The Cook County Property Tax Tax Scam: The Real Cost of Cook County property tax
By Sarah M. SchusterThe Cook County Government, Inc. (COG) has made it clear to all who seek to use the Cook County Taxpayer Identification Number (CTIN) to file their tax return: Your property tax refund will not be refunded.
The COG, a tax collector and a non-profit agency that helps taxpayers pay their property taxes, has made this very clear to its customers since the inception of the COTIS program in 2002.
The COTis a new, innovative program for taxpayers that allows them to pay their taxes electronically by submitting an electronic return.
In addition to allowing them to do so online, the program allows taxpayers to send their electronic returns to the COG office for processing.
However, unlike online tax filing, COTs electronic filing is not free.
In fact, COG is charging a 5.4% COT tax on all electronic tax returns.
That is an amount that is significantly higher than the 4.5% tax that most taxpayers pay on their personal returns.COG has also made it very clear that taxpayers are not entitled to a refund of their tax.
The agency is currently seeking court orders to permanently stop any further use of the CTIN.COT is also asking taxpayers to submit a letter to COG informing them that they are unable to file electronically due to the tax collector’s actions.
Cog has also informed taxpayers that they will be required to return their property tax bills in person at the Cog office.
As noted above, the agency is demanding that taxpayers complete the return online.
Cog has indicated that it will require taxpayers to fill out an electronic payment plan and mail the return by mail to the address listed in their CTIN registration.
The IRS, which is responsible for collecting the taxes, will process the returns.
If COG decides to not process the tax return electronically, taxpayers will have to file a paper return.
The agency is asking taxpayers who do not submit their CTINS tax forms online to mail them by certified mail, return receipt requested, to:COG Office, 1350 N. Clark Road, Lake Orion, IL 60066-1620.
Taxpayers can also mail the returned forms to Cog’s mailing address listed on the CTINS registration.
If you have questions about filing your taxes online, please contact your local IRS office or call 1-800-821-5777.