How Much Do I Owe the IRS? 3 Ways To Check + FAQs

Picture of Lana Dolyna, EA, CTC
Lana Dolyna, EA, CTC

Senior Tax Advisor

No one wants to owe the IRS money, but worse than owing the IRS money is not knowing how much you owe. There are three main ways to check your IRS balance due. You can call the IRS, check your account on, or wait for the IRS to mail you a notice.

Call the IRS

You call the IRS directly to find out your balance due. They can provide information regarding which year the balances are from, the balance, and how much of the balance is penalties and interest. 

The IRS phone number for individuals is 1-800-829-1040, and IRS operates the call center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time Monday through Friday. During tax season, the IRS expands its hours of operation to offset the additional demand for phone assistance. 

You will need to verify your identity before the IRS will give you information over the phone. This usually includes your name, date of birth, social security number, and address used on your most recently filed return.

Once you have paid the taxes and interest due, you can call the IRS at the same number and request a waiver for the penalties if you have a good reason for the late payment or if you qualify for the first-time penalty waiver. 

It can be difficult to get through to the IRS with reports of less than 20% of phone calls answered during the 2022 tax season. If you manage to secure a spot in the hold queue, the wait is often hours before you can speak with a representative. 

Check Your Account Balance on

If you prefer not to wait on hold, you can also check your balance due on

To access your balance due, you must create an account on You will need a valid photo ID, filing status from your most recent return, account number from any loan or credit card, and a cellphone number registered in your name to create an account and immediately get access. If you don’t have these items available, the IRS will mail you a notice with additional information you need to create your account.

Once you access your online account, you can see the balance due by the tax year. The balance due will be broken down by taxes, penalties, and interest. You will also be able to see the payments made on your account and credited to each tax year.

Wait for a Notice

The IRS automatically sends out notices for returns with outstanding balances. The notice is usually sent out within 30 days of your return being filed if the return was filed with a balance due but without payment.

The IRS will also send out notices if they made a correction to your tax return. The first notice will be a proposed balance due which will not show up on your account since the adjustment is only a proposal. If you do not respond to the initial notice, the IRS will assume you agree and send a second notice with a balance due. Once the second notice is sent, you will have a balance due on your account.

What If My Balance is Incorrect?

The balance listed on your IRS account is not always correct. If you spot a problem with your account or disagree with your balance due, you will need to follow one of the steps below to resolve the issue.

Contact your local IRS office

For immediate assistance with your issue, you can visit your local IRS office. You must schedule an appointment, but the onsite IRS agents can resolve many issues at your appointment. You will likely experience long wait times at the IRS office even if you have made an appointment. Make sure to bring documentation and a written explanation of why your account is incorrect to your appointment.

Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service

Within the IRS, there is an independent office that helps taxpayers resolve their issues – the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The Taxpayer Advocate should be contacted after you have tried to resolve your issue through other methods. You can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778.

Contact a Tax Professional

The experienced professionals at Tax Shark can assist you with your IRS issues if you have been unable to resolve them yourself. Tax Shark offers specific engagements for reviewing IRS letters and resolving your issues which is includes address incorrect balances due.


Here are the answers to some common questions about checking the IRS balance.

The quickest way is to create an account on so you can login and see your balance by year.

Yes, the IRS will always mail out notices to you for your outstanding balances. If you have a payment plan, you will receive an annual notice for the outstanding balance.

Yes, there are several options available for payments plans which vary based on the amount due.

After ten years, the statute of limitations expires (unless any tolling events occur) and the IRS can no longer collect the outstanding balance.

You should contact the IRS directly or work with a tax professional to resolve the incorrect balance.