Code of Ordinances

of Union County, Illinois.

Ordinance Chapter: Article I - Taxpayer's Rights Code

This Ordi­nance shall be lib­er­al­ly con­strued and admin­is­tered to sup­ple­ment all of the County’s tax ordi­nances.  To the extent that any tax ordi­nance is in con­flict with or incon­sis­tent with this ordi­nance, this ordi­nance shall be controlling.

(Ord. No. 2010–21; 2010)

(See 50 ILCS 45/1 et seq.)

The local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall estab­lish an inter­nal review pro­ce­dure regard­ing any liens filed against any tax­pay­ers for unpaid tax­es.  Upon a deter­mi­na­tion by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor that the lien is valid, the lien shall remain in full force and effect.  If the lien is deter­mined to be improp­er, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall:

(A) time­ly remove the lien at the County’s expense;

(B) cor­rect the taxpayer’s cred­it record; and

(C) cor­rect any pub­lic dis­clo­sure of the improp­er­ly imposed lien.

Any local­ly admin­is­tered tax ordi­nance shall be pub­lished via nor­mal or stan­dard pub­lish­ing require­ments.  The post­ing of a tax ordi­nance on the Inter­net shall sat­is­fy the pub­li­ca­tion require­ments.  Copies of all tax ordi­nances shall be made avail­able to the pub­lic upon request at theCountyClerk’s office.

For any local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax for which a tax­pay­er has not received a writ­ten notice of an audit, inves­ti­ga­tion, or assess­ment from the local tax admin­is­tra­tor, a tax­pay­er is enti­tled to file an appli­ca­tion with the local tax admin­is­tra­tor for a vol­un­tary dis­clo­sure of the tax due.  A tax­pay­er fil­ing a vol­un­tary dis­clo­sure appli­ca­tion must agree to pay the amount of tax due, along with inter­est of one per­cent (1%) per month, for all peri­ods pri­or to the fil­ing of the appli­ca­tion but not more than four (4) years before the date of fil­ing the appli­ca­tion.  A tax­pay­er fil­ing a valid vol­un­tary dis­clo­sure appli­ca­tion may not be liable for any addi­tion­al tax, inter­est, or penal­ty for any peri­od before the date the appli­ca­tion was filed.  How­ev­er, if the tax­pay­er incor­rect­ly deter­mined and under­paid the amount of tax due, the tax­pay­er is liable for the under­paid tax along with applic­a­ble inter­est on the under­paid tax, unless the under­pay­ment was the result of fraud on the part of the tax­pay­er, in which case the appli­ca­tion shall be deemed invalid and void.  The pay­ment of tax and inter­est must be made by no lat­er than nine­ty (90) days after the fil­ing of the vol­un­tary dis­clo­sure appli­ca­tion or the date agreed to by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor.  How­ev­er, any addi­tion­al amounts owed as a result of an under­pay­ment of tax and inter­est pre­vi­ous­ly paid under this Sec­tion must be paid with­in nine­ty (90) days after a final deter­mi­na­tion and the exhaus­tion of all appeals of the addi­tion­al amount owed or the date agreed to by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor, whichev­er is longer.

The Coun­ty, through the local tax admin­is­tra­tor, shall review all tax returns in a prompt and time­ly man­ner and inform tax­pay­ers of any amounts due and owing.  The tax­pay­er shall have forty-five (45) days after receiv­ing notice of the reviewed tax returns to make any request for refund or pro­vide any tax still due and owing.

(A) No deter­mi­na­tion of tax due and owing may be issued more than four (4) years after the end of the cal­en­dar year for which the return for the applic­a­ble peri­od was filed or for the cal­en­dar year in which the return for the applic­a­ble peri­od was due, whichev­er occurs later.

(B) If any tax return is not filed or if dur­ing any four (4) year peri­od for which a notice of tax deter­mi­na­tion or assess­ment may be issued by the Coun­ty, the tax paid was less than sev­en­­­ty-five per­cent (75%) of the tax due, the statute of lim­i­ta­tions shall be six (6) years max­i­mum after the end of the cal­en­dar year in which return for the applic­a­ble peri­od was due or end of the cal­en­dar year in which the return for the applic­a­ble peri­od was filed.

(C) No statute of lim­i­ta­tions shall not apply if a fraud­u­lent tax return was filed by the taxpayer.

