Certificates of Error

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. One Certificate of Error application addresses a single tax year. If you are entitled to a Certificate of Error for more than one year, a request must be filed for each individual year. Please note that Certificate of Error applications can be denied.

 
Certificate of Error Presentation

 

Posted by Cook County Assessor's Office on Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Are you missing an exemption?

IMPORTANT UPDATE, OCTOBER 6, 2020: 

Any 2019 Exemption Certificates of Error (for the 2020 tax year) may now result in refunds, as property tax payments were due with the Cook County Treasurer on October 1, 2020.  

To see the three steps to check whether our Office has already issued a Certificate of Error, go here

Certificates of Error for Exemptions

If your home was eligible for a homestead exemption in a prior tax year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) but the exemption was not applied to the property tax bill, and you already paid the full tax amount billed for that year, the Assessor’s Office can help you obtain a refund through the Certificate of Error process. For Tax Year 2019, the Certificate of Error filing will result in a corrected bill or a refund, depending on the time of the filing.

The Assessor’s Office is pleased to bring this process online for the first time. 

The property must have been eligible in that particular tax year and you must provide a photo ID and any other required supporting documentation to demonstrate eligibility for the missed exemption. For example, to apply for a Homeowner Exemption Certificate of Error for Tax Year 2019, you must provide at least one document from the list of accepted documents that demonstrate the home was your primary place of residence as of January 1, 2019.

Please review the steps below to apply. Our staff are ready to assist you so that your application is submitted successfully. 

Step 1:

Preview the Form carefully and prepare documents to show eligibility in that Tax Year. All applications require at least a photo ID and PIN

Step 2:

Contact us or your township assessor with any questions you have about the form or documents.

Step 3:

Apply online! An email address is required so that you can track your application.

Step 4:

Please wait 1-3 weeks. Our staff must check your legal eligibility for the Certificate of Error and must review your submitted documentation. After they finish this review, you will receive an email from the Online Exemptions team. The email will say whether the application has been accepted ("Completed") or had to be denied ("Declined").

Certificate of Error applications requesting homestead exemptions for Tax Years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 are available:

 Common Supplemental/Related Forms for Exemptions

Forms: Certificates of Error for Property Assessed Valuations

Online filing is available if the Certificate of Error application is being submitted with a current year appeal.

What happens after I submit a Certificate of Error application?

After a Certificate of Error application is received, it must be processed through the Assessor’s Office. If the property’s assessment has been previously reviewed by the Board of Review, the Board of Review must approve the Certificate of Error as well. In addition, Certificate of Error applications for non-residential properties that seek a reduction of more than $100,000 in assessed value must be sent to the Circuit Court for a judge’s consideration.

If a Certificate of Error does not have to go to court for review, you will receive a letter from the Assessor’s Office which indicates whether the Certificate of Error has been granted or denied.

Certificate of Error applications can be denied. You can review the Certificate of Error Denial Reason Codes.

If the Certificate of Error is required to go to court for adjudication, a letter regarding the outcome of that Certificate of Error request will be sent to you by the Cook County State's Attorney’s Office.