Free Tax Help
Keep more of what you earn. Get your taxes done for free at a Center for Economic Progress (CEP) 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 Days.
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.
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.
Ready to file on your own?
CEP has partnered with Intuit 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!
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 flyer for dates and times (English, Spanish).
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 2014 and prior years
• Help filing amended returns for both federal and state tax returns
• Professional legal advice on tax problems
• Credit building advice from expert Credit Geeks
• Access to prepaid debit cards
• Assistance with applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (also known as an ITIN, PIN, Tax ID or Taxpayer ID). Note: for ITIN application assistance, additional documents are required.
• Referrals to a CEP financial coach
Who do we help?
We provide free tax help to:
- Families with incomes less than $50,000
- Individuals with incomes less than $25,000
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.
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
- Bank account number and routing number if you choose to direct deposit your tax refund
- Property tax bill
- Amount spent on college expenses
- Any letters from the IRS, if applicable
- Proof of health insurance coverage (i.e. Form 1095-A, private/employer insurance information) or Certificate of Exemption
- For ITIN application assistance, additional documents are required.
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.