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Illinois Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers of senior citizens deferral program availability

Program allows up to $7,500 of property tax deferral per year

The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has reminded senior citizens about the availability of the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program. The program, which works like a loan, allows qualified seniors to defer all or part of their property taxes and special assessment payments on their principal residences.

The deadline to apply for the program this year is March 1, 2024.

Taxpayers who apply and qualify are allowed to defer a maximum of $7,500 per tax year, including both first and second installment payments. Deferred amounts are borrowed from the state, who pays the tax bill to the county collector’s office.

Interest on the amount paid by the state accumulates and a lien is placed on the property for all deferred tax payments and interest. Three percent simple interest per year is payable upon death of the homeowner, at the time the home is transferred to a new owner, or sooner, if the program participant chooses to pay off the deferred tax payments and interest.

“We encourage all eligible seniors who may need assistance in paying their property taxes to look into this valuable program and see if they may benefit,” said Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Director David Harris.” If planning to apply, it is important they file an application with their local county collector’s office by this year’s March 1 deadline.”

To qualify for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral, a property owner must:

  • be 65 years of age or older prior to June 1 of the year that the application is being filed with their local county collector’s office,
  • have a total annual household income of $65,000 or less,
  • have owned and occupied the property or other qualifying residence for at least the last three years,
  • own the property, or share joint ownership with a spouse, or be the sole beneficiary, or the property owner and spouse be the sole beneficiaries of an Illinois land trust,
  • have no unpaid property taxes or special assessments on the property, and
  • have adequate insurance against fire or casualty loss.

To apply for the program, seniors need to contact their local county collector’s office to receive an application. Once completed, the application must be filed with the collector’s office on or before March 1 of each year they wish to defer their property taxes or special assessments. There are no time extensions and taxpayers must apply each year they wish to participate.

For general questions concerning the program, taxpayers may visit IDOR’s website at tax.illinois.gov or contact their local county collector’s office.

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