Procrastination usually doesn’t usually have concrete and actual added costs in your personal life. You put off rolling over an IRA or changing your 401(k) contribution, you don’t feel any costs (you may lose potential gains or avoid potential losses, but it’s never that concrete) However, in the case of tax preparation there is a real cost to putting it off.
TurboTax  does this every year (as long as I can remember) so you have absolutely no excuse. Silver lining finders will say that they incentivize people to file their taxes early by increasing the cost to file two weeks or so before April 15th, cynics will say that TurboTax is gouging people. Either way, it costs you five bucks more you lazy bum. The new prices are (price doesn’t include state filing):
- Free: Still Free!
- Deluxe: $49.95
- Premier: $74.95
- Home & Business: $99.95
Fortunately, you can’t increase the price of FREE, so their Free Edition is still free (here’s the full rundown on all the free tax filing resources ).
Doing your taxes is unavoidable. Almost everyone has to do it (you should file even if you don’t have to this year because of the economic stimulus check ) and everyone has to do it by April 15th. In fact, since most people get a refund, you have a vested financial interest in doing your taxes as early as possible so you can get your own money back as soon as possible; so why do people avoid it? They avoid it because it’s a pain in the you-know-what.
Think of all the other things that you wouldn’t do willingly but that you still do because it’s good for you… like get up early in the morning to go to a meeting at work. Like run on the treadmill to shed a few pounds. Like not eat double stuffed Oreos because they make your butt look fat. Like wake up early to dress your kids and make sure they eat breakfast. Like go with your spouse to Bass Pro Shops/Gander Mountain (or Ann Taylor/Macy’s/MAC). Like watching The Little Mermaid every single day for two months because your daughter loves Ariel and Sebastian.
See how many things we do that we don’t like to? (or don’t do but would love to?) Taxes are like those, except instead of a spouse/child getting upset, it’s Uncle Sam and he holds a serious grudge. If you were going to do your taxes on TurboTax but didn’t because you were putting it off, it’s too late; just don’t make this mistake next year! There’s no reason why you should give TurboTax your money when you can use it to buy your kid a new Disney movie to love every single day for two months. 🙂
(by the way, you have less than two weeks left!)