Why We Procrastinate On Our Taxes

Why do you put off doing your taxes when you know you’ll be getting money back? Is it that painful? Bankrate lists the top three procrastinator’s delusions, rebutted by their panel of experts:

•Delusion No. 1: If I put off filing until the last minute, I’ll have less chance of getting flagged for an audit amid the flood of deadline filers. “I don’t think so,” says Adams. “I’ve never heard that on either this side of the desk or the other.”

•Delusion No. 2: Since I didn’t make all of my estimated quarterly payments, I just won’t file this year and can start fresh next year. “A lot of people miss an estimated tax payment in the course of a year,” says Fishman. “That’s not that big a deal; you just have to pay interest and a penalty, which works out to be about what you would pay on borrowing money.”

•Delusion No. 3: I don’t need to go to all the trouble of filing because I didn’t make enough money to make it worth the IRS’ trouble to come after me. “As a matter of fact, IRS statistics show that people who make less money are audited more frequently than people who make more money. The reason for that? Abuses of the earned income tax credit are unbelievable,” says Adams.

We understand your pain. We actually considered putting off this post until tomorrow, but we decided that there was no time like the present. —MEGHANN MARCO

The psychology behind tax procrastination [Bankrate]
(Photo: silent (e))


Edit Your Comment

  1. dohtem says:

    How about this one; too much of a freaking hassle.

    Really, it’s like homework. It doesn’t matter when it gets done, just as long as it is in on time.

  2. Morton Fox says:

    It’s not that I procrastinate. My taxes were ready to go since mid-February, but I have to hold them until the end of March in case I get 1099 corrections. Indeed, I just got one of those today.

  3. surfacenoise76 says:

    Here’s my reason: I have to PAY, so what’s the point in rushing? I’ll definitely get it in on time, and it’s not like I don’t have the money, but really, what’s the point in sending it in early?

  4. asherchang says:

    …. whats with all the cat pictures for tax stories?

  5. hop says:

    our taxes were done a month ago………

  6. Scott in DC says:

    Filed mine yesterday – already got acceptance on my federal one (efiled)- so i’ll be rolling in money in a couple weeks.

  7. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    i’m in yur sneekrz
    runnin’ yur marathonz

    Seriously: Nazi-skulls, Verizon, taxes, audits, spies, sneakers; what’s the running theme?

  8. MonkeyMonk says:

    I think the really smart thing is not to be getting a large refund in the 1st place. Why give the US government an interest free loan? My taxes were finished being prepared last week but I’ll hold off on mailing them until near the 15th of April.

    I’m self-employed and I haven’t gotten a refund in about 10 years. My business has grown each year and I always base my estimated payments on my previous year’s (lower) tax liability. I always end up owing a chunk of change in April but because I’ve met the minimum requirements for payments I never get charged any interest or penalties.

  9. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    i’m in yur sneekrz
    runnin’ yur marathonz

    Seriously: Nazi-skulls, Verizon, taxes, audits, sneakers; what’s the running theme?