April 7, 2009

Mayor Daley Urges Eligible Residents to Apply for Federal EITC Credit

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today reminded eligible Chicagoans to apply for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and said office hours at several of the City's free tax preparation assistance centers will be extended as the April 15 filing deadline approaches.

"Each year the EITC returns more than $46 billion dollars to the working families of our country, including more than a half-billion dollars that comes back to Chicago to help the people who need our support the most," Daley said in a news conference held at Harold Washington College. 30 E. Lake St., the location on one of the EITC preparation centers.

"This helps keep our neighborhoods affordable to people of modest means, and it helps the local economy, too, because the money is spent on necessities," he said.

The EITC provides tax refunds of up to $4,800 to low-income working families, but the refund is not automatic. It must be applied for.

Which is why for the last nine years, the City and its non-profit partners have conducted a major outreach campaign that includes free tax preparation assistance.

This year the City has operated 30 tax preparation sites. So far, they have assisted with the preparation of more than 18,000 returns that have resulted in $29 million being refunded to Chicagoans.

But there are still many Chicagoans who are eligible for the credit who haven’t yet applied for it, Daley said in announcing that four of the assistance centers will have extended hours or extra days in the final week before the tax deadline.

The locations with extended service are:

  • Instituto del Progreso Latino, 2570 S. Blue Island Av., which will be open Tuesday, April 14, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. (extra day)
  • Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Av., which will be open Tuesday and Wednesday April 14 and 15, 1 p.m.-8 p.m. (extended hours)
  • St. Sabina, 7909 S. Racine Av., which will be open April 15th, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. (extra day), and
  • Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake St., which will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday , April 13-15, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (extended hours)

The cutoff income for the EITC is $41,646 for families with more than one child and $15,880 for individuals. In some cases you can receive the EITC even if you don’t owe income taxes.

 

But Daley also reminded residents that the City offers free tax preparation assistance for people even above those income levels.

Families who earned up to $45,000 last year, and individuals who made up to $20,000, can have their taxes prepared for free by volunteers from the Tax Counseling Project and the Tax Assistance Program.

"We can save some of our residents the cost of paying a commercial tax preparer. And especially this year, every dollar we can help people save is important," the mayor said.

Residents should call 311 for days and hours of operation at the other free tax preparation sites, which are located at:

  • Association House, 1116 N. Kedzie Av.
  • Howard Area Community Center, 1623 W. Howard St.
  • North Side Credit Union, 1011 W. Lawrence Av.
  • Quad Communities Center For Working Families, 4804 S. Cottage Grove Av.
  • St. Francis de Sales High School, 10155 S. Ewing Av.
  • Bethel New Life Center, 4006 W. Lake St.
  • Homan Square Community Center, 3517 W. Arthington St.
  • Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St.
  • St. Nicholas of Tolentine School, 3741 W. 62nd St.
  • Roberto Clemente Community Academy, 1147 N. Western Av.
  • WIC Food Center, 4624 W. Diversey Av.
  • WIC Food Center, 3110 W. Armitage Av.
  • Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett Av.
  • McCormick Boys & Girls Club, 4835 N. Sheridan Rd.
  • City Hall, 121 N. La Salle St.
  • Holy Angels Church, 607 E. Oakwood Av.
  • Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St.
  • Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn Av.
  • WIC Food Center, 5332 S. Western Av.
  • Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Av.
  • St. Columbanus The Glasshouse, 331 E. 71st St.
  • Benito Juarez Community Academy, 2150 S. Laflin St.
  • Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st St.
  • WIC Food Center, 2400 S. Kedzie Av.
  • West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Av.
  • Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St.

Mayor's Press Office/312.744.3334