Wednesday, Jan. 31
sponsored by Jake's Furnishings & Illini Bank

Gov. Blagojevich reminds Illinois workers to apply for the earned income tax credit and take advantage of expanded free tax preparation services

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[JAN. 31, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- As workers prepare for the April 15 income return tax deadline, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Carol L. Adams, Ph.D., Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) reminded workers to see if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can help boost their take-home pay, and to take advantage of newly-expanded tax preparation services being offered for free through the state. This year the state will offer free tax counseling at 60 locations across the state, the most ever.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit, the major federal benefit for low and moderate-income families, can be worth as much as $4,536 to a family with two or more children," Gov. Blagojevich said. "In addition, the state EITC can provide up to $226 in state income tax relief. Together, these benefits put money back into the pockets of Illinois' working families."

Secretary Adams said IDHS is reaching out to the people it serves, as well as those who have left DHS programs for jobs. IDHS is encouraging these individuals to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax counseling provided by the Tax Counseling Project and the Tax Assistance Program. Most sites will open on January 27 and provide services through April 14.

IDHS provides funding to the Tax Assistance Program and the Tax Counseling Project, which is administered by the Center for Economic Progress. These programs offer free tax assistance and promote the EITC to low-income workers. The services are provided free of charge to families with incomes less than $40,000 and to individuals with incomes under $15,000.

Last year, nearly 27,000 Illinoisans received free income tax preparation assistance worth $39 million in refunds.

David Marzahl, Executive Director of the Center for Economic Progress, said, "Since 1994, the Center has assisted more than 150,000 working families through its Tax Counseling Project, helping to generate more than $196 million in income tax refunds. During the 2007 tax season, the Center will assist more than 30,000 families. The Center will be the first nonprofit to reach the 200 million dollar mark in returned tax refunds since the program began in the 1990s. The Center appreciates the support of the Illinois Department of Human Services in making this achievement possible with its support."

Low-income working families, many of whom may be new to the workforce, often do not have access to affordable, professional tax preparation. Many taxpayers use tax preparation services that charge high fees. Some are also persuaded to apply for "rapid refund" loans with high interest rates and fees which can greatly reduce their actual benefits.

"For many households, these benefits are critical to rising out of poverty and making the transition from dependency to lasting self-sufficiency," Adams said. "We are continuing to make as many Illinois workers as possible aware of the EITC and how to apply for it. Additionally, the EITC does not affect eligibility for DHS benefits."

The Tax Counseling Project trains volunteers to provide free tax services to families and individuals at 15 locations in Chicago and 19 other sites throughout Illinois.

DHS also funds the Tax Assistance Program (TAP), which has 25 locations in Chicago and the suburbs. TAP recruits tax professionals to volunteer to assist low-income families.

Volunteers will prepare federal and state returns for the current year and, if necessary, for the past tax years. Volunteers also provide counseling and advise workers about withholding allowances, filing status, and other tax benefits (such as the Child Credit and the Child Care Credit) for which they may qualify.

For more information on the Tax Counseling Project, contact the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago at 312-630-0273. Outside Chicago call 217-753-1641, or call the toll-free statewide number at 888-827-8511. For information on the Tax Assistance Program, call 312-409-1555. Details are also available on the IDHS website at and the Department of Revenue site at

A complete listing of the tax help sites and their hours of operation follows.

Electronic filing is available at many locations.

Tax Counseling Project

Chicago Sites:

St. Sabina Employment Resource Center
7909 South Racine
Mon. and Thurs. 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am to 1:00pm

Abraham Lincoln Center
3858 South Cottage Grove
Mon., Wed., Thurs. 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am to 1:00pm

New Asia Bank
222 West Cermak Road
10:00am to 3:00pm
(Open only February 10 and 17)

Harold Washington College
30 E. Lake Street
Monday through Thursday 10:00am-1:00pm (beginning January 16)
Monday through Thursday 5:30pm-8:30pm (beginning January 27)
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Chicago Public Library
Rogers Park
6907 N. Clark Street
Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

Association House
1116 N. Kedzie
Mon. and Wed. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Malcolm X College
1900 West Van Buren
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Immaculate Heart of Mary Hall
4521 S. Ashland
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

Homan Square Community Center
3517 W. Arthington
Mon. and Wed. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm

