Owning a home can have a lot of advantages come tax time. However, it also brings with it a level of complexity you may not have experienced as a renter. Below are some resources to help you navigate your new waters.


Tax Basics

Both state and federal taxes are due on April 15th every year.

  • Federal: The Internal Revenue Service offers instructions and advice for filing your taxes. You can also get answers to any federal tax-related questions you have for free using the Interactive Tax Assistance tool on the same site (questions such as: Which form should I use?; Can I deduct my moving expenses?; Whom can I claim as a dependent?, etc.). 

  • State: Forms and information for Illinois can be found on the Illinois Department of Revenue website, where you can also file your taxes at no additional cost. 


Credits and Deductions

The IRS offers a full list of credits and deductions you may be eligible for here. As a homeowner, take a close look at the more common ones used by other homeowners to find the biggest savings for you:


Tax Preparation Education and Assistance

Want to learn a little more? Need direct advice or assistance filing your taxes? Luckily, here are some reputable programs in Chicago that can help: 


Cook County Property Taxes

Understanding your exemption eligibility and rights to appeal property tax assessments is an important part of being a homeowner in Cook County. We encourage you to explore the Cook County Property Tax Portal and the Cook County Assessor’s Office website for up-to-date information on managing your property taxes. You will be able to find excellent resources there, such as:


Appeal Your Property Assessment

You can appeal the assessed value of your property if you feel it has been overvalued. This can be a lengthy process as you may need to escalate your appeal repeatedly if you are denied. However, if you feel strongly that your home is valued too highly, make appeals in this order, paying special attention to the filing deadlines

  1. File an appeal with the Cook County Assessor's Office

  2. If denied, file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review

  3. If denied, file an appeal with the Cook County Circuit Court

  4. If denied, file an appeal with the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board




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