Tax Preparation

The IRS is now accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns. The deadline to file your 2020 tax returns is Monday, May 17, 2021. 

People who are ready to file can begin filing their tax returns with tax prep software, including IRS Free File. The quickest way for taxpayers to get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refund.

Important filing season dates

Monday, May 17, 2021: Deadline to file 2020 tax returns.
Friday, Oct. 15, 2021: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns. You can apply for an extension here. 

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.

Those Experiencing Homelessness Can Receive Economic Impact Payments, No Permanent Address Required

While Economic Impact Payments continue to be made automatically to the majority of eligible Americans, the IRS needs more information about those who don’t usually file tax returns before they can issue the payments.

Claiming the Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) through the 2021 tax year. Here’s what you need to know to claim a CTC:

  • Advance payments of the 2021 CTC will be made from July – December for eligible taxpayers.
  • The IRS urges people with children to file their 2020 taxes as soon as possible to make sure they’re eligible for the appropriate amount of the CTC.
  • To claim the CTC, eligible taxpayers do not need to take any action now other than to file their 2020 tax return if they have not done so.
  • Find more information about the CTC on the IRS website.

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 was 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

Multilingual Tax Resources

The IRS has expanded efforts to communicate with taxpayers who prefer to get information in other languages.

IRS Tax Tips:

AARP Tax-Aide

Tax-Aide is available free to taxpayers with low- and moderate-income, with special attention to those 50 and older. They serve taxpayers across the country through our IRS-certified and dedicated volunteers. You can find out about AARP Foundation Tax-Aide service in the district and learn more about the program at

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.

Below are sites in the area that are offering tax assistance. There are also sites available in Chicago that you can find by using the search tools above.

McHenry County College 8900 US Hwy 14, Room A124 Crystal Lake N/A 1/23/2021 - 5/08/2021 No appointment required Mondays 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm; Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm
College of DuPage 425 Fawell Blvd. Glen Ellyn 630-942-3450 3/6/2021 - 5/15/2021 Appointment required Saturdays 8 am - 4 pm
Will County Center for Comunity Concerns 2455 Glenwood Ave. Joliet 815-722-0722 2/18/2021 - 5/13/2021 Appointment required

Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 8 am - 4 pm

Wed 8 am - 7:30 pm