Some IL taxpayers will not have unpaid fines withheld from returns this year, as Illinois COVID-19 pandemic continues

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said her office will not deduct any fines or fees from the tax returns of the working poor this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause financial hardship.

"In other words, low- and moderate-income taxpayers in Illinois, who qualify for the state Earned Income Tax Credit, will receive their entire tax refund this year," she said.

For the current tax year (2020), a family of four earning $56,844 a year, or less, or a single person earning $15,820 a year, or less, qualifies.

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That could mean an extra $363, on average, in the pockets of some residents. Those fines, for things like parking tickets, do eventually need to be paid.

Ten years ago, the Illinois General Assembly gave cities around the state the right to contract with the comptroller's office to withhold unpaid traffic and parking ticket fines, and other court judgments from state income tax returns and send those to the towns.

A year ago, Mendoza announced the office would no longer withhold unpaid red-light camera ticket fines from taxpayers' income-tax refunds.

A dozen public interest groups had advocated for the change as a way to help people struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
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