Am I Due a Refund for my Property Taxes?
Dec. 18, 2020
Are you wondering whether or not you are due a refund on your property taxes? More than $100 million in property tax refunds is owed to thousands of Cook County residents, according to Maria Pappas, and most have no idea they are due money.
Most of these refunds are due simply because double property tax payments were made. Two people in a household may have both paid the property taxes at the same time without knowing.
Another thing to beware of is overpayment due to refinancing. Many homeowners are taking advantage of the low-interest rates by refinancing their mortgages. When a homeowner refinances, if the previous lender and the new lender pay the property taxes, overpayments occur. Maria Pappas has returned $51.2 million in duplicate property tax payments for the 2020 second installment tax bill. To verify if you are due money back for overpayment on your property taxes, go to https://cookcountytreasurer.com/setsearchparameters.aspx and enter your property’s Property Index Number (PIN).
Another reason you may be due a refund on your property taxes is that you never claimed the exemption(s) that you qualify for. Roughly $38 million in refunds are due to homeowners for missing homeowner exemptions. Some seniors have never applied for a senior exemption and could be due to thousands of dollars in refunds, too.
The two exemptions that are most confused are the senior exemption and the senior freeze. A lot of seniors believe that if their total gross annual incomes are less than $65,000 per year, they cannot apply for the senior exemption and that is incorrect. Here are the requirements for both the senior exemption and the senior freeze:
It can be confusing to understand what exemptions you should be receiving and how to apply. If you go to https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/exemptions, you can read about the different exemptions available to homeowners. After you have read about the exemptions, you can go to https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/ and enter your property’s PIN to see your property’s details. Look under “Exemption History and Status” to verify what exemptions you have been receiving for the last five years.
If you are missing exemptions that you qualified for, you can apply for a Certificate of Error by going to https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/certificates-error or by applying through your local Assessor’s Office. You can receive a refund for your missing exemptions. Illinois law provides the Certificate of Error procedure to allow the Cook County Assessor to apply changes to a property tax bill that has already been issued. It is a way to make a correction after the assessment for that tax year is finalized.
The City of Chicago has been trying to prevent these overpayments from occurring with better public outreach efforts that aim to increase awareness. With this awareness, more Cook County property owners will be able to pay the correct amount in property taxes.