The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has reminded senior citizens about the availability of the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program which allows qualified seniors to defer all or part of their property taxes and special assessment payments on their principal residences. Seniors needing assistance paying their property taxes have until March 1, 2023 to apply for the program.
The program, which works like a loan, allows qualified seniors to defer a maximum of $7,500 per tax year (including both first and second installment payments), increased from $5,000 last year. Deferred amounts are borrowed from the state, who pays the tax bill to the County Collector’s Office. The program was also expanded this year to increase the household income threshold qualification from $55,000 to $65,000.
Interest on the amount paid by the state accumulates and a lien is placed on the property for all deferred tax payments and interest, 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.
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.
For general questions concerning the program, taxpayers may visit IDOR’s website at tax.illinois.gov or contact their local County Collector’s Office.