Federal and IL tax filing begins February 12

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IL reminds taxpayers to take advantage of Earned Income Tax Credit

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (January 29, 2021) – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) will begin accepting 2020 state individual income tax returns on Friday, February 12, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begins accepting federal individual income tax filing.

Electronic filing

If a taxpayer electronically files an error-free return, they should receive a direct deposit refund in four to six weeks, if applicable. Last year, IDOR saw a 2.7% increase in the number of electronic filers; of the 6,443,623 individual income tax returns, 87% were filed electronically and 63% received refunds.

“Filing tax returns electronically and requesting direct deposit is still the fastest way for taxpayers to receive a refund,” said IDOR Director David Harris. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I also encourage taxpayers to create a MyTax Illinois account. With a MyTax Illinois account, taxpayers will be able to respond to any filing inquiries from the department electronically, resulting in faster processing and issuance of owed refunds.”

The 2020 tax filing deadline is Thursday, April 15.

Free filing of Form IL-1040 is available through MyTax Illinois. Individuals may also utilize MyTax Illinois to make payments, respond to department inquiries, and check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refunds using the Where’s My Refund? link. Taxpayers may also look up IL-PINs, amounts of any estimated tax payments made, and (when necessary) amounts reported on Form 1099-G with MyTax Illinois.

Earned Income Tax Credit

Taxpayers may be in line for a larger refund this year because of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and its Illinois counterpart, the Illinois Earned Income Credit (EIC). But to get it, individuals must file a tax return and claim it. The EITC and EIC are powerful tools that reward low and moderate-income taxpayers for their hard work, yet thousands of eligible taxpayers fail to claim this refundable credit on their taxes.

Anyone eligible for the federal EITC automatically qualifies for the Illinois EIC, which is a refundable tax credit worth up to 18 percent of a taxpayer’s federal claim. Despite that, in 2020, more than 13,000 Illinoisans claimed a federal EITC credit without also claiming the state EIC, leaving over $7 million dollars unclaimed.

To be eligible for EIC/EITC, taxpayers must meet certain income and residency qualifications and file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file. The Internal Revenue Service recommends that all workers who earned around $56,844 or less learn about EITC eligibility and use the EITC Assistant to find out if they qualify. Taxpayers must be eligible for federal EITC to receive the state EIC. EITC can mean up to a $6,660 refund when a taxpayer files a return with qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $538. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2020 was $2,461.

To find out if your family qualifies for the credit, click here.

For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2020 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov.

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