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Apply for Voluntary Disclosure of Business Taxes

Tax Voluntary Disclosure

Pursuant to Section 3-4-265 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, Business Taxpayers Assistance Ordinance, taxpayers and tax collectors may disclose any taxes, fees or surcharges due the City, provided certain minimal qualifications are met. The program is designed to encourage self-compliance by allowing taxpayers and tax collectors an opportunity to resolve undisclosed tax and certain non-tax debts without penalty.

Taxpayer & Tax Collector Duties

Under this program a taxpayer or tax collector must calculate and remit the amounts due for any of the tax or non-tax debts that are to be paid or remitted to the Department of Finance. The discloser must determine the amount it owes for the four-year period immediately prior to the date on which it applies to participate in the program. The discloser must remit, or enter a payment agreement to pay, the full amount of tax and interest it computes to be due. The discloser must also register with the Department and pay all previous deficiencies and/or delinquencies that may have existed before its disclosure. The discloser waives its right to an administrative hearing and to claims for refund or credit, and agrees not to initiate or join any lawsuits for the payments made under the program.

Department Obligations and Duties

In exchange for voluntarily disclosing and paying or remitting the tax and non-tax debts, the Department agrees to waive all penalties that would otherwise apply. The Department also agrees not to assess the discloser for periods prior to the disclosed four-year period for the taxes disclosed. Should the Department subsequently audit the discloser for the periods, and less than a 10% tax variation is determined in what the discloser remitted as the tax due, the discloser will be liable for the full amount of tax, late penalty and interest due on the additional amount determined. Moreover, if said tax variation is 10% or more, the Department may revoke the terms and conditions of the agreement, assess all applicable penalties, and extend the audit to include all periods open under the statute of limitations.

Qualified Discloser

To qualify for this program, a discloser must not be under audit or investigation. If a discloser has received a written notice relating to an audit or investigation for a tax or taxes, it is prohibited from participating in the program for those taxes. The discloser must also warrant that the taxes being disclosed are not the subject of an audit or investigation by the Department involving a person or entity involved in a prior bulk sale with the discloser, and also that it has not received a Delinquency Notice with respect to the disclosed taxes. The discloser cannot disclose for the tax and period for which it has been issued a Deficiency Notice by the City, but must pay such amounts as part of its disclosure for other periods or taxes.

SAMPLE Standard Voluntary Disclosure Agreement

Limited-Time Voluntary Disclosure Offer for Business Subscribers of Satellite TV - Offer extended through March 31, 2017

Because many businesses were previously unaware of their obligation to pay the Amusement Tax on charges paid for satellite TV services used in Chicago, the Department is offering to accept the payment of Amusement Tax from July 1, 2015 to the date of payment, waiving all interest and penalties, and waiving all liability for periods before July 1, 2015 (including Amusement Tax, interest and penalties), for any business that applies to the Department by March 31, 2017. Any business that wishes to accept this offer should submit the 2016 Voluntary Disclosure Application for Business Subscribers of Satellite Television Services.  The completed application must be submitted to the Department by mail or e-mail. Please DO NOT attempt to apply for this special limited time program for satellite subscribers by clicking the “Get Started Online” button above.

Generally, the statute of limitations is six years for non-filers. If a business chooses not to participate in this program and the Department later determines that there is Amusement Tax liability, the business may be assessed tax, interest, and penalties for all periods open under statute.

Informational Bulletin - Amusement Tax for Business Subscribers of Satellite Television


Department Main Office


Disclosure Process

If a taxpayer or tax collector is interested in applying under this program, either contact Ms. Esperanza Villalona of the Chicago Department of Finance at 312.747.1246 to obtain an application or submit the application online.

Once that application has been approved, the discloser will have 30 days in which to register, compute, and pay the amounts due to initiate a payment agreement, unless granted an extension. The Department will verify the accuracy of the interest calculations to insure that amounts due have been computed correctly. After the amounts have been calculated, an agreement will be prepared for the discloser's signature. Once fully executed, a copy of the agreement will be provided to the discloser.