On October 28, 2015, the Chicago City Council adopted a significant debt relief program for individuals and businesses. Taxpayers owing tax debts to the City may be eligible to have associated penalties, interest, and collection costs waived if they participate in the program. Further, the City will not seek criminal prosecution for the taxes owed. Tax debts eligible for the program include:
- Tax liabilities for tax periods prior to January 1, 2012 for any taxpayer or tax collector who is not registered with the Department of Finance for the tax (i.e. non-filers);
- Tax assessments issued prior to January 1, 2012, where the taxpayer failed to respond to the Department of Finance’s findings that taxes were owed; and
- Tax due on real property transfers that took place prior to January 1, 2012.
Relief under this program is not available for any tax (a) at issue in a case currently pending at the Department of Administrative Hearings or a court of competent jurisdiction or (b) as to which the City has obtained an order from the Department of Administrative Hearings or a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction. Further, the program is not available to any person who is a party to any criminal investigation or to any civil or criminal litigation which is pending in Illinois courts or the Department of Administrative Hearings concerning fraudulent conduct in relation to any debt owed to the City.
The program will run from November 15, 2015 through December 31, 2015. In order to receive the full benefit of the program, the eligible tax debt must be paid in full by December 31, 2015. If a person cannot pay in full by December 31, 2015, the person may enter into a payment plan. However, to the extent any eligible tax debt is not paid in full, the Department of Finance has advised us that it will assess applicable interest and penalties as of the original tax return or payment due date on the unpaidbalance of the tax at the close of December 31, 2015.
Applications can be obtained online at http://www.cityofchicago.org/finance, by phone at (312)747-4747 or in person at the Department of Finance, DePaul Center – Suite 300, 333 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60604-3977.