[March 19, 2014]CHICAGO — With spring around the
corner, the Illinois Department of Revenue reminds 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 are also filing their
taxes early to get the credits and refunds to which they are
entitled. Gov. 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.
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 at
More than 95 percent 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 a secure
website. Using professional tax preparers, tax software programs, or
downloading, printing and mailing Illinois tax forms are also
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 cybersecurity
breaches at major retailers during the recent holiday season.
If necessary, Illinois taxpayers who are expecting a refund have
until Oct. 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 Internal Revenue Service by April 15.