Tax Exemptions Deadline is
August 4th

Hey homeowners! Want to save big on property taxes? ūüŹ†ūüíį The City of Chicago and Cook County have 11 exemptions and financial programs just for you!

Deadline to file or revise exemptions: August 4th ‚Ź≥

Second installment tax bills: Out Nov 1, due Dec 1 ūüóďÔłŹ

Check cookcountytreasurer.com to see if you’re getting all your exemptions, and check out all of the exemptions available at cookcountyassessor.com/exemptions to claim yours! Save money, stress less! ūüėĄ Please keep in mind that exemption deductions will be reflected on the 2023 second installment bills. Additionally, some exemptions may be retroactive for up to three years if you qualified but didn’t apply in the past. Consulting a tax professional can help you understand and maximize your eligibility for these exemptions. Remember, you work hard for your home ‚Äď now let’s make sure you keep more of what’s rightfully yours!

1. HOMEOWNER EXEMPTION

A Homeowner Exemption provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they own and occupy their property as their principal place of residence. Once the exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.

Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption automatically renews each year.
Due Date For New Applicants: Spring 2023

Eligibility

  1. Either own or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property

  2. Occupy the property as your principal place of residence on January 1, 2022.

    • This exemption will be prorated if you purchased a newly constructed home that was not ready for occupancy until sometime after January 1 of the tax year in question.

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/homeowner-exemption

2. SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION

A Senior Exemption provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Homeowner Exemption and were 65 years of age or older during calendar year 2022. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.

Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption automatically renews each year.
Due Date for New Applicants: Spring 2023

Eligibility

Must be born in 1957 or prior.

  1. Either own the property or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes.

  2. Occupy the property as your principal place of residence in 2022. If you have moved or plan to move in the future, you may be entitled to a prorated Senior Exemption, based on the time of occupancy. To apply for a prorated Senior Exemption you must submit the following:

    • Senior Exemption application form

    • Closing or settlement statement

    • Copy of proof of age and residency

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/senior-citizen-exemption

3. LOW – INCOME SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE EXEMPTION

A Senior Freeze Exemption provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value (EAV) of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Senior Exemption and have a total household annual income of $65,000 or less in calendar year 2022. Those who qualify and receive this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing districts asks for (levy) may change and thus alter a tax bill. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automatic Renewal: No, This exemption must be filed annually
Due Date For New Applicants: Spring 2023

Eligibility

  1. Must be born in 1957 or prior.

  2. Have a total gross household income of no more than $65,000 for 2022.

  3. Either own the property, or have a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022.

  4. Be liable for the payment of 2021 and 2022 property taxes.

  5. Occupy the property as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022.

Please Note: The Senior Freeze Exemption freezes the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of a home. A property’s total tax bill depends on the EAV and the tax rate. Because the tax rate is calculated each year and can change each year, so can the property tax bill. It is important to note that the exemption amount is not the dollar amount by which a tax bill is lowered. EAV is the partial value of a property to which tax rates are applied; it is this figure on which a tax bill is calculated. The Assessor does not set tax rates.

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/senior-freeze-exemption

4. LONGTIME HOMEOWNER EXEMPTION

The Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption enables property owners to receive an expanded Homeowner Exemption with no maximum exemption amount. Of the 1.5 million residential properties in Cook County, fewer than two percent (2%) qualified for the Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption last year. This is due to the way the state legislature wrote the provision and the requirements they put in place in order to qualify.

The Cook County Assessor’s Office¬†automatically¬†detects which properties qualify based on assessment increases.¬†Simply put, would-be savings from the Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption would have to exceed the savings from the Standard Homeowner Exemption. This does not happen for more than 98% of residences in Cook County.

Automatic Renewal: No, This exemption must be filed annually
Eligibility

  • Owned and occupied your residence from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2022.

  • A total household income of $100,000 or less for income tax year 2021.

  • A property assessment increase that was significant enough to exceed the maximum amounts set by the state legislature.

Please Note:¬†Approximately 11,000 properties in Cook County qualify for this exemption. This is fewer¬†than 2% of homeowners. The Cook County Assessor’s Office determines which properties qualify based on assessment increases. These properties will receive application forms in the mail in early April, 2023.

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/longtime-homeowner-exemption

5. HOME IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION

The Home Improvement Exemption allows a homeowner to add improvements to their home that add to its value (for example, by increasing the building’s square footage, or repairing after structural flood damage) without being taxed on up to $75,000 of the added value for up to four years.

No application is required. When the Cook County Assessor’s Office receives building permits, our staff conduct a field check of the improvement. After this is complete, if this property is deemed eligible for the exemption, we send a notice to the property owner and apply the exemption.

Eligibility

The home must meet the following conditions:
‚Äʬ†¬† ¬†Be occupied by the owner as their primary place of residence
‚Äʬ†¬† ¬†Be a¬†class 2 residence

You can find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/home-improvement-exemption

THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS NOW AVAILABLE.

