When it comes to dealing with taxes, one of the common stressors is the idea of reaching out to the IRS to get a live agent. The long wait times, endless phone menus, and the anticipation of talking to a representative can be daunting. This has been widely covered in the news and social media.
However, there’s good news for taxpayers – the IRS is continuing to embrace the digital age thanks to increase government funding under the Inflation Reduction Act.
This has provided a plethora of online resources to address your tax-related queries (including checking your refund status)conveniently and quickly, versus having to wait for an agent or go to an expensive tax professional.
IRS.gov : A 24/7 Online Resource Hub
The IRS has made a conscious effort to provide comprehensive online tools and resources accessible 24 hours a day. The official website, IRS.gov, serves as a central hub for all things related to taxation. While the interface still has a ways to go, it has improved a lot and offers taxpayers a way to navigate seamlessly through a myriad of information and services.
Further you can subscribe to their newsletter to get the latest tax updates delivered right to your mailbox. Just like you can at this site.
Interactive Tax Assistant: Your Virtual Tax Guide
One of the standout features of IRS.gov is the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA). While not yet a full generative AI tool, this online tool functions as a virtual tax guide, helping users find answers to a wide range of tax-related questions.
Whether you are a first-time filer or a seasoned taxpayer, the ITA can provide personalized assistance by asking you a series of questions and delivering responses tailored to your situation.
As generative AI improves, I can see the ITA replacing agents for all but the most complex or unique tax inquiries.
Let Us Help You: Personalized Support at Your Fingertips
The ‘Let Us Help You’ section on the IRS site is like a directory to all things taxes. It offers a variety of resources and tools designed to assist taxpayers in finding the information they need quickly and efficiently.
From tax tips and frequently asked questions to user-friendly search options, this section is a valuable resource for those seeking guidance on tax matters.
Checking Your Refund Status: Real-Time Updates
One of the most common reasons people contact the IRS is to inquire about their tax refund status, especially if not per the normal refund schedule.
Fortunately the IRS provides a dedicated tool (WMR/IRS2Go) that allows you to check your refund status in real-time. By entering a few key pieces of information, you can receive instant updates on the status of your refund, eliminating the need for a phone call or a visit to an IRS office.
The days of navigating the complexities of the IRS through lengthy phone calls and in-person visits are slowly fading away with ongoing improvement of online tools and resources available on IRS.gov. I expect this to get even better as more AI tools are added to speed up tax refund processing.
So before you pick up the phone, check online first and chances are you will find more answers than in the past, which will also equip you better if you do ultimately have to talk to a live agent.
The future of tax assistance is online, and it’s available to you 24/7, courtesy your tax dollars.