This article was last updated on May 13
According to the IRS calling them won’t expedite your tax refund payment delays. This is apparently because the information available to IRS call center representatives is the same as that available on their WMR (Where’s My Refund) tool.
But l beg to differ. There is always value in talking to real person, especially when it comes to getting help specific to you tax situation.
For one thing the IRS call center(s) are like many other large call centers with different levels of operators and access. So if “Level 1” agents only have the same information as what’s available on the WMR tool, then surely level 2 or above agents would have more. Otherwise what’s the point of a call center if everything is available online. I have worked in and consulted with many call centers and there are always multiple levels of agent/representative hierarchy with increasing levels of access to information and approval authority. I imagine IRS call centers are no different.
Secondly a live agent can help you diagnose your real issue because they deal with these kinds of items every day and its likely that someone else has called about a similar issue that an agent was able to resolve. IRS representatives deal with payment and refund delay questions all the time (and share information with each other) so surely they can help direct you to or reassure you around items you don’t even realize that are causing delays. For example, your refund may be on track but due to mandated delays could be delayed because it contains a claim for the EITC credit.
Finally online tools, especially ones used by the IRS built on antiquated systems, can be notoriously unreliable and suffer from performance issues. This means that updates could take several days and hard to get assurance that your tax return is under review and refund on the way. A real life agent can at least tell you where things stand and if there are potential issues (even if system processing related) that are causing delays with your tax refund.