According to Intuit, the maker of Turbo Tax products, Chicagoans lead the nation in waiting until the last possible days to file income tax returns. It appears that residents of American cities are the biggest procrastinators when it comes to filing federal income tax returns. Chicago is first on the list followed by New York and next Houston.
The tax filing deadline is Tuesday at midnight. There is still time to file. Gather all the information that you need, including a copy of last year's tax return, proof of identity and all forms W-2, 1098 and 1099 papers . Tax experts at Jackson Hewitt tax service in Hyde Park are working Monday night and Tuesday night until 10 p.m. providing full service individual federal and state income tax preparation.
"Gather all your information and come in immediately. Your other option is to file an extension with the Internal Revenue Service," said Keith Villegas, Jackson Hewitt.
Villegas says there are over 50 top overlooked tax deductions that people need to take note of:
"They are able to take a depreciation deduction on the portion of the home they use for business purposes and even for their regular normal jobs," Villegas said.
In the beginning of 2008, Congress passed an act where they are going to be sending rebate checks to over 160 million different tax payers. People who normally would not file in the past are now required to file in order to get their checks.
"The standard rebate is $300. Those individuals receiving Social Security are eligible to receive the rebate as well," said Villegas.
Filing taxes and managing money are just as difficult for low-wage families as they are for wealthy families. The Center for Economic Progress provides free tax help to low-income families. Volunteers are available until 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday night at Truman College, St. Sabina Church and at Harold Washington College.
"We are able to file tax returns electronically as well as paper file and prepare everything people need to get their taxes done on time and correctly...costs nothing at all," said Melissa Spear, Center for Economic Progress.
The Illinois Department of Revenue's Willard Ice Building in Springfield takes in millions of tax forms each year. The department says that filing electronically saves paper and increases processing efficiencies.
"If you have a refund coming, the best thing to do is file electronically, both with the Internal Revenue Service and with the state department of revenue," said Brian Hamer, Department of Revenue director.
Experts say beware of companies or individuals offering quickie tax loans to people who can least afford to lose money on loan fees. It is best to wait to get your tax refund mailed to you.
Post Office Information
The following locations will have collectors outside tomorrow night until midnight to accept last-minute returns:
Chicago - Main Post Office, Canal & Harrison Streets
Palatine - Main Processing Plant
Carol Stream - Main processing Plant
Aurora - Fox Valley Processing Plant (3900 Gabrielle Lane)
Bedford Park - South Suburban Processing Plant (73rd & Oak Park St)
Joliet - Main Post Office
All other Post Offices will be open at their regular hours. Many Post Offices in the area are regularly open past 6 pm.
Tax returns mailed in a street collection box must be deposited by the last collection time posted on the box to make the IRS deadline. Returns mailed after the last posted collection time will be postmarked April 16.
Post Offices in Central Illinois District in DuPage, Kane, Kendall County that will pull collection boxes outside Post Office at midnight to assure tax returns are postmarked April 15: Aurora, Batavia, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oakbrook, Plainfield, Warrenville, Western Springs, Westmont, Woodridge, Yorkville
Post Offices in Central Illinois District in DuPage, Kane, Kendall County with Automated Postal Centers accessible 24/7: Aurora (East) 3900 Gabrielle Lane, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lisle, Montgomery, Naperville (both locations), North Aurora, Oakbrook, Plainfield, Warrenville, Woodridge
The following Post Offices have regular Full Window Services until 7 PMAddison
Algonquin East Branch
Elgin West Side
Fox River Grove
Rockford / Loves Park
The following Post Office will be offering Full Window Services until 7 PM, 7:30 PM, and 8 PM on April 15
Crystal Lake (7:30 PM)
Evanston (8 PM)
Northbrook (7 PM)
On April 15, mail will be collected at 11:59 p.m. from collection box locations outside the Post Office and postmarked with the April 15 cancellation.
Fox Lake Geneva
Glen Ellyn Downtown
Rockford New Towne
The following Post Offices have an Automated Postal Center Available 24/7*
Elk Grove Village
* Automated Postal Centers provide many of the products and services available at a Post Office retail window including booklets of First Class stamps, certified mail with return receipt, and delivery confirmation.
For details on services and hours for Northern Illinois District Post Offices, Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (275-8777)