WASHINGTON — The IRS announced hey are adding 3,500 phone attendants to operate a phone line for people with questions about their economic impact payments. When you call the number, the IRS told the QandA team that you’ll hear automated prompts. At the end of the prompt, they said you’ll have the option to speak to a representative.
Well, so many of you reached out to us saying that you can’t get through to anyone. So a member of our team tried calling. After listening to the automated messages and waiting for 10 minutes we were able to get through to a representative.
They didn’t take our team member's name nor social security number. In fact, they weren’t able to provide any specific information regarding our team member's check. So we reached back out to the IRS via email.
They sent the following response:
"[Phone attendants] are not able to look up [a caller’s] account. They can only answer basic questions about the payments. The representative is an alternative to what’s in the phone message and posted online, but at this point, our online resources, FAQs and the Get My Payment tool, are still the best."
The IRS announced that 3,500 people were going to be working the phone line, but today they told the QandA team that it may be a little while before they are fully staffed.
"We’re scaling up staffing on that line, but demand has been very heavy," A representative from the IRS said via email. "In part for that reason, the option to speak to someone only comes at the end of the recorded messages. Even then, if a staff member is not available, the system typically won’t give the caller the option to speak to someone."
So basically, the phone number and the person on the other end of the line aren’t going to help with complicated check situations. The IRS says the best way to answer your questions is through their FAQ list on their website as well as the Check My Payment tool.
That may not be the answer you want to hear, but our team will keep pressing them for more answers and keep you posted.