The process of filing taxes can be stressful for taxpayers. Ladder Up is a nonprofit that prepares and files federal and Illinois tax returns for low-income individuals and families throughout Chicagoland for free. This year, there are 11 in-person Tax Assistance Program (TAP) sites that are open on Saturday mornings and certain weekdays. Sites are walk-in; no appointment is necessary. You may need to arrive before the site opens, especially on Saturdays due to site-capacity limits. Before visiting a tax site, review the list of eligibility requirements.
What Should You Bring to a Site?
To make your visit to the Ladder Up site a smooth and easy process, it is important that you bring the following documents and paperwork with you, or you will need to come back another time for tax services:
- Original Social Security card/ITIN for you, your spouse, and all your dependents (as applicable)
- Valid photo ID
- All 2022 tax documents including W-2 and 1099 forms
- Additional tax forms and documents for deductions/expenses (including proof of tuition payments, property tax forms, and ride-share driver information as applicable)
What To Expect When You Visit a Site:
When you arrive at a TAP site, your name will be added to the check-in list, and you will complete an IRS form and a Ladder Up consent form. The IRS form is used by these sites to collect your specific information; it includes questions regarding income, deductions, and life events in 2022. A case reviewer will call your name and ensure that you qualify for services, and that you have all the necessary paperwork.
After the case review has been completed, you will be given a number for tax-return preparation. When your number is called, you will meet with a friendly, trained staff member or volunteer, who will prepare your taxes in tax software, utilizing the forms you provide. The preparer will ask additional questions to better understand your situation regarding such things as your filing status and eligible deductions. Next, you will receive a number to meet with a quality reviewer, to make sure your return is accurate, and error-free.
The quality reviewer will walk you through your tax returns. You (and your spouse, if married filing jointly) will sign the returns, and Ladder Up will file your taxes electronically, or as paper-file. The process is easy and stress free!