OK, folks. It’s the final week before tax filing deadline, one of the best times of the year to determine how bad of a procrastinator you really are.
If you haven’t yet filed your income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service by now – the Monday, April 15, deadline approaches – there’s a more than decent chance you’ve got it bad.
On Tuesday, two of three people shopping at City Market in Cortez were early filers.
“I got them done in February,” said Keenen Lovett of Cortez. “Normally, they’re pretty easy. I usually get them done pretty early. It’s one thing you can cross off the list.”
Lovett also has practical reasons for getting his 1040 in early.
“I get everything to my accountant who can do them quickly, before he gets too busy,” he said.
Ruby Hernandez of Cortez is puzzled and a little on edge because she still hasn’t received her refund.
“I filed at the beginning of February, but I’m still waiting for my refund,” she said. “I got a notice (from the Internal Revenue Service) that said they are going to check my earned-income credit and my business income. But I don’t have a business, so I don’t know what they are talking about.”
The IRS told Hernandez her refund would be coming in 60 days.
“I still haven’t got them, so I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.
Marian Rohman of Cortez admits she has yet to file. “But I plan to get them done today (Tuesday, April 9),” she said.
She added: “ That’s what I’ve set aside for the day. I’ve handed in all my papers to my accountant.”
She doesn’t think her chore will be too onerous.
“My taxes have gotten simpler now; they didn’t use to be. When you retire, some things get easier,” she said.
According to H&R Block, here are the top six reasons why people file and when they choose to file:
Reason No. 1: They file early to try to get a refund as soon as possible.
While consumers will get the same size refund whenever they file, getting a refund earlier is especially important if the tax filer depends on a refund to pay bills or other essentials.
Reason No. 2: They file early to prevent tax identity theft.
The IRS typically operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so once someone files using a taxpayer’s Social Security number or tax identification number, subsequent attempts to file with that number will be automatically declined, setting off a monthslong process for a taxpayer to reclaim his or her tax identity, file a return and receive a refund.
Reason No. 3: They file later because they’re waiting for documents.
Not all late-season filers are procrastinators. While most information documents should arrive by the end of January, like an employee’s W-2 reporting wages or a 1099-INT reporting bank interest, some information documents won’t arrive until March.
Reason No. 4: They file later because their taxes are more complex.
People with the most complex tax returns are more than likely to seek an extension.
Reason No. 5: They file later because they’re less likely to get a refund.
Not only does the size of individual refunds decrease as the filing season progresses, but refunds themselves become less common. Eighty-one percent of early filers got a refund, while 67 percent of April filers got a refund.
Reason No. 6: They file later because they think they have to pay when they file.
Many people believe they must pay any taxes they owe when they file their return. So, if they think they have a balance due, they wait until the last minute to file.