SPRINGFIELD — Low-income taxpayers across Illinois who have outstanding fines won't have money taken from their state income tax returns, officials announced.
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things tougher financially for low-income people, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced that a deferral program implemented last year will be extended for a second year, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Mendoza stressed that the fines and fees must be paid when the deferral program ends — something she expected to happen after this year.
She said the ongoing pandemic made it necessary to extend for another year the deferral program that includes a moratorium on parking fines, traffic fines and court dues.
"Again this year, families on the financial edge are counting on their state income tax refunds to pay bills they have been putting off as COVID causes hardships," Mendoza said in a statement.
Last year's moratorium affected about 50,000 taxpayers. That meant that about $18 million in overdue fees and fines that would otherwise have been collected were not taken out of residents' tax refunds, Mendoza's office said.
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To qualify for the program, a family of four can earn no more than $57,414 and a single person can earn no more than $21,430, Mendoza's office said.