The Coun­ty may enter into an install­ment con­tract with the tax­pay­er for the pay­ment of tax­es under the con­trol­ling tax ordi­nance.  The local tax admin­is­tra­tor may not can­cel any install­ment con­tract so entered unless the tax­pay­er fails to pay any amount due and owing.  Upon writ­ten notice by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor that the pay­ment is thir­ty (30) days delin­quent, the tax­pay­er shall have four­teen (14) work­ing days to cure any delin­quen­cy.  If the tax­pay­er fails to cure the delin­quen­cy with­in the four­teen (14) day peri­od or fails to demon­strate good faith in restruc­tur­ing the install­ment con­tract with the local admin­is­tra­tor, the install­ment con­tract shall be can­celed with­out fur­ther notice to the taxpayer.

The local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall have the author­i­ty to waive or abate any late fil­ing penal­ty, late pay­ment penal­ty or fail­ure to file penal­ty if the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall deter­mine rea­son­able cause exists for delay or fail­ure to make a filing.

n the event a deter­mi­na­tion has been made that a tax is due and owing, through audit, assess­ment or oth­er bill sent, the tax must be paid with­in the time frame oth­er­wise indicated.

(A) Inter­est.  The Coun­ty here­by pro­vides for the amount of inter­est to be assessed on a late pay­ment, under­pay­ment, or non­pay­ment of the tax to be twelve per­cent (12%) per annum, based on a year of three hun­dred six­­­ty-five (365) days and the num­ber of days elapsed.

(B) Late Fil­ing and Pay­ment Penal­ties.  If a tax return is not filed with­in the time and man­ner pro­vid­ed by the con­trol­ling tax ordi­nance, a late fil­ing penal­ty, of five per­cent (5%) of the amount of tax required to be shown as due on a return shall be imposed; and a late pay­ment penal­ty of five per­cent (5%) of the tax due shall be imposed.  If no return is filed with­in the time or man­ner pro­vid­ed by the con­trol­ling tax ordi­nance and pri­or to the Coun­ty issu­ing a notice of tax delin­quen­cy or notice of tax lia­bil­i­ty, then a fail­ure to file penal­ty shall be assessed equal to twelve per­cent (12%) of the total tax due for the applic­a­ble report­ing peri­od for which the return was required to be filed.  A late fil­ing or pay­ment penal­ty shall not apply if a fail­ure to file penal­ty is imposed by the con­trol­ling ordinance.

(A) When­ev­er a tax­pay­er or a tax col­lec­tor has filed a time­ly writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing under Sec­tion 36–1‑9, above, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall con­duct a hear­ing regard­ing any appeal.

(B) No con­tin­u­ances shall be grant­ed except in cas­es where a con­tin­u­ance is absolute­ly nec­es­sary to pro­tect the rights of the tax­pay­er.  Lack of prepa­ra­tion shall not be grounds for a con­tin­u­ance.  Any con­tin­u­ance grant­ed shall not exceed four­teen (14) days.

(C) At the hear­ing the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall pre­side and shall hear tes­ti­mo­ny and accept any evi­dence rel­e­vant to the tax deter­mi­na­tion, audit or assess­ment.  The strict rules of evi­dence applic­a­ble to judi­cial pro­ceed­ings shall not apply.

(D) At the con­clu­sion of the hear­ing, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall make a writ­ten deter­mi­na­tion on the basis of the evi­dence pre­sent­ed at the hear­ing.  The tax­pay­er or tax col­lec­tor shall be pro­vid­ed with a copy of the writ­ten decision.

(A) The local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall send writ­ten notice to a tax­pay­er upon the local tax administrator’s issuance of a protestable notice of tax due, a bill, a claim denial, or a notice of claim reduc­tion regard­ing any tax.  The notice shall include the fol­low­ing information:

  1. the rea­son for the assessment;
  2. the amount of the tax lia­bil­i­ty proposed;
  3. the pro­ce­dure for appeal­ing the assess­ment; and
  4. the oblig­a­tions of the Coun­ty dur­ing the audit, appeal, refund and col­lec­tion process.

(B) A tax­pay­er who receives writ­ten notice from the local tax admin­is­tra­tor of a deter­mi­na­tion of tax due or assess­ment may file with the local tax admin­is­tra­tor a writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing, set­ting forth the basis of the taxpayer’s request for a hear­ing.  The writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing must be filed with the local tax admin­is­tra­tor with­in forty-five (45) days of receipt of the writ­ten notice of the tax deter­mi­na­tion and assessment.

(C) If a time­ly writ­ten notice and peti­tion for hear­ing is filed, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall fix the time and place for hear­ing and shall give writ­ten notice to the tax­pay­er.  The hear­ing shall be sched­uled for a date with­in four­teen (14) days of receipt of the writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing, unless the tax­pay­er requests a lat­er date con­ve­nient to all parties.

