Procrastinating on taxes

Friday, January 8, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 1:26 AM

Originally Published 2007-03-16 15:01:56

I ran across a bankrate article today discussing tax procrastination. It was interesting to me because I personally procrastinate on my taxes a great deal -- I file once every two years or so, when the IRS starts bugging me about the 1040 that's 10-12 months late. So every odd year (03, 05, 07) I end up filing almost on time.

I say "almost" because I always seem to get the crap done sometime in May. Weird.

Here's a quick excerpt from the article outlining common psychological patterns:

• 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.

The weirdest part is that none of the reasons outlined in the article apply to me. Maybe I just don't like the act of doing my taxes? i.e., sitting down for 6 hours with a bunch of receipts I haven't seen in ages and doing a bunch of arithmetic?

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