CEP has helped nearly 400,000 hard-working, low-income families since 1990.

Free Tax Help

Keep  more of what you earn. Get your taxes done for free at the Center for Economic Progress (CEP). 

Find a tax site near you

CEP has been a trusted provider of free tax help and financial services for 25 years. From January thru April,  thanks to our passionate and IRS-certified corps of volunteers, we help nearly 20,000 people file their taxes and get all the tax credits they’ve earned and refunds they’re owed. 

Need help after the April filing deadline? Learn more about our Money Action DaysDownload our 2017 Money Action Day flyer.


 For no extra charge, all CEP clients are automatically covered by CEP’s staff of attorneys and enrolled  agents to represent them anytime the IRS or Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) challenges their tax return. 


Safe, Affordable Financial Services

Our free tax sites are more than a place to get your taxes done.  At most sites, you’ll be able to open a bank account, learn ways to save for the future, and better manage your money.

We promote savings opportunities including a "Life Happens", prize-linked savings campaign at select sites, and access to myRA accounts and savings bonds.

Ready to file on your own?

CEP has partnered with Intuit TurboTax and the IRS to offer a free online option for filing your tax return yourself. If you are comfortable with using a computer and following instructions, this option may be a good fit.  File your taxes from the comfort of home!

Year-Round Help

After the April filing deadline, CEP offers year-round tax help through our Money Action Days, held at our main office at 567 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60661.

Download our 2017 Money Action Day flyer.

 At these Money Action Day events, CEP's tax and financial experts will be on hand to provide the following free services:

• Preparing both federal and state tax returns for current year 2016 and prior years
• Help filing amended returns for both federal and state tax returns
• Tax Clinic consultations and screenings by legal professionals
• Credit building from expert Credit Geeks
• Access to prepaid debit cards
• Schedule an appointment for assistance with applying for or renewing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (also known as an ITIN, PIN, Tax ID or Taxpayer ID)
• Referrals to a CEP financial coach

Who do we help?

We provide free tax help to:

  • Families with incomes less than $55,000
  • Individuals with incomes less than $30,000

In addition to the income requirements, is there anything else that could prevent you from receiving CEP’s services?
Please read our FAQs for a list of tax situations that are out of scope. 

What should you bring with you to receive free tax services?

To get our free tax services, you MUST bring with you:

  • All W-2s and 1099s (if any) for the year involved
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) for all family members
  • Valid photo ID for the person filing
  • Copy of previous year’s tax return, if possible
  • Checking and savings account number and routing number if you choose to direct deposit your tax refund
  • Property tax bill, if applicable
  • Amount spent on college expenses 
  • Any letters from the IRS, if applicable

Amending Your Tax Return

Did you discover that you didn’t list all of your W-2s or 1099s on your tax return? Or did you forget to claim all of your tax credits?

If you filed your tax return and realized that something needs to be added, updated or corrected, you will need to file an amended return by using the IRS form 1040X. However:

  • If it’s BEFORE the April filing deadline, you should go back to the place where you had your taxes done and have the business or organization complete an amended return for you.
  • If it’s AFTER the April filing deadline, please call our tax hotline at (312) 252-0280 (Option 1 for Spanish, Option 2 for English). Or CEP offers year-round tax help through our Money Action Days. We may be able to help you.