Maximizing Tax Benefits: Illinois Senior Citizens Tax Deferral Program

Chicago – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) urges senior citizens to take advantage of the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program. This program offers significant relief to eligible seniors by enabling them to defer a portion or all of their property taxes and special assessment payments on their primary residences. The application deadline for this year’s program is March 1, 2024.

Unlocking Financial Flexibility: Understanding the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

Under the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, qualifying seniors can defer property taxes and special assessments up to a maximum of $7,500 per tax year, encompassing both first and second installment payments. The deferred amounts are funded by the state, which directly pays the tax bill to the county collector’s office.

Interest and Liens: Navigating the Terms of Deferral

Accrued interest on the deferral is a crucial aspect to consider, as it accumulates over time, and a lien is placed on the property for all deferred tax payments and interest. Upon the death of the homeowner, transfer of the home to a new owner, or by choice, participants must settle the deferred tax payments and interest, including a three percent simple interest per annum.

Eligibility Criteria: Who Qualifies for the Program?

To qualify for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 65 years of age or older by June 1 of the application year.
  • Have a total annual household income not exceeding $65,000.
  • Have owned and lived in the property or another qualifying residence for at least the past three years.
  • Hold sole ownership of the property, joint ownership with a spouse, or be the sole beneficiary, or beneficiaries of an Illinois land trust.
  • Have no outstanding property taxes or special assessments on the property.
  • Maintain adequate insurance against fire or casualty loss.

Application Process: How to Apply

Seniors interested in the program should initiate the application process by contacting their local county collector’s office to obtain the necessary paperwork. Completed applications must be submitted to the collector’s office on or before March 1 of each year for participation. Extensions are not granted, requiring taxpayers to reapply annually.

Seeking Assistance: Resources and Support

For inquiries or further information about the program, taxpayers can visit IDOR’s website at or reach out to their local county collector’s office for guidance.

By leveraging the benefits of the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, eligible seniors can alleviate financial burdens associated with property taxes, ensuring greater financial stability and peace of mind in their golden years.