6. PERSONS WITH DISABILITY HOMEOWNERS EXEMPTION

A Person with Disabilities Exemption is for persons with disabilities and provides an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automatic Renewal: Yes, for tax year 2022 this exemption will automatically renew.
Due Date For New Applicants: Spring 2023

Eligibility

  1. Disabled or become disabled during the 2022 tax year.

  2. Either own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property, or a leasehold interest of a single-family residence on January 1, 2022.

  3. Liable for the payment of property taxes.

  4. Occupy the property as the principal residence on January 1, 2022.

If a person’s home previously received this exemption¬†(which in prior years, was known as the Disabled Persons Homeowner Exemption) and the taxpayer now resides in a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, their¬†home is still eligible to receive this exemption under the following conditions.

  • The property is occupied by that person’s spouse, or the property remains unoccupied.

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/persons-disabilities-exemption

7. RETURNING VETERANS EXEMPTION

A Returning Veterans Exemption is for veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property only for each taxable year in which they return.

Automatic Renewal: No, this exemption must be filed annually.
Due Date: Spring 2023

Eligibility

  1. Must be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces.

  2. Returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S in 2022.

  3. Either own or had a legal or equitable interest in the property and used it as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2021.

  4. Liable for the payment of property taxes.

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/returning-veterans-exemption

8. VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES EXEMPTION

This Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities is for veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The exemption reduces by certain amounts the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on the primary residence of a veteran with a disability, very likely lowering the tax bill. The amounts of those EAV deductions depend on the level of disability. Veterans 70% or more disabled receive an EAV reduction of $250,000, and because of this can be totally exempt from property taxes on their home. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automatic Renewal: No, This exemption must be filed annually
Due Date For New Applicants: Early March 2023

Eligibility

  • Illinois resident who has served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or State active duty, a member of the Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces and has been honorably discharged.

  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Occupy the property as the primary residence in 2021.

  • Applies to $250,000 of EAV for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six (6) months.

    • The equalized assessed value is only the partial property value on which your taxes are computed and can be found on the second installment tax bill under the Tax Calculator.

Exemption amounts for the Veterans with Disabilities Homeowner Exemption are:

Percentage of Disability Exemption amount (EAV reduction)

30-49% $2,500

50-69% $5,000

70% and greater $250,000

You can apply online and find additional information at: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/veterans-disabilities-exemption

9. ACTIVE MILITARY

Military personnel on active duty are eligible to defer the payment of real estate taxes under the provisions of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, as amended. This deferral extends to taxes becoming due in the period between your active duty and 180 days from the release from active duty. Federal law permits interest on taxes deferred in the amount of 6% per annum instead of the interest and penalties imposed by state law. State law allows the local tax collector to waive the interest. Cook County waives interest for a period of 180 days. You can find an application and additional information at: https://www.cookcountytreasurer.com/currentmilitarywaiverform.aspx

10. SENIOR CITIZEN TAX DEFERRAL

The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral program is a tax-relief program that works like a loan. It allows qualified seniors to defer a maximum of $5,000 per tax year (this includes 1st and 2nd installments) on their primary home. The loan from the State of Illinois is paid when the property is sold, or upon the death of the participant.

Automatic Renewal: No, This exemption must be filed annually
Due Date For New Applicants: Jan 1 РMar 1 2023 (no extensions)

Participants must be:

  • Homeowners who are at least 65 years of age by June 1 of the year in which the applications are made.

  • Those whose household income is $65,000 or less.

  • Surviving spouses of previously approved applicants who are at least 55 years of age within six months of the taxpayer’s death.

  • Those who have owned and occupied the qualifying property for at least the last three years.

  • Those who have fire or casualty insurance coverage for the qualifying property in an amount not less than the amount of the taxes being deferred.

  • Those who do not owe outstanding property tax or special assessments.

  • Those who have written approval from the spouse, if filing jointly, or Trustee, if the property is held in a qualifying Trust, to participate in the program.

You may find additional information at:  https://www.cookcountytreasurer.com/theseniorcitizenrealestatetaxdeferralprogram.aspx

11. PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY

The surviving spouses of police officers, rescue workers and members of the military who die in the line of duty may be eligible for a total rebate on their City of Chicago and Cook County property taxes.

To apply, submit this application to the Cook County Board of Review.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

  • The surviving spouses of:

    • Police officers

    • Fire fighters

    • Emergency medical service providers

    • Members of the military on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan

Which Properties Are Eligible?

  • Properties used as a principal residence by a surviving spouse that are not occupied by more than 2 families and were:

    • Owned by the surviving spouse or the decedent at the time of the death, or

    • Acquired by the surviving spouse within 2 years after the death if the surviving spouse lived in Illinois at the time of death, or

    • Acquired more than 2 years after the death if the surviving spouse qualified for the abatement for a previous property

You can find additional information at : https://www.cookcountyboardofreview.com/about/surviving-spouse-abatement

This article provides useful information on various property tax exemptions and financial programs available in the City of Chicago and Cook County. However, it is important to note that while this serves as a guide, individuals should consult a tax professional to ensure they understand the exemptions fully and comply with all requirements. Tax professionals can help determine eligibility and provide personalized advice on how to take advantage of these exemptions effectively.