Skip to content

Understanding Property Tax Refunds

Why would I receive a refund?

If you overpay on Illinois property tax bill, you may be eligible for a refund. Unclaimed tax exemptions for senior citizens, veterans, and citizens with disabilities make up another significant proportion.

Otherwise, you may be entitled to a refund from a duplicate property tax payment. Some homeowners unknowingly make duplicate property tax payments after closing on their home. The overpayment can be due to the bank that holds the homeowner’s mortgage making a payment on top of the homeowner’s payment. In this instance, the homeowners in question are entitled to refund money. Even if you did not purchase your home recently, it is still possible that you have refund money waiting. 

How can I get a tax refund?

Begin by checking the Cook County Treasurer’s website where you can enter your address to see if you have overpaid on your property taxes any time in the last twenty years. You can also search for unclaimed exemptions on the Treasurer’s website.

In 2018, Cook County’s automatic refund program was launched. Since then, over 100,000 property owners have received refunds without having to submit an application. Most refunds are issued automatically. If the Treasurer’s office can determine who made an overpayment using bank, credit card, and property records, no application is necessary.

If you do need to apply, first enter your PIN on the Overpayment Refund Search page of the Cook County Treasurer’s website. This will grant you access to the electronic refund application.

You will need to attach proof of payment in the form of a cancelled check, register receipt, paid tax sale redemption bill, real estate closing statement and title company check, bank statement showing the subject tax payment, or credit card statement with subject tax payment.

If a mortgage company paid the property taxes, you can attach a copy of the IRS Form 1098 indicating taxes paid for the tax year in question. Alternatively, if you received a letter from the mortgage company that shows your PIN and dated payment information, this can be attached as proof of payment.

If a builder, title company, lease holder, or other individual who owns part of the same PIN paid the taxes, you may be required to submit a letter of direction that authorizes the Treasurer’s office to issue the refund.  

What other kinds of refunds are available?

Property taxes are not the only category that can result in overpayment. While estate taxpayers are also eligible for refunds, these are not issued automatically.

Petitions for Estate Tax Refund forms must be signed by the appointed representative of the estate and notarized in order to be considered complete. Unlike overpayment and exemption-related refunds, there is currently no online submission process for estate tax refund petitions. They must be submitted by mail to the Illinois Treasurer’s office in Springfield.

Property taxes unappealing? We can help!

Appealing your property taxes is one way to ensure that the amount you pay is fair whether you live in the north/northwest suburbs, south/southwest suburbs, or in the City of Chicago.

At present, Illinois is second only to New Jersey with the highest effective property tax rates in the United States. A 2020 study found that some Chicago area homeowners pay twice the national average in property taxes for a similarly valued home. Moreover, property tax hikes are slated for 2021.

Appeal.Tax can prepare your property tax appeal and handle it from start to finish. We understand local appeal procedures to help homeowners avoid being overburdened with property taxes.

Appeal.Tax has no fee unless a reduction is obtained. And we only charge a small portion of the overall tax savings secured. 

Since 2015, we’ve saved Illinois property owners over $100 million in reduced property taxes.

Contact Appeal.Tax today to discuss your Association, residential, or commercial property tax appeal. Tax Attorney Timothy Jacobs can be reached at 847-777-7270 or