With tax season in full swing, Ladder Up is offering free tax preparation services. Ladder Up is a nonprofit that serves low-income Illinois residents. Individuals who earn up to 32K and families that earn up to $57K qualify for their free services. In addition to tax preparation services, they also provide assistance with the financial aid process, and those who need to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under US Tax Laws. Ladder Up seeks to assist low to moderate-income families work their way up the economic ladder.
2020 was a challenging year for many financially. Tax changes, a global pandemic, and the issuance of stimulus checks impacted many families greatly. “While 2020 was a difficult year at baseline, the new pandemic assistance and tax change related to it will necessitate getting extra help in navigating this uniquely challenging year, said Executive Director, Kathleen Stark.
The tax assistance program is open through April 15th. In its 26th year of providing tax help to residents, this year’s program will be offered via appointment only and a drop-off model. Residents can make an appointment by calling or visiting their website. Then they can drop off their documents to a Ladder up Volunteer. Residents do not have to wait for a return to be prepared. Volunteers will scan and prepare returns remotely. The remainder of the process can be completed virtually or in person by appointment.
There is confusion for many regarding the impact of the economic stimulus checks paid in 2020. Ladder Up’s Executive Director stresses that the 2020 economic stimulus checks will not be included as taxable income when filing your returns.
“The economic stimulus payments are not taxed as income. You could however be eligible for the “Recovery Rebate Credit”. That either adds money to your refund or reduce any taxes you may owe”. –Kathleen Stark
For more information on Ladder Up or to make an appointment visit their website at ladderup.org or contact them at (312) 588-6900.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.