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Your U.S. Representative Could Help Get Your Delayed IRS Refunds

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some people are still waiting for money owed by the IRS and others are calling the feds for help and getting nowhere. CBS 2's Marie Saavedra has uncovered a back channel that is worth a shot to get cash you're owed.

"Exceptionally frustrating. It should be a very easy task to call and get somebody," said Kelly Sheridan.

Sheridan, of Carol Stream, is helping her mother jump through some hoops to get her late father's stimulus check. To do it, the IRS asked they call a 1-800 number. But each time an automated message blames IRS call volume and disconnects.

"We tried calling first thing in the morning, late, later at night during their posted hours, in between. Nothing worked," Sheridan said.

In recent testimony to congress, the IRS commissioner said of some 25.4 million taxpayer calls it has received this season, only one third were answered by an actual human. Everyone else got messages that give no option but to hold.

"We will keep trying. I've reached out to our congressman. I believe it's Bobby Rush's office," Sheridan said.

Sheridan is on the right track. CBS 2 also called Congressman Bobby Rush's office, and they confirmed they are getting dozens of requests for help to reach the IRS and that number grows every month. And in some cases, your congressman can help.

We've learned if you're just waiting for your federal return, Congress can't do anything for you. But if it's rejected, or you need to prove your identity or any other issue that requires you speaking to an IRS staffer, your representative can step in. They have the ability to file a case with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which can be the first step to helping people finally reach the IRS.

And Sheridan hopes that's what happens for her mother.

"Hopefully somebody else may be able to generate a call back. That's what we're looking for," she said.

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