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I am a Canadian living in the US temporarily. I filed my taxes and got my tax return, but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA; the Canadian equivalent of the IRS), requires that I get some "proof" that I paid my American taxes. In Canada, all taxpayers automatically receive a "Notice of Assessment" detailing how much tax they paid to the federal government, but the IRS does not seem to have any sort of similar documentation which they mail out automatically.

My understanding is that you can request a transcript from the IRS (see here). Note that I do not have an online account (because I am in the US temporarily on a work visa). If I try to get the transcript by mail, I get an error after entering my info saying "the information does not match our records".

Long story short: I really feel like I need to talk to a human being to get this sorted.

However, I have a Canadian cell phone number still while in the US. When I try to call any of the numbers listed on various IRS websites, I receive the following message: "The number you have dialed cannot be reached from your calling area". This is despite the fact that I am currently in the USA, connected to the AT&T network.

Numbers I have tried:

1-800-829-1040 (main line for personal questions)

1-800-906-9946 (line specifically for requesting transcripts)

1-844-545-5640 (line to book an appointment at IRS tax center)

There is also a line specifically for international tax payers (1-267-941-1000), however every time I phone this number, I receive a busy signal and/or an automated message saying "we're sorry but due to high call volumes, we are unable to take your call at this time. Goodbye".

Any help or ideas?

Sincerely,

Very frustrated Canadian dealing with bureaucracy

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  • What times of day are you calling the international call-in number? Try every hour, is my suggestion, unfortunately. I think you may also have some luck calling the CRA and asking an agent what forms of payment proof they may take. Is this a request from CRA during an audit to proof the amount you are claiming as foreign tax credits? Sep 8 at 19:34
  • (1) can you reach nongovernment 800 numbers e.g. 800-440-0680 Target or 800-465-4329 Holiday Inn? (2) are you working in an office or other physical location? they might have a 'real-US' landline you can borrow (3) if nothing else, the Advocate Service makes a point of having offices in every state with local phone numbers, and while I don't think your situation is within their case criteria to actually work on, they might well be able to help you contact a line office (4) good luck Sep 9 at 5:04
  • Don't you have a copy of the tax return that you have filed ? That's in almost all cases the only document that you need ?
    – Hilmar
    Sep 10 at 13:18

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In the North American Numbering Plan (of which Canada is part of, and which is dialed through the international access code +1), 800 is a "toll free" area code where the receiver of the call pays the costs of the calls to the number. As such, the receiver can determine what calls they want to accept, by area codes. This allows certain benefits:

  • Same 800 number can be reused by multiple receivers in different areas. calling 800-ABC-DEFG in Los Angeles and in New York can ring completely different receivers
  • Receivers can restrict callers from areas they're not interested in (e.g.: a law firm in Miami may not be interested to pay for long distance calls from Seattle)

In your case, the IRS has restricted its phone numbers only to US area codes, and your phone has a Canadian one. So... Get a US phone, or use a US VoIP service. Some (e.g.: Skype, Google Voice) allow calling toll-free numbers for free.

That said, you may still end up with the same automated message.

More to the point of the problem: if you seem to not remember the necessary details shown on your return to request the transcript online, you can use the form 4506 to request a copy of your return from the IRS.

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