announces free tax preparation for many Illinoisans
earning under $50,000, individuals under $25,000 eligible
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[January 26, 2010]
ROCK ISLAND -- On Monday, Gov. Quinn
announced partnerships that will give Illinois' working families
access to free tax preparation assistance, including help with
filing for the earned income tax credit. The governor encouraged
taxpayers to make use of the free assistance as they file their
income tax returns, in order to receive the tax credits they've
earned and avoid refund anticipation loans that can consume big
chunks of hard-earned refund checks.
"The earned income tax credit is the best pro-job, pro-family and
anti- poverty tax relief ever devised, and every eligible family in
Illinois should receive the full credit," Quinn said. "I am proud to
announce free tax preparation assistance to help Illinois' working
families get their full refunds quickly and painlessly."
The governor made the Monday announcement at the Martin Luther
King Jr. Community Center in Rock Island, which will serve as a
Center for Economic Progress site.
State partnerships with the Center for Economic Progress' Tax
Counseling Project and Ladder Up, formerly the Tax Assistance
Program, will offer free tax preparation assistance and e-filing for
families across Illinois. Services are free for families who earned
under $50,000 and individuals who made less than $25,000.
Through the partnerships, volunteer tax counselors will provide
free tax assistance and counseling at 55 sites throughout the state.
Most sites will provide services through April 15. Taxpayers can
walk in at any of the locations, without an appointment, and work
with trained volunteers who will help fill out their returns and
make sure they file for all the credits, deductions and other
benefits to which they're entitled.
Last year the Tax Counseling Project completed more than 33,300
tax returns with refunds totaling $52.2 million. Ladder Up helped
with more than 9,000 returns totaling $15.5 million in refunds.
Families raising two or more children in their home and earning
less than $45,295 (married, filing jointly) can get up to $5,028
from the federal earned income tax credit, known as the EITC.
Illinois residents who claim the federal EITC may also receive the
state EITC, which can save them up to $283.
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The governor also encouraged residents to avoid the high cost of
refund anticipation loans offered by commercial tax preparation
companies. According to a 2009 study by the Consumer Federation of
America and the National Consumer Law Center, the price for a
typical refund anticipation loan of $3,000 can range from $62 to
$110. In Illinois, the interest rate on a refund anticipation loan
can range from 40 percent for a loan of $9,999 to over 700 percent
for a loan of $200.
Most Illinois taxpayers can file state taxes for free at
receive a refund in about a week. Additionally, many can file their
federal taxes online for free as well. Information about filing
federal taxes online is available at
[Text from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]