(D) If a writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing is not filed with­in the forty-five (45) day peri­od, the tax deter­mi­na­tion, audit or assess­ment shall become a final bill due and owing with­out fur­ther notice.

(E) Upon the show­ing of rea­son­able cause by the tax­pay­er and the full pay­ment of the con­test­ed tax lia­bil­i­ty along with inter­est accrued as of the due date of the tax, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor may reopen or extend the time for fil­ing a writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing.  In no event shall the time for fil­ing a writ­ten protest and peti­tion for hear­ing be reopened or extend­ed for more than nine­ty (90) days after the expi­ra­tion of the forty-five (45) day peri­od. 

Any request for pro­posed audit pur­suant to any local admin­is­tered tax shall com­ply with the notice require­ments of this Code.

(A) Each notice of audit shall con­tain the fol­low­ing information:

  1. the tax;
  2. the time peri­od of the audit; and
  3. a brief descrip­tion of the books and records to be made avail­able for the auditor.

(B) Any audit shall be con­duct­ed dur­ing nor­mal busi­ness hours and if the date and time select­ed by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor is not agree­able to the tax­pay­er, anoth­er date and time may be request­ed by the tax­pay­er with­in thir­ty (30) days after the orig­i­nal­ly des­ig­nat­ed audit and dur­ing nor­mal busi­ness hours.

(C) The tax­pay­er may request an exten­sion of time to have an audit con­duct­ed.  The audit shall be con­duct­ed not less than sev­en (7) days nor more than thir­ty (30) days from the date the notice is giv­en, unless the tax­pay­er and the local tax admin­is­tra­tor agreed to some oth­er con­ve­nient time.  In the event tax­pay­er is unable to com­ply with the audit on the date in ques­tion, the tax­pay­er may request anoth­er date with­in the thir­ty (30) days, approved in writ­ing, that is con­ve­nient to the tax­pay­er and the local tax administrator.

(D) Every tax­pay­er shall keep accu­rate books and records of the taxpayer’s busi­ness or activ­i­ties, includ­ing orig­i­nal source doc­u­ments and books of entry denot­ing the trans­ac­tions which had giv­en rise or may have giv­en rise to any tax lia­bil­i­ty, exemp­tion or deduc­tion.  All books shall be kept in the Eng­lish Lan­guage and shall be sub­ject to and avail­able for inspec­tion by the County.

(E) It is the duty and respon­si­bil­i­ty of every tax­pay­er to make avail­able its books and records for inspec­tion by the Coun­ty.  If the tax­pay­er or tax col­lec­tor fails to pro­vide the doc­u­ments nec­es­sary for audit with­in the time pro­vid­ed, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor may issue a tax deter­mi­na­tion and assess­ment based on the tax administrator’s deter­mi­na­tion of the best esti­mate of the taxpayer’s tax liability.

(F) If an audit deter­mines there has been an over­pay­ment of a local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax as a result of the audit, writ­ten notice of the amount of over­pay­ment shall be giv­en to the tax­pay­er with­in thir­ty (30) days of the County’s deter­mi­na­tion of the amount of overpayment.

(G) In the event a tax pay­ment was sub­mit­ted to the incor­rect local gov­ern­men­tal enti­ty, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall noti­fy the local gov­ern­men­tal enti­ty impos­ing such tax.

(A) The Coun­ty shall not refund or cred­it any tax­es vol­un­tar­i­ly paid with­out writ­ten protest at the time of pay­ment in the event that a local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax is declared invalid­ly enact­ed or uncon­sti­tu­tion­al by a court of com­pe­tent juris­dic­tion.  How­ev­er, a tax­pay­er shall not be deemed to have paid the tax vol­un­tar­i­ly if the tax­pay­er lacked knowl­edge of the facts upon which to protest the tax­es at the time of pay­ment or if the tax­pay­er paid the tax­es under duress.

(B) The statute of lim­i­ta­tions on a claim for cred­it or refund shall be four (4)years after the end of the cal­en­dar year in which pay­ment in error was made.  The Coun­ty shall not grant a cred­it or refund of local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax­es, inter­est, or penal­ties to a per­son who has not paid the amounts direct­ly to the County.

