VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Congresswoman Elaine Luria announced on Thursday that the Internal Revenue Service has launched a hotline for taxpayers with questions regarding Economic Impact Payments under the CARES Act.
The hotline comes shortly after Luria called on the IRS to create a phone line due to many people not having reliable internet access during the pandemic. As a result, the IRS said that it is adding nearly 3,500 phone representatives to answer questions about Economic Impact Payments.
Before the hotline was available, taxpayers’ only option to get EIP answers was to visit the IRS’ online portal. Therefore, people who do not have reliable internet connectivity were unable to receive assistance from the IRS and update their information.
“It is unacceptable that there is no telephone line option for constituents without internet access and that the IRS has no plan to create a telephone line to implement the direct-to-individuals stimulus payments that Congress authorized,” said Congresswoman Luria.
“As rural and urban communities alike are struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic, it is critical that the IRS and the Treasury Department provide equal access to families without reliable access to broadband.”
Additionally, in response to a letter regarding the issues of lack of resources for the public, the IRS indicated to Congressional offices that without access to the online portal, those without internet access would have had to wait until next year’s tax filing season to claim the child add-on payment.
The IRS website says that while phone assistance and other services remain limited, answers for most EIP questions are available on the automated message for people who call the phone number provided in the letter (Notice 1444).
If needed, the option is available to speak with a representative, however, wait times to speak to an IRS representative about personalized cases may be up to several hours.
“While wait times must be improved, this is a step in the right direction,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “The IRS must continue working to provide equal access to families without reliable broadband internet access.”
IRS EIP hotline: 800-919-9835
More information can be found via IRS online.
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