Returning Veterans Exemption

A Returning Veterans Exemption is for veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property only for each taxable year in which they return.

Automatic Renewal: No, this exemption must be filed annually.

How can a homeowner see which exemptions were applied to their home last year?
Check the Cook County Portal website, then review the Exemption History and Status section. 

📌 Reminder: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer. To learn more about how the property tax system works, click here

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Eligibility

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  1. Must be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces.
  2. Returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S.
  3. Either own or had a legal or equitable interest in the property and used it as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2020. 
  4. Liable for the payment of property taxes.
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Documentation Required to Apply 

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  • If a veteran is discharged from active duty service, he or she will need to provide the Department of Defense DD Form 214 certified by the Cook County Clerk's Office or the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • If a veteran is still on active duty after returning home, they will need to provide military orders and a travel voucher showing the date of his or her return. The documents must state that they are returning from armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S. within the tax year that they are requesting the exemption.
  • Proof of Identity and occupancy in 2020.
    • You may supply an Illinois Drivers License / ID Card, Matrícula Consular ID, or City of Chicago ID Card. The name and property address must verify the application. The date of issue must verify that you occupied this property on or before January 1, 2020.
    • Or: you can supply one document from List B and one from List C and  Occupancy Affidavit (included in the application):
  • List B: Photo IDs that verify identity 
    • Illinois Drivers License / ID Card
    • Matrícula Consular ID
    • City of Chicago ID Card
    • US Military ID
    • Passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization (N-550/N-570)
    • Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
    • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
    • Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
    List C: Documents that verify 2020 occupancy (must demonstrate property occupancy as of January 1, 2020)
    • Mailed bank statement
    • Mailed landline, cable, or internet bill
    • Mailed pay stub or Social Security Award letter
    • Voting record from 2020 (from Cook County Clerk’s office or Chicago Board of Elections)

For further assistance on how to obtain required documents contact the Chicago VA Regional office. 
Number: 312.980-4470 or 312.980.4378
Email: VETINQUIRIES.VBACHI@va.gov

Please Note: This exemption may be received in addition to any of the other exemptions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I apply for prior tax years?
If you were eligible for the exemption in a prior Tax Year but the exemption was not on your bill, you can apply for a refund or corrected bill by filing for a certificate of error. Learn more here.

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Missing Property Tax Exemptions? Homeowners can apply for Certificates of Error(s)

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The regular application filing period is now closed however, if your home was eligible for the Returning Veteran Exemption in tax years 2020, 2019, 2018, or 2017 and the exemption was not applied to your property tax bill, the Assessor’s Office can help you obtain a refund through what is called a Certificate of Error. 

Certificate of Error applications for tax years 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 can be filed now by clicking the links below. As a reminder, it is recommended to apply online so that the application can be easily tracked and our representatives can provide status updates.

Apply Online

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