Qualified Chicago families and individuals can receive free tax return preparation and e-filing at tax sites located across the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is committed to ensuring that hardworking Chicagoans can access free tax services to file their returns and claim their tax refunds. The City of Chicago works with two nonprofit partners (the Center for Economic Progress and Ladder Up) to offer free tax help throughout the tax season (late January through April 18, 2016) and at various points in the off-season. Please note that the tax filing deadline for 2016 is Monday, April 18, 2016.
IRS VITA in Chicago
For no extra charge, all CEP clients are automatically covered by CEP’s staff of attorneys and enrolled agents to represent them anytime the IRS or Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) challenges their tax return. CEP has partnered with Intuit and the IRS to offer a free online option for filing your tax return yourself. If you are comfortable with using a computer and following instructions, this option may be a good fit
If you filed your tax return and realized that something needs to be added, updated or corrected, you will need to file an amended return by using the IRS form 1040X. However:
- If it’s BEFORE April 15, you should go back to the place where you had your taxes done and have the business or organization complete an amended return for you.
- If it’s AFTER April 15, please call our tax hotline at (312) 252-0280 (Option 1 for Spanish, Option 2 for English). Or CEP offers year-round tax help through our Money Action Days. We may be able to help you.
Free Chicago Tax Preparation
If you are a family earning up to $50,000 or an individual earning up to $25,000, you may be eligible to take advantage of this free service and find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and/or student financial aid for college! Trained volunteer tax preparers can assist you in completing Federal and state income tax returns for the 2015 tax year and, in some cases, for prior years. For more information about how to receive free tax help, please visit any one of the following: • Call the City’s 311 helpline • Visit the City’s website at www.TaxPrepChicago.org • Visit Center for Economic Progress at www.economicprogress.org or call (312) 252-0280 (Option 1 for Spanish, Option 2 for English) • Ready to do your taxes online? Visit www.economicprogress.org/freefile • Visit Ladder Up at www.goladderup.org or call (312) 409-4719 • Visit the IRS at www.irs.gov and type “free tax help” in the search box or call (800) 829-1040 / (800) 829-4059 (TDD)
Free Tax Preparation Locations in Chicago
Center for Economic Progress (CEP) | 165 N Jefferson Mon-Thur / 10 AM-8 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Harold Washington Library | 400 S State, 5th Floor Mon, Wed / 12-7 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Tue, Thur / 5-7 PM / Jan 26-Apr 14 Fri / 10 AM-3 PM / Jan 29-Apr 15 Sat / 9:30 AM-12:30 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16 Closed Feb 12, Feb 15, Mar 7
Truman College | 1145 W Wilson Mon, Wed / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Tue, Thur / 2-8 PM / Jan 26-Apr 14 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Northeastern Illinois University | 5500 N Saint Louis, College of Business and Management Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16 Closed Mar 26
Roberto Clemente Community Academy | 1147 N Western Tue / 5:30-8:30 PM / In Feb and on Apr 5, 12 Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 9 Closed Apr 16
WIC Food Center | 3110 W Armitage Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
WIC Food Center | 4620 W Diversey Mon, Wed / 12-7 PM / In Feb and on Apr 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16 Closed Feb 15
Wilbur Wright College | 4300 N Narragansett Fri / 10 AM-4 PM / Feb 5-Apr 15 Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16 Closed Mar 25, Mar 26
Austin Town Hall | 5610 W Lake Sat / 9:30 AM-12:30 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16
St. Agatha’s Church | 3147 W Douglas Wed / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 27-Apr 13 Sat / 10 AM-4 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Dawson Technical Institute | 3901 S State Mon-Thur / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
WIC Food Center | 5332 S Western Tue, Thur / 12-4 PM / In Feb and on Apr 5, 7, 12, 14 Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Kennedy-King College | 6301 S Halsted, Building V Fri / 10 AM-4 PM / Feb 5-Apr 15 Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16 Closed Mar 25, Mar 26
Gary Comer Youth Center | 7200 S Ingleside Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Only Feb 6, 20, 27 and Apr 9
Auburn Gresham Tax Site | 7811 S Racine Mon, Wed / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Olive-Harvey College | 10001 S Woodlawn Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 16 Closed Mar 26
Saint Xavier University | 3825 W 103rd Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Only Feb 13 and Mar 26
Benito Juarez Community Academy | 1510 W Cermak Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 30-Apr 9 Closed Apr 16
Instituto del Progreso Latino | 2570 S Blue Island Mon, Wed, Thur / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 25-Apr 18 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
Kelly High School | 4136 S California Tues, Thur / 5:30-8 PM / Jan 26-Apr 14 Sat / 10 AM-1 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
WIC Food Center | 2400 S Kedzie Sat / 9 AM-12 PM / Jan 23-Apr 16
What to bring to free tax prep in Chicago?
You MUST bring with you to receive free tax preparation:
- All W-2s and 1099s (if any) for the year involved
- Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) for all family members
- Valid photo ID for the person filing
- Copy of previous year’s tax return, if possible
- Bank account number and routing number if you choose to direct deposit your tax refund
- Property tax bill
- Amount spent on college expenses
- Any letters from the IRS, if applicable
- Proof of health insurance coverage (i.e. Form 1095-A, private/employer insurance information) or Certificate of Exemption
- For ITIN application assistance, additional documents are required.
Other Free Chicago Tax Preparation Information
New benefits available under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a/k/a the stimulus package, include a $400 “Making Work Pay” refundable tax credit, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to three children covered (up from two), and the fact that the first $2,400 of unemployment assistance is tax-free, Owen says. Unlike past years, clients must bring Social Security cards, he adds.
In addition to tax preparation, those participating at some or all sites are able to open bank accounts or be issued an Advent pre-paid debit card from MasterCard, a new feature for the program. They also can get information on and assistance in filling out financial aid forms for college, identifying their unclaimed property from the state treasurer’s office, and understanding U.S. Census forms.