Low-to-moderate income families and older Illinoisans needing assistance filing their 2020 individual income taxes can receive free help through several programs across the state.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and AARP Tax-Aide programs are providing free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in select locations statewide. How taxpayer assistance is provided and when services are available varies by region, based upon several variables including COVID-19 conditions and volunteer capacity.
“Taxes are due on April 15 this year. If a qualified taxpayer needs help filling out their return, free assistance is available,” said David Harris, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. “While in-person assistance is more limited due to the COVID pandemic, certified volunteers are still available to help people over the age of 50 years and working-class taxpayers to file their state and federal returns accurately and on time while ensuring the health and safety of taxpayers and volunteers.”
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free tax help for individuals making $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, limited English speaking taxpayers and individuals 60 years of age or older. Taxpayers can search for a free tax assistance provider closest to them by visiting the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website tax.illinois.gov. Additional assistance is also being offered through the IRS-sponsored Ladder Up Virtual Tax Assistance Program, which also provides free basic tax return preparation for low-to-moderate income and elderly taxpayers.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program provides free tax assistance to taxpayers over the age of 50 or who have low-to-moderate income. Availability is determined at the local or community level, by appointment only (walk-in service is unavailable this year).
Decisions on whether a site offers an all-virtual, light contact or in-person approach will be based on safety and health data in a community. The site locator will be regularly updated, and short notice changes are possible.
AARP membership is not required to receive assistance. Various taxpayer assistance services may be provided to each site, including traditional in-person, low-contact, and contact-free services. Taxpayers should contact the tax assistance provider closest to them to ask how to access these volunteer services.
Get the latest news and updates from the Illinois Department on Aging by following the department on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or by calling the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email [email protected].