With only seven days left to file federal and state income tax returns, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding taxpayers to file as soon as they can. More than 4 million taxpayers have already filed their 2016 Illinois individual income tax returns and have received refunds totaling over $760 million. Approximately 87% of the tax returns that IDOR has received were filed electronically. An estimated 2 million Illinois tax returns have yet to be filed before the April 18th deadline.
Due to streamlined processing improvements, IDOR has reduced average refund wait times to just four weeks, while building upon 2016 anti-fraud efforts that prevented over $20 million from being issued to fraudsters.
“Balancing the demand for a speedy refund with protecting Illinois taxpayers against the threat of tax fraud and identity theft has been an ongoing challenge,” said Connie Beard, IDOR Director. “Thanks to an extensive review by our Account Processing staff during the tax offseason, we have dramatically improved processing operations for the 2017 tax season, allowing us to return tax refund processing times to their historical average, while continuing to fortify security protocols.”
In October 2016, IDOR’s Account Processing Administration identified over 68 initiatives to improve and streamline operations in 2017. Improvements included over 11,000 hours in labor time saved, elimination of non-value processing steps, and over $77,000 in cost savings related to the initiative. With only 50% currently implemented, efficiencies and savings will continue through calendar year 2017.
For individuals who have yet to file their 2016 tax return, MyTax Illinois, IDOR’s free online account management program, is now accepting Individual Income Tax returns. Taxpayers can file their Form IL-1040 using MyTax Illinois. Individuals may also utilize MyTax Illinois to make payments; check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refund using Where’s My Refund?; and look up their IL-PIN, estimated tax payments, and 1099-G amounts. Filing Illinois income taxes electronically and electing direct deposit is still the fastest way to receive a refund.
For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2017 Illinois Income Tax season, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov. Individuals needing assistance by phone may call IDOR’s telephone assistance hotline at 1-800-732-8866 (Mon – Fri, 8:00 am-5:00 pm). Extended hotline hours for the 2016 tax filing season are as follows: April 15 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, April 17 (Monday) 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, and April 18 (Tuesday) 7:30 am to 7:00 pm.