You'd be wrong, and while there are options which may be helpful to some callers, the primary function of the automated customer service line is much the same as for any other customer service line; to keep you from talking to anyone at the IRS. You need to talk to a human though, so what do you do? Like any labyrinth, this thing has a path through. It's an obscured and hidden path, but with great patience and some good advice, you can get through.
First, you need to call 800-829-1040. You'll be asked to choose English or Spanish. Pretty standard so far. The next step is the pattern. It's 2132. Remember that formula, when you hear your first options, press 2, and when you hear the next set, press 1 and so on. You aren't out yet. Next you'll be asked to enter your social security number. Enter it. You'll then be shown a facade of a choice with seven options.
Choose none of them. Just hold the line. You'll be taken to another menu with one option only. Hold the line. The next message you receive will inform you you're being connected to a human.
Now it's time to get to some work, or video games, or reading, or a nap. Whatever you do, make sure it can occupy you for at least 45 minutes while you're on hold. The hard part is over. Congratulations in advance, and happy tax season.