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Tomorrow at noon, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address. The address will provide a blueprint to the General Assembly of how the Governor would like to see the state appropriate taxpayer dollars. 

You can watch it live online, Click Here.
Before you pick a "free" tax filing software, make sure you know which options will actually be free for you. The IRS provides an easy to use tool to help you find a tax filing service that may allow you to file both your Federal and State tax returns for free.

If your adjusted gross income was $66,000 or less in 2017, you will find one or more free software options available through Free File at IRS.gov. Review each company's offer to make sure you qualify for your free federal return. 

Some companies offer free state tax returns; some charge a fee. For more information, Click Here to see software offers and detailed information on company websites. The following states provide a free state tax return in partnership with private software companies via the Free File Alliance: AR, AZ, DC, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NY, OR, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV. All the listed tax software companies provide a free federal return to active military personnel with an AGI of $66,000 or less.
Whether scam artists use your information to file tax returns in hopes of getting your refund or pose as IRS agents and threaten legal action if payments aren’t immediately made – there are preventative steps you can take to ensure a smooth tax season. The Illinois CPA Society outlines key points than can help you avoid becoming a target and what to do if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam.

Tax ID Theft Warning Signs
The IRS estimates that recent crackdowns in 2016 on ID theft scams stopped more than 785,000 fraudulent returns, but that $239 million in “suspect” refunds were paid out. Tax ID theft is still very prevalent and some warning signs to look for if you think you may be a victim are:
  • Your electronically filed tax return is rejected because a return with your SSN already has been filed. 
  • Receiving a letter from the IRS asking for confirmation on submission of a tax return being held for review. 
  • Being informed by the IRS that that records of wages were received from an employer that you did not work for. 


Today at noon, Governor Rauner will deliver his State of the State Address.

You can watch it live online, Click Here.
The map below shows in stark contrast that other than the most prosperous areas in downtown Chicago and the North Shore, Illinoisans are struggling to make ends meet. With so little prosperity, middle class families in the red regions would be hurt the worst by any new utopian tax scheme, such as the progressive income tax.

While the headlines occasionally flare with the latest fight over some large corporation locating in the Chicago area, the rest of Illinois is left to compete with surrounding states for what little business they can attract. If you were the head of a large corporation or manufacturer looking for a new location to set up your business, would you even consider coming to a state with only a thousand square miles of prosperity surrounding Chicago? FoxConn didn’t, and I suspect Amazon won’t either.
Hustle Up the Hancock takes place on Sunday, February 25, 2018 and is Chicago’s premiere winter fitness event. Each year more than 4,000 people climb to the top of the John Hancock Center to raise funds for Respiratory Health Association’s lung disease and clean air education, research and policy change efforts.

Some climb for the individual fitness accomplishment. Others dedicate their efforts to honor or remember a loved one. More than 55% of our participants indicated they or someone they know has been touched by asthma, COPD, lung cancer or other lung diseases.
The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, “Invest in Kids,” provides a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit to individuals and corporations that contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs award scholarships to eligible students from low-income families. These scholarships allow schools across the state to provide quality educations to young students who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend the quality school of their parents choosing.

Through this program:
  • An individual or corporation will receive a 75 percent credit on donations to an SGO. For example, if a person donates $100,000, they will receive a state tax credit of $75,000. 
  • Individual donors can designate their donations to a specific SGO. 
  • The credit can be rolled over for five years. 
  • Donors are prohibited from receiving a federal tax deduction for these donations. 
  • The program is capped at $100 million in donations, resulting in $75 million in total tax credits issued.