Instituto del Progreso Latino
2570 South Blue Island Avenue
Mon., Wed., and Thurs. 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Tuesdays 2:00pm-5:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Southeast Chicago Development Commission Job Resource Center
2938 East 91st Street
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Truman College
1145 W. Wilson
Mon. through Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Northside Credit Union
1011 West Lawrence Avenue
Tuesdays 5:30pm-8:00pm

Bethel New Life Center
4006 West Lake Street
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp.
6101 S. Evans
Tues., Wed. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Suburban Sites:

YWCA-Lake County
Tues. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Thurs. 4:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Harvey Public Library
15441 Turlington Avenue
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

University of St. Francis
College of Nursing Bldg.
605 Taylor Street
Tues. and Wed. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

Gail Borden Library
200 N. Grove Avenue
Mon. and Tues. 5:30pm-8pm
Saturdays 1:00pm-4:00pm

Northwest Community Center
1325 North Johnston Avenue
Mon. and Wed. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm

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Downstate Sites:

Carver Community Center
710 W. 3rd Ave.
Wed. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 9:00am-3:00pm

Friendship House
800 NE Madison
Mon. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm

Illinois Employment Training Center
90 North Port Drive
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00 pm
Sat. 10:00am-1:00pm

Waubonsie Community College
5 East Galena Blvd.
Wednesdays 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Decatur Public Library
130 North Franklin Street
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm (until March 3)
Saturdays 9:30am-2:30pm

Urban League of Champaign County
314 S. Neil
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 9:00am-3:00pm
Appointment only weekdays
Call 217-363-3333, ext. 13

Springfield Learning Center
1507 East Cook
Mon. and Wed. 5:30pm-9:00pm
Saturdays 9:00am-2:00pm
(site closed Feb 12, Mar 10, 12, 14 and April 7)

East St. Louis
New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
5803 Belmont Avenue
Tues. Wed. and Thurs. 5:30-8:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm
(Wed. and Thurs. not available after March 17)

Man-Tra-Con Corp.
3000 West Deyoung Suite 800-B
Mon. and Wed. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Illinois Employment Training Center
(Open January 30-Feb 17)
4703 16th Street
Tues. and Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 9:00am-2:00pm

Bloomington Housing Authority
104 E. Wood Street
Mon. through Thurs. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-12:00pm

Miller Park Pavillion
1020 Morris Avenue
Mondays 9:00am-2:00pm

Normal Senior Center (begins January 26)
1 Normal Plaza
Fridays 9:30-2:30pm

Normal Public Library
206 West College Avenue
Mondays 5:30pm-7:30pm

Tax Assistance Program


(TAP programs open Saturdays January 27 -- April 14 8:30-11:30am. Closed March 10)

City Hall
121 N. LaSalle Street Suite 100
(Also open Jan. 23, 25 & 30)
Open Tues. and Thurs. in February
Open Tues. in March and April

Austin Town Hall
5610 West Lake Street

McCormick Boys and Girls Club
4835 N. Sheridan Road
(Lawrence and Sheridan)

Roberto Clemente High School
1147 N. Western
(Division and Western)

WIC Food Center
4622 W. Diversy
(Cicero and Diversy)

Westside Technical Institute
2800 S. Western Ave.

Benito Juarez High School
2150 S. Laflin
(Also open Tues. and Thurs. in February, closing April 7)

Piotrowski Park
4247 W. 31st Street
(31st and Pulaski)

Holy Angels Church
545 E. Oakwood Avenue

Chicago Vocational School
2100 E. 87th Street

Kennedy-King College
6800 S. Wentworth

Olive-Harvey College
10001 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Reilly Elementary
3303 North Lawndale Avenue
(Open Saturdays only in February)

Wilbur Wright College
4300 Narragansett
(Site closed April 7)

Paul Revere Elementary
1010 East 72nd Street
(Open Feb. 3, 10 and 17)

St. Columbanas Church
7120 South Calumet
(Open Saturdays only in February)

St. Francis DeSales H.S.
10155 South Ewing

WIC Food Center
2400 South Kedzie

WIC Food Center
5332 S. Western

Suburban Sites:

Cowherd Middle School
441 North Farnsworth

Calumet City
Thornton Fractional North H.S.
755 Pulaski Road

Maywood Public Library
121 South 5th Avenue

Office of House Minority Leader Tom Cross
530 W. Lockport Suite 204

Villa Park
Illinois Department of Human Services
146 West Roosevelt Road

Park Place Senior Center
414 South Lewis Avenue
(Open 9:00am-12:00pm)

(Text copied from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information)

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