USA IRS is impossible to contact - what to do?

I’m in Taiwan and got a nasty fee I need to “contest within 10 business days of the letter”, but every time I call, it says “We’re over-busy. Call again tomorrow” :click:

…what the – do I pay my fee (that I don’t actually owe) then contest it later?

Ironically, IRS still hasn’t dished out my refund (probably because of this pending penalty?) where they owe me more than the penalty is worth, ugh.

…then I only received the 1st stimulus checks, while qualifying for the rest.

However, every time I call them –

“We’re over-busy. Call again tomorrow” :click:

I’m just at a loss what to do. Anyone else in this situation? Thanks!

I have the same issue. Not sure how urgent it is for you but I had thirty days to contact them regarding possible stolen identity (it isn’t stolen at all they’re just finally getting to taxes from 2018 I filed last year) and that expired a month ago. They also have a little notice on before they hang up on you that even if it’s outside the window they ask (30 or in your case 10 days) the IRS will still work worth you.

So I gave up and I’m banking on that. Now I’m hearing it’s still the same. I wish I had a solution for you but I’m in the same boat. I hope it’s not too serious for you.

gotta love the IRS. I didn’t have much luck trying other numbers and departments for them. I think they’re wicked understaffed and backed up. You can’t even make a phone appointment and if you call the moment they open it’s that same busy message :man_shrugging:

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I remember reading that they are pretty lenient with expats. As long as you pay what you should, they won’t add punitive charges.

Are you sure there is no online portal you can use?

Realistically, it would be easiest to pay it. At that point, though, I doubt you’ll get your money back if you contest it (under the law, paying is often seen as an admission of the validity of whatever complaint compelled you to pay).

If you really want to dig in and fight, email the IRS contesting the penalty. And also send a certified letter contesting the penalty. If they ever try and and say that you didn’t contest within ten days, you have evidence that you did.


There is an IRS tax preparer on this forum. Perhaps she can help you with this problem. She has helped with mine (refund from 2017 stuck in identity verification hell).


That would be @Bree. :slight_smile:


if anything she could at least get in contact with IRS in ways normal joe couldn’t and get the necessary resolution…

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It is also a huge pain for me to get through with my special phone number. Often I will hang up and call back ten times in a row until I make it into the queue.
Usually those deadlines are until the next penalty is assessed and doesn’t mean the axe falls. The exception to that is if the letter states the deadline is your date by which you must file a petition with the court. They actually mean that.


I never received my third stimulus check so I called them. It was the number listed at the bottom of the letter. Also, this was just a month ago so probably way past the time most people tried to resolve issues. I also called them right when they opened.

I got through and the lady was very nice. There was a 0 added to my address just right in the middle of nowhere. Probably a sloppy typist. I was put on hold for about 20 minutes but everything was resolved and I received my check a few days ago.

I don’t know if any of what I stated above will help.

I deal with another US government agency often because of my job. So I understand the frustration all too well.

The special numbers as mentioned above are a huge help. Also, if you can get personal telephone numbers or maybe personal email addresses, this is also very helpful.

Don’t know if how this is done at the IRS. Maybe.


ID verification hell :joy:

That’s exactly what I’m going through now

actually timing couldn’t have been better as I still owe about 20,000 in student loans, and COVID has essentially stopped all offsets, so I got my check for sure.

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Gotta admit, they are running a pretty well oiled racket :slight_smile: Kuddos to their well thought out strategy of making people give up and pay.

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I was thinking the same thing. They sure as hell are fully staffed and timely in the penalties department, minus the appeals sub dept.

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There is the issue. The notices going out are all auto computer generated. At least half of them are total BS, but they haven’t the staff to remedy the erroneous ones.


This is funny/ disturbing. I sit on the board of this small group of tax professionals in Texas, we have less than 100 members. I just got this email, “Who will attend next Monday? The speaker is Kim Stewart, IRS Director of Systemic Advocacy. You met Kim previously in November 2019 at CTEA’s last 2-day seminar. She will give an overview of issues from the 2021 filing season and cover some of the Advocacy items that Taxpayer Advocacy Service is engaged in going forward. Lots to talk about!”

I don’t know how this woman has time to pee, let alone talk to us


22 posts were split to a new topic: Government gangsterism in general

Is there a way to contact them online or online by call?

:joy: One would think, but no, the IRS believes in Amish paradise.

They have a specific number for taxpayers outside of the country - Contact My Local Office Internationally | Internal Revenue Service

I’ve used it via Google Voice. There’s usually a bit of a wait, but once you get someone they are helpful.

I know one thing, if they call or email you, they are not the IRS. IRS do not call or email anyone. They always communicate by mail. If someone claiming to be the IRS calls you and tells you to pay up, it’s a scam.

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