updated 2:13 PM CEST, Jul 7, 2020

IRS adds phone operators to answer Economic Impact Payment questions

The Internal Revenue Service has added some 3,500 telephone representatives to answer taxpayers' questions about their Economic Impact Payments, which expats are able to access if they don't mind paying for the cost of an international telephone call.

That said, a spokesperson for the IRS told the American Expat Financial News Journal that for anyone resident abroad who has Internet access, "the best resources are still the FAQs we have posted at IRS.gov/Coronavirus."

He added: "Any  [IRS] staffer answering these calls right now will be basing their answers to callers’ questions on these. Right now, they don’t have any ability to check on the status of any payment.

"To see if or when any payment was sent out or is being sent out, the best resource is the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov."

The numbers

According to the IRS, an automated messaging service will provide answers to many Economic Impact Payment questions, for those who call this number: 1-800-919-9835.

Those who need additional assistance will be given the option of talking to an IRS representative at the end of the message.

For those calling with international questions, the number, which is not toll-free, is 1-267-941-1000.

As regular callers to the IRS will know, calls are often answered only after a delay, which can vary in length depending on the time of day.

In announcing the launch of its telephone assistance program for those with Economic Impact payments questions, the IRS stressed that the new service, "and other services", would "remain limited", and that "answers for most of the common questions related to Economic Impact Payments" were still, as noted above, available on the IRS's website. 

It said that it anticipated "bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit".