The Internal Revenue Service is getting blitzed with phone calls from taxpayers to the help desk it has set up for tax professionals, and it’s asking tax pros to stop referring their clients there.

In an email to tax professionals Wednesday, the IRS said the inappropriate referrals to its e-help Desk are causing longer hold times on the phone.

“Each filing season, the e-help Desk receives phone calls from taxpayers because their tax preparer referred them for assistance resolving rejected returns, tax law and tax account matters,” said the IRS. “This increases the taxpayer’s burden and causes lengthier delays for everyone. The e-help desk cannot help these callers and must direct them to other sources for assistance – typically IRS.gov including Publication 5136, IRS Services Guide.“

The IRS pointed out the EPSS (short for Electronic Products and Services Support) e-help Desk is intended specifically to help tax professionals, such as enrolled agents, reporting agents, electronic return originators, CPAs, etc., with non-account related questions and issues concerning the IRS’s electronic products. The help desk doesn’t provide support to individual taxpayers who are experiencing e-filing issues.

Instead, taxpayers should check IRS.gov, or they can call the various IRS help lines:

• Tax Help Line for Individuals: 800-829-1040

• Tax Help Line for Businesses: 800-829-4933

• Order Tax Forms and Publications: 800-829-3676

• Information Return Reporting: 866-455-7438

• Employer Identification Numbers (EINs): 800-829-4933

• Help Line for Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE): 877-829-5500

• Help Line for Forms 706 and 709: 866-699-4083

• Help Line for Excise Tax and Form 2290: 866-699-4096

• Help Line for FBAR and Title 31: 866-270-0733

• Special Hotline for U.S. Military (Disaster or Combat Zone): 866-562-5227

• Telephone Assistance for Overseas Taxpayers: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)

• Telephone Assistance for the Deaf (TDD): 800-829-4059


IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.