Springfield, IL. -- A one-time tax amnesty program is being offered to delinquent taxpayers beginning October 1. Also during the week, members of the Property Tax Relief Task Force continued to meet in hopes of addressing Illinois’ onerous property tax burden.
Tax Amnesty Program Created to Recover Outstanding Taxes
A program seeking to recover millions in unpaid state taxes is giving delinquent taxpayers a last chance to make good with the state.
The Illinois Department of Revenue recently announced the tax amnesty program. Beginning October 1, individuals with unpaid tax liabilities from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2018 may be eligible for the one-time amnesty. Taxpayers have until November 15, 2019 to make full payments on their outstanding tax debt without penalties.
Taxpayers who did not file their state taxes during the original filing period will be required to file an original return in addition to paying the full tax due. Residents will also have the opportunity to report changes to previously filed returns by submitting an amended return and paying the tax debt in full. The amnesty program was proposed earlier this year to recover the estimated $175 million in outstanding taxes owed to the state. For more information on the program, visit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Tax Amnesty website located at www.tax.illinois.gov.
Property Tax Relief Tax Force Identifies Critical Subcommittees
As we are all well aware, our property taxes are a huge burden. In fact, Illinois is one of the worst states for property tax burden, according to WalletHub, the online personal financial website. Meetings of the Property Tax Relief Task Force, a legislative panel tasked with pinpointing causal factors of Illinois’ high property tax burden and identifying policy changes to provide relief to Illinois homeowners, continued during the week.
To streamline the process of examining this complex issue, the Task Force recently created seven subcommittees to focus on the significant drivers of high property taxes in Illinois. Subcommittees will meet on topics including assessments and exemptions, government consolidation, social and economic disparities, PTELL, local pensions, school funding and TIFs. But don’t expect tax relief soon. There are only two ways for property taxes to be reduced in a meaningful way. Either school costs must go down (especially administrative costs which have grown much faster than other costs) or the state must provide greater school support. To do that in a significant way, state income taxes on our middle income taxpayers would have to increase. Not a very pretty option since we are already driving people out of Illinois because of high taxes.
When WalletHub released its annual state rankings on property taxes earlier this year, Illinois was noted as having the second-highest property taxes, trailing only New Jersey. The Task Force, which has been meeting since August, is required to submit a final report of its recommendations to the General Assembly by December 31, 2019.