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Free income tax prep assistance available for qualifying taxpayers

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue

CHICAGO, Ill. (February 17, 2024) – Free income tax preparation is available through several trusted programs across Illinois for qualifying taxpayers needing assistance filing their 2023 income taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), American Association of Retired Persons’ (AARP) Foundation Tax-Aide Program, and the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP), provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in select locations statewide.

“I encourage Illinois taxpayers to take advantage of the free help they can receive from volunteers certified by the IRS at various locations statewide,” said Illinois Department of Revenue Director David Harris. “These qualified and trained individuals are ready to assist those taxpayers needing help to file their state and federal returns by the Monday, April 15 deadline.”

How taxpayer assistance is provided and when services are available varies by region, based upon volunteer capacity.

IRS assistance

The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals needing assistance in preparing their own tax returns. People making $64,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers can take advantage of this service. In addition, the TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. VITA and TCE sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations across the state. Find the nearest site here.

AARP assistance

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program provides free tax assistance, with a special focus on taxpayers over the age of 50 or who have low-to-moderate income. Availability is determined at the local or community level. AARP membership is not required to receive assistance.

Ladder Up assistance

In Chicagoland, the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP) provides free basic tax return preparation for families and individuals earning up to $64,000 annually ($32,000 for individuals). Taxpayers must be full-year Illinois residents (the program does not prepare returns for other states, military personnel, and/or partial-year residents).

Taxpayers can learn more about free tax assistance by visiting IDOR’s website tax.illinois.gov. Individuals with questions should contact IDOR’s Taxpayer Assistance Division at 800-732-8866.

Taxpayers may also visit any of IDOR’s offices located in Chicago, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford, and Springfield to receive assistance. Staff at these locations can help with any Illinois state income tax filing inquiries and are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Lansing Journal
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