Volunteer firefighters and EMTs are getting financial help from the state to help them cover the costs of training and equipment.

Eligible Illinois emergency volunteers may now receive a $500 non-refundable income tax credit starting next year. A volunteer emergency worker is defined as a person who serves as a member, other than on a full-time career basis, of a fire department, fire protection district, or fire protection association that has a State Fire Marshal Identification Number issued by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and who does not serve as a member on a full-time career basis for another fire department, fire protection district, fire protection association, or government entity. 

To qualify, an individual must meet the following criteria:

-Has served as a volunteer emergency worker for at least nine months during the taxable year.
-Has not received compensation for services as a volunteer emergency worker of more than $5,000 for the taxable year.
-Be included on the list provided by a local fire department, district, or office to the OSFM by Jan. 12, confirming the individual met the previous two qualifications.
-Submit a complete online application with Illinois Department of Revenue on the date listed above.
-Be one of the first 10,000 qualified applicants.
This application process opens in February, but volunteers must make sure their names are on the list within their organization by Jan. 12 to be able to apply. Visit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Website to view more information and apply.

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