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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Electronic Filing
    • Q1. What are the benefits of filing my return electronically?
      Filing electronically reduces the chance of mathematical errors or incomplete returns and insures your return is processed on the date submitted. You don't have to mail in your signature, as your PIN replaces your signature. A confirmation of acceptance is provided by the City of Chicago Department of Finance.
    • Q2. Will my information be secure?
      Yes it will. When making your Internet connection to our Web Server, you will connect through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL for short) to the "Department of Finance - On Line filing" login page. Within the login page, you will provide us with an Account and PIN number for user authentication. This is used to verify you the end user to the system. Only you will have knowledge of this unique identification information.
    • Q3. I'm filing electronically, how do I sign my tax return?
      Once you have completed your tax return, you will be prompted to enter your PIN. Your PIN will serve as your signature.
    • Q4. Can I electronically file my return for a period that is not listed in the Tax Period selection?
      Any return that is open can be filed online. If you do not see a return you wish to file please call our Customer Service Unit at 312-747-4747.
      Returns may also be submitted at one of our Payment Centers

    • Q5. Can I save a partially completed return?
      Yes. You can save a partially completed return and come back to finish it later by selecting save. After providing your account number and PIN you will be returned to the same page from where you left off.
    • Q6. Can I make changes to data after I have entered it?
      As long as you have not submitted your tax forms you can go back and make changes to your data.
    • Q7. Can I file an extension?
      No. You must file your return and make payment by the due date of the return to avoid the assessment of penalties and interest.
    • Q8. I need to file an amended return. Can I file it electronically?
      No. Amended returns should be mailed to:
      Chicago Department of Finance
      Attn: Database Management Unit - Amended Returns
      DePaul Center Room 300
      333 S. State St.
      Chicago IL 60604-3977

    • Q9. How soon do I receive a confirmation of acceptance after I submit my return electronically?
      Generally, you should receive a confirmation immediately following your electronic filing. However, it is possible that there may be a slight delay due to network traffic, the speed of your modem or a combination of the two. Confirmation, in the form of a web page is returned to you as soon as the computer system is updated with your data. Please print this copy as your receipt by selecting the print button in your browser or you can click on file, then print from your browser window.
    • Q10. Do I have to mail in a copy of my return after I submit it?
      No. Once you electronically file your return it will download into our database and your return will be considered filed.
    • Q11. I'm filing my return electronically and have a balance due on my return, will I be assessed penalties and interest?
      You will be assessed Penalties and Interest on a tax balance if payment is received after the due date.
    • Q12. I'm filing my return late, will I be assessed penalties and interest?
      Yes. You can compute the applicable Penalties and Interest and submit payment or the Chicago Department of Finance will compute it for you and mail you a bill. Keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue until full tax payment is made. Beginning January 1, 2000 payments made will be applied first to interest, tax, and penalties.
    • Q13. I filed my estimated deposit late, will I be assessed penalties and interest?
      Yes. Refer to our Penalties and Interest

    • Q14. I underpaid my monthly estimated deposits, will I be assessed penalties and interest?
      Yes. Refer to our Penalties and Interest
    • Q15. I would like to carry forward the credit balance on my return. To what period will it be applied?
      Carryover credits are applied to the second subsequent month from the date of the Department's overpayment notification. Once we have confirmed your overpayment you will receive a notification indicating the amount of the credit and the period it was applied to.
      Note: Do not take any credit unless you received a letter from the Chicago Department of Finance authorizing you to do so.

    • Q16. Why is the amount due listed on the Coupon &/Or online bill payment page different than the amount calculated on the return?
      This may occur because the amount due listed on the coupon and the online bill payment page reflects the amount due after validating the tax return according to current department records. It does not reflect any adjustments made by the taxpayer to the payment history while completing the return. It may also include additional penalties and interest not calculated on the web return.
  • Miscellaneous
  • PIN Number
  • Tax Calculations
  • Confirmation Page
  • Account Profile
  • Tax Type
  • Payment Method
  • Delinquency / Incomplete Notification
  • Penalty and Interest
  • Deficient(DF) / Delinquent(DL) / Incomplete(DI) / Unsigned(DU)