Assistance for Eligible Taxpayers: Free Income Tax Preparation Offered

Illinois offers free income tax preparation assistance to eligible taxpayers through various reputable programs across the state for the 2023 tax filing season.

Trusted programs such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), American Association of Retired Persons’ (AARP) Foundation Tax-Aide Program, and the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP) extend their services to provide complimentary basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualifying individuals in specific locations statewide.

David Harris, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, encourages taxpayers in Illinois to capitalize on the free assistance provided by IRS-certified volunteers available at multiple locations across the state. These trained volunteers stand ready to assist taxpayers in filing their state and federal returns before the April 15 deadline.

The availability and provision of taxpayer assistance vary by region, contingent upon volunteer capacity. Becky Dragoo, Interim Director of the Illinois Department on Aging, emphasizes the importance of free tax preparation services, particularly for older adults, to alleviate anxiety and alleviate the burden of tax preparation fees.

The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs cater to individuals in need of assistance with basic tax return preparation. Eligible individuals, including those earning $64,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers, can benefit from these services. Additionally, the TCE program specializes in providing free tax assistance to individuals aged 60 and older, addressing pension and retirement-related inquiries unique to seniors.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program extends its free tax assistance services to taxpayers aged 50 and above or those with low-to-moderate income levels. Membership with AARP is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance, and availability is contingent upon local or community-level determinations.

In the Chicagoland area, the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP) offers free basic tax return preparation to families and individuals earning up to $64,000 annually ($32,000 for individuals). Full-year Illinois residents can access this service, as the program does not cater to residents of other states, military personnel, or partial-year residents.

Taxpayers seeking further information on free tax assistance can visit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website at For inquiries, individuals can contact the Taxpayer Assistance Division at 800-732-8866 or visit any of IDOR’s offices located across Chicago, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford, and Springfield, open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., where staff can provide assistance with Illinois state income tax filing inquiries.