matters). Tax practitioners can call and get through in a fraction of the time compared to the standard IRS phone number available to the public.

Some issues resolved over the phone can be as simple as an address change while others can be as complicated as disputing an adjustment of tax due.

Tax practitioners that have used of this hotline are either a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), EA (Enrolled Agent), Lawyer, or the paid preparer who signed your tax return. Any of these people can call and represent you with the IRS as long as they have an IRS power of attorney (Form 2848) signed by you.

Last year was a challenge. Due to budget cuts after recent scandals at the IRS, less staff was available and IRS hold times increased across the board. This was particularly concerning for anyone who had issue with his or her refund.

For the 2016 tax-filing year the IRS has announced that you can expect reduced hold times, and surprisingly, the government has followed through on the promise. In recent weeks, the wait times have gone from 30-40 minutes down to 5-15 minutes. 

It should be noted that the State of California has a similar phone number. So the next time you get a notice in the mail remain calm, and call your CPA. We can get through to the taxing authorities and get your problems resolved, so you don’t have to worry.

For more information call Osborne Rincon CPAs at 760-777-9805 or