(C) The pro­ce­dure for claim­ing a cred­it or refund of local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax­es, inter­est or penal­ties paid in error shall be as follows:

  1. The tax­pay­er shall sub­mit to the local tax admin­is­tra­tor in writ­ing a claim for cred­it or refund togeth­er with a state­ment specifying: 
    • the name of the local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax sub­ject to the claim;
    • the tax peri­od for the local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax sub­ject to the claim;
    • the date of the tax pay­ment sub­ject to the claim and the can­celled check or receipt for the payment;
    • the taxpayer’s recal­cu­la­tion, accom­pa­nied by an amend­ed or revised tax return, in con­nec­tion with the claim; and
    • a request for either a refund or a cred­it in con­nec­tion with the claim to be applied to the amount of tax, inter­est and penal­ties over­paid, and, as applic­a­ble, relat­ed inter­est on the amount over­paid; pro­vid­ed, how­ev­er, that there shall be no refund and only a cred­it giv­en in the event the tax­pay­er owes any monies to the County.
  2. With­in ten (10) days of the receipt by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor of any claim for a refund or cred­it, the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall either: 
    • grant the claim; or
    •  deny the claim, in whole or in part, togeth­er with a state­ment as to the rea­son for the denial or the par­tial grant and denial.
  3. In the event the local tax admin­is­tra­tor grants, in whole or in part, a claim for refund or cred­it, the amount of the grant for refund or cred­it shall bear inter­est at the rate of five per­cent (5%) per annum, based on a year of three hun­dred six­­­ty-five (365) days and the num­ber of days elapsed, from the date of the over­pay­ment to the date of mail­ing of a refund check or the grant of a credit.

Any notice, pay­ment, remit­tance or oth­er fil­ing required to be made to the Coun­ty pur­suant to any tax ordi­nance shall be con­sid­ered late unless it is:

(A) phys­i­cal­ly received by the Coun­ty on or before the due date, or

(B) received in an enve­lope or oth­er con­tain­er dis­play­ing a valid, read­able U.S. post­mark dat­ed on or before the due date, prop­er­ly addressed to the Coun­ty, with ade­quate postage prepaid.

Unless oth­er­wise pro­vid­ed, when­ev­er notice is required to be giv­en, the notice is to be in writ­ing mailed not less than sev­en (7) cal­en­dar days pri­or to the day fixed for any applic­a­ble hear­ing, audit or oth­er sched­uled act of the local tax admin­is­tra­tor.  The notice shall be sent by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor as follows:

(A) First class or express mail, or overnight mail, addressed to the per­sons con­cerned at the per­sons’ last known address, or

(B) Per­son­al ser­vice or delivery.

Cer­tain words or terms here­in shall have the mean­ing ascribed to them as follows:

(A) Act.  “Act” means the “Local Gov­ern­ment Tax­pay­ers’ Bill of Rights Act”.

(B) Cor­po­rate Author­i­ties.  “Cor­po­rate Author­i­ties” means the Coun­ty Board Chair­man and the Union Coun­ty Board.

(C) Local­ly Imposed and Admin­is­tered Tax or “Tax”.  “Local­ly Imposed and Admin­is­tered Tax” or “Tax” means each tax imposed by the Coun­ty that is col­lect­ed or admin­is­tered by the Coun­ty not an agency or depart­ment of the State.  It does not include any tax­es imposed upon real prop­er­ty under the Prop­er­ty Tax Code or fees col­lect­ed by the Coun­ty oth­er than infra­struc­ture main­te­nance fees.

(D) Local Tax Admin­is­tra­tor.  “Local Tax Admin­is­tra­tor”, the Union Coun­ty Col­lec­tor, is charged with the admin­is­tra­tion and col­lec­tion of the local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax­es, includ­ing staff, employ­ees or agents to the extent they are autho­rized by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor to act in the local tax administrator’s stead.  The local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall have the author­i­ty to imple­ment the terms of this Code to give full effect to this Code.  The exer­cise of such author­i­ty by the local tax admin­is­tra­tor shall not be incon­sis­tent with this Code and the Act.

(E) Coun­ty.  “Coun­ty” means the Coun­ty of Union, Illinois.

(F) Notice.  “Notice” means each audit notice, col­lec­tion notice or oth­er sim­i­lar notice or com­mu­ni­ca­tion in con­nec­tion with each of the County’s local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered taxes.

(G) Tax Ordi­nance.  “Tax Ordi­nance” means each ordi­nance adopt­ed by the Coun­ty that impos­es any local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax.

(H) Tax­pay­er.  “Tax­pay­er” means any per­son required to pay any local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax and gen­er­al­ly includes the per­son upon whom the legal inci­dence of such tax is placed and with respect to con­sumer tax­es includes the busi­ness or enti­ty required to col­lect and pay the local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax to the Coun­ty. 

The pro­vi­sions of this Code shall apply to the County’s pro­ce­dures in con­nec­tion with all of the County’s local­ly imposed and admin­is­tered tax­es. 

This Arti­cle shall be known as, and may be cit­ed as, the “Local­ly Imposed and Admin­is­tered Tax Rights and Respon­si­bil­i­ty Code”.