A new law will help put more money back into the pockets of Illinois families come tax time.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that expands the state's earned-income tax credit from 5 percent of the federal credit, to 7.5 percent next year and 10 percent the year after.
"This law is a win for workers, a win for families and a win for employers that will support job growth across Illinois for years to come," said Governor Quinn.
"The tax relief contained in Senate Bill 400 will benefit every person who files a tax return in Illinois," said Sen. Toi Hutchinson. "Working families for too long have had to deal with increasing expenses and stagnant wages. This legislation is an opportunity to provide meaningful tax relief."
State officials estimate the new tax credit will translate into about $100 a year per family.
How to Benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - PRESS RELEASE
To benefit from Illinois' EITC, also known as the Earned Income Credit (EIC), taxpayers must include it on their tax returns. The not-for-profit Center for Economic Progress (CEP) estimates that between 10 and 20 percent of eligible taxpayers did not file for EITC last year.
To help working families achieve the maximum savings on their taxes, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) partners with the CEP Tax Counseling Project to provide free tax preparation assistance at tax assistance centers across the state. The services are provided free of charge to families making less than $50,000 annually and to individuals with yearly incomes under $25,000. More than 28,000 Illinois taxpayers filed returns through the program in the 2010 tax season, with more than $50 million in state and federal tax refunds returned to clients.
DHS also funds the Tax Assistance Program (TAP) which has 23 locations in Chicago and the suburbs. TAP recruits tax professionals to volunteer to assist low-income families. DHS also works with its clients and those who found jobs and have left DHS programs to educate them about tax preparation programs and ways to ensure they receive the maximum refund on their tax returns.
For more information on the Tax Counseling Project, contact the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago at 312-630-0273, or call the toll-free statewide number at 888-827-8511. For information on the Tax Assistance Program call 312-409-1555 or 312-409-4318 (Spanish). Details are also available on the IDHS website at www.dhs.state.il.us and the Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.state.il.us.
Information about filing federal taxes on-line can be found at www.irs.gov.