Your Take 

Your Take: Are You a Proactive or Procrastinating Tax Filer?

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Right about now, you should have every document you need to file your taxes (or you will very shortly), but some of you will wait until the tax due date before filing your taxes. Some of you have already filed (good for you) because you knew you had all the forms you needed. It makes sense for anyone who is expected a refund to file as soon as possible but many people still wait… mostly because filing taxes is not exactly fun stuff.

So, today’s Your Take is simple – are you generally proactive about filing your taxes, getting it in way before the deadline, or are you a procrastinator, waiting until the very last day to get it in? And why?

{ 25 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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25 Responses to “Your Take: Are You a Proactive or Procrastinating Tax Filer?”

  1. Frugal says:

    Used to be a procrastinator when I was single (since I almost always owed), now I will be finished in one week as I am getting a refund thanks to the family and home.

    People change as situation changes.

  2. Jim says:

    Very true, very true.

  3. lostAnnfound says:

    Usually proactive, but we will procrastinate on sending it in, as we owe this year. But, I have had the tax prep done so we could file the FAFSA for the first daughter going off to college in the fall.

  4. David S says:

    Always do my taxes as soon as possible. Actually since I record all the tax information in Quicken throughout the year on Jan 1st I pretty much do all the hard work of taxes and just wait for all the forms to get in to verify all my numbers and then send it off, usually around the 1st or 2nd week of February.

  5. Alan Zheng says:

    I always go through turbotax in February…and normally file in February because I get refunds. This year however, I owe, so I’ll be waiting till April 1st to file 🙂

  6. Jeremy says:

    For me it mostly comes down to whether I expect to owe money or if I think I’ll be getting a refund. Whenever I owe, I always put it off as long as possible. Either way, I don’t want the government to be getting extra interest from my money.

  7. Courtney says:

    Always go through TurboTax around mid-Feb when we get all our forms (usually end up waiting on 1099s).

    Even if you owe, if you’re e-filing you can file at any time and schedule the payment to be processed later. This year we got a federal refund and one state refund, and owed in another state (we moved mid-year). We filed on Feb 13th and our state tax payment will be processed on April 13th.

  8. I thought I was proactive but I always end up procrastinating. Probably because my tax guy is 1.5 hours away. Going to call him now for the appointment.

  9. Amy says:

    Proactive: the federal taxes were filed by e-file on February 4th and we already have that money. The state taxes were printed and mailed on February 6th, so it may be awhile for that money.

  10. Karen says:

    If I owe – procrastinator. If I get a refund – proactive.

  11. yourPFpro says:

    I see why people procrastinate but for me it just doesn’t make sense. I’d rather take my time starting late february once I have all my documents. I know the due date, I know how long it will take. Plan accordingly people, not that hard..

  12. Diane says:

    I always get a refund, so I’m usually proactive, filing in February through Turbotax. I worked on mine this week and got most of it done, just have to enter one thing I was missing and do a review before filing. Last year I procrastinated for some reason, and ended up winning a free turbotax filing through a giveaway~ so that was cool!

  13. I am definitely proactive. I have all of my files in order and simply wait for the documents in the mail to verify everything. I usually have to wait because I invest through Schwab and they wait to mail out their forms until Feb 15th to cut down on corrected forms.

    If it wasn’t for that, I’s have my taxes filed in early February. Not as good as Ned Flanders, but close!

  14. govenar says:

    I did a quick run through TurboTax in early January using estimates before I got the official numbers, to see if I should pay estimated taxes in January to avoid a penalty. I probably won’t actually file until late March / early April since I owe taxes, and to reduce the chance of getting a corrected 1099 after I file.

  15. Money Infant says:

    I’m proactive in computing my taxes, but filing depends on whether I am getting a refund or paying more.

    Refund = Proactive
    Paying = Procrastinate

  16. Shirley says:

    I am dfinitely proactive about tax filing. I just want to get it done and get the refund into our savings as quickly as possible.

  17. I had to get it done this year so my son could do his fafsa. It’s the state taxes that I procrastinate about.

  18. daenyll says:

    I like to get my money back as soon as possible, and tend to get annoyed having to wait on the forms from student loans that seem to take longer than earnings forms. If I were to owe money I’d probably get them done quickly but wait to file.

  19. I’m proactive with a hint of procrastination. As soon as my documents are available I do my taxes but I may wait to submit them if it makes sense.

    If I owe then I’ll wait. There are a few things that come out of waiting. One is that I can make sure and max out my IRA without any problems. Two is I get all the updates from my tax software (they release updates every few weeks).

    If I get a return then I’ll submit it as soon as possible.

    My goal however is to never have a return. Each year I modify my withholding to get closer to the ‘sweet spot’ of paying exactly what I owe.

    • govenar says:

      I think the ‘sweet spot’ would be owing the biggest amount possible without triggering a penalty. That way you get extra money at 0% interest to invest during the year.

  20. bloodbath says:

    I am a procrastinator and proud of it. I know where all of my receipts are (scanned in or online) but I file the week of April 15th because I just don’t feel like doing it until the last minute. Plus I think by doing it at the last moment reduces my chances of an audit.

  21. JB says:

    I used to be a procrastinator, but that stops this year… No, really. All docs go to my accountant this week.

  22. Young says:

    I agree with the other commenters. People who owe are more likely to procrastinate. The ones receiving are going to make sure everything is completely filled out with all the proper supporting documentation 🙂

  23. Wilma says:

    Used to wait till the midnight dead line. Friends and I would get our stuff and drive to the big post office to jam up traffic and put our stuff in the trash cans the employees had waiting as we drove through the post office parking lot. Was a tradition. This year I have to wait because apparently my part time boss forgot about me when I quit last year so I don’t have all my W2’s.

  24. eric says:

    Totally procrastinating… 🙁

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