CHICAGO – With spring around the corner, the Illinois Department of Revenue wants to remind taxpayers to file their taxes as soon as they can. More than 2.3 million taxpayers have already filed their individual income taxes and more than half of those taxpayers are getting refunds.
“As a nationally running television ad reminds us, tax season is a good time to review what has happened over the past year and get the refund we’re due,” said Revenue Director Brian Hamer. “Whether it’s buying a first home, getting married, sending a child to school or retiring from a long career, those events may result in a deduction or tax credit on your tax return.”
Families eligible for Earned Income Credits (EIC) are also filing their taxes early to get the credits and refunds to which they are entitled. Governor Quinn signed legislation doubling the value of the Earned Income Credit two years ago. As a result, 600,000 families have received EIC credits of more than $165 million dollars. Working families and senior citizens can obtain free tax filing assistance at hundreds of local community locations. The complete list of tax filing assistance centers is attax.illinois.gov.
More than 95% of early returns have been filed electronically. Illinois has its own tax filing program which allows every taxpayer to file their return at no cost, on our secure website. Using professional tax preparers, tax software programs or downloading, printing, and mailing Illinois tax forms are also options.
Taxpayers may choose having their refund deposited directly into their checking or savings account which ensures it is paid quickly. The Department may also order that a paper check or a Chase Debit Card be mailed if the taxpayer prefers. Choosing a debit card eliminates the cost of check cashing fees.
While the vast majority of returns are processed with no problems, the Department wants to make sure that refunds go to the actual taxpayer and not to someone who stole the taxpayer’s identity. Even with the security measures systematically taken by the Department of Revenue, it is giving heightened scrutiny to some Illinois returns after the spate of cyber security breaches at major retailers during the recent holiday season.
If necessary, Illinois taxpayers who are expecting a refund have until October 15 before they have to file their Illinois returns. Federal tax returns must be filed by April 15 unless a taxpayer files an extension by that date. However, if the taxpayer owes additional taxes, payments must be made to both the State of Illinois and the IRS by April 15.