How do I get to a human when calling the IRS? I keep hitting automated robots.

  • 5
    Not a complete answer, but shouting into the phone or mashing buttons will get you an operator on some automated systems. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:46
  • Also, note that getting a human may be difficult, given the budget cuts the IRS has been suffering under for years. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 22:07
  • @KevinMcKenzie: Yeah I wrote them a letter a few years ago essentially telling them my tax return will be late because they're not answering the phone in a timely manner. (A tax expert can't help if you don't have the data but the IRS does so they can read it off to you.)
    – Joshua
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 23:19
  • @NuclearWang Yeah the aim is to make the system not understand what you tell it, so things like mumbling to a voice recognition system, not pushing buttons when asked to, etc. could sometimes give you a real person
    – Aequitas
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 1:46
  • I don't have enough non-association bonus to post answers on this question. But here's my take in Fall 2022: Start with a block of time where you can be on the phone for at least two hours, perhaps four. Call the IRS, learn the proper phone sequence for your issue, talk to the representative, and repeat this process once per minute. After five to fifteen attempts, you should be able to get on hold. After waiting on hold roughly twice for an hour, you should get to a real person who can answer your call. Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


Do the following to get to a human. No need to wait for the bot to talk, just press the key once you hear the bots say something so you can get to a real person quickly.. When they ask for SS#, just press the pound key twice.

Intuit's website has this advice:

Call the IRS: 1-800-829-1040 hours 7 AM - 7 PM local time Monday-Friday

When calling the IRS do NOT choose the first option re: "Refund", or it will send you to an automated phone line.

So after first choosing your language, then do NOT choose Option 1 (refund info). Choose option 2 for "personal income tax" instead.

Then press 1 for "form, tax history, or payment".

Then press 3 "for all other questions."

Then press 2 "for all other questions."

  • When it asks you to enter your SSN or EIN to access your account information, don’t enter anything.

  • After it asks twice, you will get another menu.

Then press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.

It should then transfer you to an agent.

  • 2
    That's good stuff - IF it works. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 18:31
  • 3
    On most phone systems, mashing 0 will get you a person. I'm half tempted to call the IRS now, just to see if that works. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 21:43
  • 1
    it does not. i tried... they got smart. there objective is to get you to a robot so they can save money on hiring humans. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 4:14
  • 1
    I followed this procedure. It took less than 10 minutes to get through in mid-March. Amazing! Thank you! Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    Worked great for me first try! 9-27-2018
    – Duke
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 17:19

Call 1-800-829-0922 (an official IRS number) then enter your SSN number incorrectly. They will then connect you to a human. They are more worried about illegal aliens than their own citizens.

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