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Tax relief is coming for Illinoisans: What you need to know

State Journal Register

Friday, August 5, 2022  |  Article  |  Patrick Keck

The ongoing tax rollback for back-to-school supplies is not the only form of relief set to arrive in Illinoisans' pockets. That rollback, starting today and lasting through Aug. 14, is part of the $1.83 billion dedicated in tax relief from the state budget passed by lawmakers in April. It is expected to save residents $500 million.

However, also included in that budget are a one-time tax rebate and temporary freezes on grocery and gas taxes - some of these changes are already in place.

What action did the legislature take to make this possible?

In April, Gov. JB Pritzker signed the state fiscal year 2023 budget plan, which consisted of three pieces of legislation introduced in the House and Senate.

House Bill 900 is the formal budget, a 3,448-page appropriations bill that details how much funds will go to state departments. Among the plethora of spending items were several provisions to the state Pension Stabilization Fund totaling $500 million.

Together with House Bill 4700, the implementation bill, and Senate Bill 157, which details the tax relief provisions, the budget comes to $46.5 billion.

More coverage:Tax rollback on school supplies starts Friday: Here's what you need to know

What tax relief is already in place?

Starting in July, Illinoisans saw some form of relief when the state's gas tax freeze went into effect. With this action, the gas tax, technically the "motor fuel tax," will remain at 39.2 cents per gallon for the next six months instead of rising to 41.4 cents per gallon as originally set.

Still, with gas prices in the state being $4.53 per gallon on average according to AAA, nearly 40 cents above the national average, Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey has called on Pritzker to remove or suspend the tax all together.

Also going into effect at the beginning of last month was the suspension of the 1% grocery tax on all items except alcoholic beverages, cannabis-mixed food items, soft drinks, candy and food that has been preparedfor immediate consumption. Unlike the gas tax freeze, this suspension will continue until June 30, 2023.

Who is eligible for the tax rebates?

Senate Bill 157 details the eligibility terms of the $685 million in direct rebate checks and the $520 million for one-time property tax rebates.

Both rebates require residency in the state dating back to at least 2021, but have different financial standards. For the direct rebate, the adjusted gross income on a submitted 2021 Form IL-1040 has to be less than $400,000 when filing jointly or under $200,000 if individually-filed. The property tax rebate is eligible to those filing jointly with less than $500,000 and less than $300,000 for individuals.

When will I receive my refund?

According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, rebates will begin arriving in bank accounts and mailboxes the week of Sept. 12. How much those checks will be depends on the number of dependents, where $100 is set for each dependent up to three per family. Individuals will receive $50 checks and the maximum rebate is $300 – these rebates are not subject to income tax.

What do I have to do to ensure I receive my check?

Those that have already filed a 2021 Form IL-1040 do not have to take any more steps to receive their check. Any one who has not has until Oct. 17 to do so.