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Missing Property Tax Exemptions? Here’s How to Apply for a Certificate of Error

By Gary Smith
11/06/2020
Missing Property Tax Exemptions? Here’s How to Apply for a Certificate of Error

Although Sept. 11 was the deadline to apply for missing property tax exemptions on the second installment of 2019 property taxes in Cook County, property owners can still complete the paperwork as long as they’ve paid their second installment in full on time.

How to Apply for a Certificate of Error

Property owners who turned in the paperwork by the deadline should have received a corrected bill in order to complete the second installment on time.

Those that didn’t make the deadline can still apply for a Certificate of Error and pay the full amount on the second-installment bill. If the Certificate of Error is granted, they will receive a refund of the difference.

If property owners are unsure whether an exemption was on the tax bill, they can look at the bottom left corner of the second-installment property bill online on the Cook County Treasurer’s website. If an exemption isn’t listed there, a property owner should apply for a Certificate of Error and submit the application and supporting documents. This can be done online or in person.

Some common exemptions include:

  • Homeowner Exemption: Residential property owners are eligible if they own and occupy the property. This exemption auto-renews each year.
  • Senior Exemption: This exemption is for those 65 years of age or older during the tax year the bill covers, who own or lease the property, and who are responsible for taxes. The property must be the principal residence, and this year, the exemption auto-renews.
  • Senior Freeze Exemption:  Available to those 65 or older during the tax year the bill covers who have a total gross household income of no more than $65,000.  Seniors must be liable for the taxes and use the property as the principal residence. Homeowners must re-apply for this each year.
  • Persons with Disabilities Exemption: Veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict can receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of the property for each taxable year in which they return.
  • Home Improvement Exemption: This allows a property owner of a single-family home, condo, or apartment up to six units to increase the value of the property by up to $75,000 without an increase of its assessed value for up to four years. This exemption is automatically applied by the Assessor’s office upon receiving a building permit for improvement.

The full list of available exemptions is available on the Cook County Assessor’s website.