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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today the start of the 2014 Chicago Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign to promote participation in the City’s free Tax Preparation Assistance Program. Each year, approximately 100,000 eligible households in the City do not claim the EITC, leaving as much as $200 million in unclaimed dollars that could help individuals provide for themselves and their families.
This year, the City will have two new locations to offer free, confidential tax help by trained, qualified volunteers at 20 sites from now until April 15, 2014. This year the administration will also direct the Department of Procurement Services to ask the City’s 2,600 vendors to share information about the City’s free program to their employees, allowing the City to reach tens of thousands of additional families.
“Year after year since taking office, we have invested more resources in providing free tax preparation,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Earned Income Tax Credit puts money back in the pockets of working people to help them make ends meet. These added resources not only have a direct impact on the lives of Chicago residents – they help sustain our small businesses, strengthen our neighborhoods and infuse millions of dollars into our local economy.”
During the 2014 tax season, eligible families can receive a Federal (EITC) of more than $6,000, and an Illinois EITC of more than $600. It is estimated that this year, the City’s program will assist 23,000 families in applying for the EITC, helping them receive more than $45 million in refunds and save $4.5 million in tax preparation fees – a 25 percent increase over 2012 when the program helped 18,078 working families receive more than $36 million in refunds. The average EITC recipient receives a refund of $2,200.
With the availability of free tax preparation services across Chicago, and consumer protections through the City of Chicago Taxpayer Protection Ordinance, city residents can rest assured of getting high quality tax preparation assistance.
The EITC is the nation’s largest and most successful anti-poverty program. The EITC provides critical funds for working families and individuals, particularly families with children and each year, it lifts more than 6 million families out of poverty.
Free tax preparation assistance is available to income tax filers who are eligible for the EITC. The tax year 2013 EITC income limits are:
Volunteer tax preparers can assist with completing federal and state income tax returns for the 2013 tax year and, in some cases, prior years. Most sites will be open now until April 15, 2014. For more information on EITC, call 311 or visit the website at www.taxprepchicago.org to find the location nearest you.