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]
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