August 19, 2008

City's Annual Senior Fest Is August 20 At McCormick Place

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today reminded senior citizens they might be eligible for the federal tax rebate program and that they can get information about that and many other programs at the city's annual Senior Fest which takes place August 20 at McCormick Place.

The daylong event, hosted by the Department of Senior Services and other city departments, provides entertainment, information and refreshments to an estimated 6,000 senior citizens.

"Senior Fest is our way of saying thank-you for all you've done for our city," Daley said in remarks following the Fire Department graduation ceremonies held at Navy Pier.

One of the most important presentations that will be made at Senior Fest will be by representatives of the Internal Revenue Service, who will be there to remind seniors that many of them may be eligible for the federal tax rebate program and to answer questions about it, the Mayor said.

"In this tough economy it's particularly important that we in government make sure that our seniors have access to - and understand -- information about every program that can help them get through difficult times.

"I know that many seniors do not file federal tax returns because they know their income falls below the taxable level. But they need to know that they might be eligible for a rebate of up to $600 and that the only way to receive a rebate check is to file a 2007 tax return. They have until October 15 to do this," he said.

Seniors who received at least $3,000 in non-taxable Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits last year and had income in addition to those benefits should file a return even if their total income is below the taxable level.

To make things as easy as possible, seniors will need to show:

  • their retirement benefits statement
  • their veteranâ's benefits statement
  • their W-2 or 1099 forms
  • and their bank account number for direct deposit.

If seniors bring these things tomorrow, and if they qualify, we get can them started on the way to their federal rebate," Daley said.

Representatives from the city's Tax Assistance Center will also be at Senior Fest to answer any questions seniors might have about property taxes.

"I have worked hard in Springfield to increase the exemptions that seniors receive on their tax bills and I helped pass legislation to increase the income limits for seniors to be eligible for the Senior Freeze Exemption," Daley said.

"I want to make sure that every eligible senior gets their Homeowner Exemption, Senior Exemption, and Senior Freeze Exemption," he said.