Tax Assistance Program (TAP)


  • FREE Tax Preparation of Federal and State Income Tax Returns – WALK-IN SERVICE ONLY
  • Families and individuals earning up to $64,000 per year $32,000 for individuals  
  • MUST be a Full-Year Illinois Resident (Ladder Up does NOT prepare other states, military personnel, and/or partial-year residents).
  • Taxpayers filing a joint tax return (married) must BOTH be present


  1. At the TAP site, you’ll first meet with an intake volunteer who will review your documents and confirm that you are eligible for the service.
  2. Once you complete the intake process, you will work with a trained volunteer tax preparer who will prepare your tax return for FREE.
  3. Review and sign your taxes. We will file your taxes electronically or as a paper-file.


  • Original Social Security card (or ITIN card/letter) for ALL individuals that appear on your tax return
  • Government Photo ID
  • Income documents
    • W-2 Forms (TAP will not accept payment stubs)
    • Form 1099-NEC/K/MISC (Self-employment)
    • Form 1099-G (Unemployment)
    • Form SSA-1099 Social Security and/or 1099-R Pension Distribution
  • Itemize and Expense Receipts
    • Mortgage and Property Tax Statement (Form 1098)
    • College Tuition Expense (Form 1098-T)
    • Student Loan Interest (Form 1098-E)
    • Job-related Expenses (self-employed)
    • Childcare Expenses (EIN required)
  • Bank routing and account numbers


Ladder Up CANNOT prepare returns with the following situations:

  • Military Personnel
  • Income from rental property
  • Receive Form 1099-A (Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property)
  • Receive Form 1099-C (Cancellation of Debt); Bankruptcy
  • Kiddie Tax (Scholarships are higher than the billed amount from the institution)

If you own your own business, Ladder Up CANNOT prepare your return if you:

  • Business expenses of more than $35,000
  • Kept inventory at any time during the tax year
  • Net loss from the business
  • Paid employees during the year
  • Required to file Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization)
  • Deduct expenses for business use of your home

The complete ineligibility list Ladder Up cannot prepare is available here.

You can also prepare and file your own taxes using EXPRESS TAP:


  • Preparation and amendments for previous years done during the off-season (June – September)
  • New and Renewal ITIN application (Note: MUST schedule an appointment) – Visit our ITIN page for more information