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What is TeleTax?

By Deanira Bong
Updated May 16, 2024
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TeleTax is the name of a phone service provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government agency that manages tax collection and tax law enforcement. A fully automated phone service, TeleTax has pre-recorded messages concerning about 150 tax issues that taxpayers face. TeleTax is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To call TeleTax, U.S. taxpayers should dial 1-800-829-4477. A directory of topics is accessible by keying in #123. The caller can also check the list of topics at the IRS website before calling. The caller can listen to as many topics as he or she wants during a phone call. Most TeleTax topics are available in both English and Spanish.

Some topics covered by TeleTax include who must file taxes, IRS assistance, tax credits, retirement accounts and how to arrange for payments. The caller can choose to hear a certain topic by keying in a three-digit code. The IRS also puts all the information available through TeleTax on its website, on Pages 8 and 9 of the downloadable Form 1040 instruction booklet.

TeleTax topic numbers run from the 100s into the 900s. The 100s cover the topics that relate to IRS help and various IRS procedures, while the 200s cover tax collection processes and alternate filing methods. The 300s help taxpayers choose which forms to use and also provide general information such as where to file, time extensions on filing and record-keeping.

The 400s cover types of income and adjustments to income, and the 500s provide information about tax deductions and computations. The 600s cover various types of tax credits and IRS notices, while 700s help with assets and employer tax information. Codes in the lower 800s provide information on filing electronically, while codes from 851 into the 900s provide information for aliens, U.S. expatriates and residents of Puerto Rico.

About four to five weeks after filing, taxpayers can also call TeleTax to inquire about the status of their tax refund. This service is also automated, and taxpayers can access it by following the recorded instructions. The caller will need to provide details from his or her copy of the current tax return, including the first Social Security number shown, status of filing and the exact amount of refund. Because IRS updates refund information every seven days, callers should wait at least seven days to call again if the refund information is not yet available on TeleTax.

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