Tax Preparation

The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns on Friday, February 12, 2021.

People who are ready to file can begin filing their tax returns with tax prep software, including IRS Free File. Software providers are accepting completed tax returns now and holding them until the IRS begins processing returns on Friday, Feb.12. The quickest way for taxpayers to get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refund.

Most earned income tax credit or advanced child tax credit related refunds should be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they choose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds before mid-February for tax returns that claim the earned income tax credit or ACTC. The IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they deserve and gives the agency more time to detect and prevent errors and fraud.

Important filing season dates

Friday, Feb. 12, 2021: IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns start being accepted, and processing begins.
Thursday, April 15, 2021: Due date for filing 2020 tax returns or requesting extension of time to file.
Thursday, April 15, 2021: Due date for paying 2020 tax owed to avoid owing interest and penalties.
Friday, Oct. 15, 2021: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns.

Stimulus Payments and Taxes

Those who may have been eligible for stimulus payments should carefully review their eligibility for the recovery rebate credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically and those who received the maximum amount don’t need to include any information about their payments when they file.

They received the full amounts of both Economic Impact Payments if:

  • Their first Economic Impact Payment was $1,200 for individuals; $2,400 married filing jointly for 2020, plus $500 for each qualifying child born in 2020.

  • Their second Economic Impact Payment was $600 for individuals; $1,200 married filing jointly for 2020, plus $600 for each qualifying child born in 2020.

People who didn't receive the payments or only received partial payments may be eligible to claim the recovery rebate credit when they file their 2020 tax return, even if they are normally not required to file a tax return. Tax preparation software, including IRS Free File, will help taxpayers figure the amount.

Taxpayers should remember that stimulus payments they received are not taxable, and don’t reduce the amount of their refund.

If You Received Unemployment Insurance Benefits in 2020:

You will receive the 1099-G tax form, which you must have in order to complete your state and federal tax returns. The 1099-G form will be available by the end of January 2021 and mailed or emailed to IDES claimants based on their previously selected preference. This pertains to individuals who received state and/or federal benefits. 

If you receive a 1099-G form from IDES but did not receive unemployment benefits in 2020, this may indicate a claim was fraudulently filed in your name and you should immediately call IDES at 800-244-5631. 

Help Filing Taxes

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

 A federal grant program provides tax preparation assistance, particularly to those 60 and older from IRS-certified volunteers. (Most TCE sites are operated by AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.) For more information, call 888-227-7669 toll-free or check online.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Under another federal grant program, IRS-certified VITA volunteers provide tax-preparation services to people who generally have income of $57,000 or less, as well as those with disabilities or limited English language skills. Call 800-906-9887 to find a nearby VITA site. Online assistance is also available.

If seeking help in-person, please bring: all W-2s and 1099s (if any); Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) for all family members; valid photo ID; copy of last year's tax return, if available; checking and savings account and routing numbers to direct deposit your refund; property tax bill; amount spent on college expenses.

VITA/TCE Site Locator: Go to  or call 800-906-9887.

Income $72,000 and below file your taxes with free, easy to use software. Free state return options are available.

Questions about how the new Tax Reform law will affect your filing this year? See these resources from the IRS for Individuals & Families and Businesses.

Virtual tax assistance is available through Ladder Up at this website.

The following locations in Illinois's Tenth Congressional District have IRS-certified volunteers available to provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Many sites that have been open in past years are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.

Site Name Address City Phone Dates Open COVID Restrictions Site Schedule Appointment Type
Libertyville Civic Center 135 W. Church St. Libertyville 224-424-0390 2/1/2021 - 4/7/2021 Virtual; in-person document drop-off available Tues/Wed, 9 am - 1 pm Required AARP
Maine Township 1700 Ballard Rd. Park Ridge 847-297-2510 2/2/2021 - 4/12/2021 Virtual Call (847) 780-6644 to schedule appointment Required VITA
Moraine Township 800 Central Ave. Highland Park 847-780-6644 2/6/2021 - 4/10/2021 Virtual Sun, 9 am - 12 pm Required  
Waukegan Park Senior Center 412 S Lewis Ave. Waukegan 847-244-9242 2/1/2021 - 4/15/2021 In-person or virtual Mon/Tues/Wed, 9 am - 1 pm Not Required AARP
Wheeling Township 1616 N Arlington Heights Rd. Arlington Heights 847-259-7730 2/5/2021 - 4/9/2021 Virtual; in-person document drop-off available Fri, 9 am - 3 pm Required AARP