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Avoid the Rush: Online Options Help You Avoid Rush


February marks the peak demand for our toll-free telephone and office services. We receive thousands of telephone calls per hour. But, the vast majority of people calling us or seeking appointments at our Taxpayer Assistance Centers can find their answers faster on

We know it can be frustrating to wait for us to answer the telephone, and we do our best to ensure that you receive quick, accurate and timely service. Here are some ways to avoid the rush.

Avoid the Rush: Online Resources

Refund Delays – By law, the IRS must hold Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit refunds until Feb. 15. Taxpayers will begin to see refunds claiming EITC/ACTC the week of Feb. 27. “Where’s My Refund?” will update for EITC/ACTC refunds on Feb. 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before Feb. 18, some taxpayers may see a projected deposit date or an intermittent message that the IRS is processing their return.

Where’s My Refund? – You just need a little info from your tax return to track your refund.

Finding your Adjusted Gross Income – If you changed tax preparation software products this year, you may be asked for your adjusted gross income to help verify your identity. You must use the procedures outlined on for getting your AGI. We cannot provide you with your AGI if you call.

Letter 4883C – We take many steps to protect you from identity theft. If you receive Letter 4883C, it’s because we stopped a suspicious tax return. Before you call, be prepared to validate your identity. See Understanding Your 4883C Letter for details.

ITIN Renewal – If you have an expired Individual Tax Identification Number and need to file a tax return, there are new rules this year.

Get Transcript – You can view your tax transcript, a summary of your tax return, online or you can order it by mail. You may need this for non-tax reasons such as student or mortgage loan income verification. Or you may need it to find your adjusted gross income.

Appointment Service – Most questions can be answered at, but if you need in-person assistance, you need to make an appointment.

Free File – Do your taxes yourself, using free, brand-name software through the IRS Free File program. A dozen partners offer free federal tax prep, and in many cases free state as well,  to anyone earning $64,000 or less. Taxpayers earning more can use Free File Fillable Forms.

VITA/TCE – Need help doing your taxes? Find volunteer help near you through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program or AARP’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly.

Avoid the Rush: Keyword Search

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

Use our search tool to track down your topic and get the answer at your fingertips. Or, try our Interactive Tax Assistant. This is similar to the tool used by our customer service representatives to answer your tax questions. Our Help and Resources page also contains valuable information.

Avoid the Rush: News Releases

IR-2017-40, Feb. 21, 2017, Avoid Today’s Rush: Use for Faster Service

IR-2017-38, Feb. 17, 2017, Avoid the Rush: IRS Extends Service Hours to Assist Taxpayers at Presidents Day Peak

IR-2017-36, Feb. 16, 2017, Avoid the Rush: EITC and ACTC Refunds Expected to Arrive the Week of Feb. 27

IR-2017-34, Feb. 15, 2017, Avoid the Rush: Check Before Making IRS Office Appointment

IR-2017-32, Feb. 14, 2017, Avoid the Rush: Be Prepared to Validate Identity if Calling the IRS

IR-2017-30, Feb. 13, 2017, Avoid the Rush; Use for Quick Answers to Questions

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Feb-2017