What We Do
At Ladder Up, we give hardworking people the resources they need to move up the economic ladder, guiding them toward a brighter future through our Tax Assistance Program (TAP) and Life-Improving Financial Tools (LIFT) program.
Helping Thousands Of Low-income Households One Tax Return At A Time
Tax Assistance Program (TAP)
Through TAP, we offer free electronic preparation and filing of individual income tax returns to help clients access critical tax refunds. Last year alone, we secured more than $17 million in refunds for hardworking Chicago-area taxpayers, money that can often mean the difference between treading water and turning a corner.
The Guidance To Do More Than Just Dream Of College
Financial Aid For College
Through hundreds of on-site visits, we’ve helped students access more than $200 million in financial aid for higher education through our LIFT program, money that can turn the dream of college into a reality.
Building A Foundation Of Knowledge And Creating A Pathway To Financial Success
Improving your financial situation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes the right tools and know-how. Which is why we offer free financial education through our LIFT program to help individuals navigate an often complex economic landscape so they can take steps towards achieving financial stability.
Simplifying the Process of Obtaining an ITIN
As a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA), Ladder Up has helped 150 taxpayers apply for or renew Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to help them meet tax filing requirements as well as secure important tax credits.
“The professionalism I’ve experienced surpassed anything I ever expected. Because of you, my son can go to college.”
JimSingle father, Financial Aid Assistance Client
“Ladder Up has taught me a ton about financial aid in general and about being an independent student on the FAFSA.”
“I used to go to H&R Block and they charged over $500.”
For every $1 invested, we return an estimated $19 in economic benefits to clients through our free services. The donations that fuel our programs can truly transform lives.
For the past 23 years, volunteers have been the lifeblood of our tax program. Sharing your time and talent can make a profound difference for our clients.
Our partners include businesses, universities, government agencies, schools, and community organizations. They provide critical financial support, volunteers and client outreach.
A wealth of information is available to help you stay at the top of your tax game, including supplemental training organized by tax topics, as well as practice tests and videos.