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Not all last-minute tax filers are procrastinators

April 15, 2013

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When asked why he waited until April 15 to do his taxes this year, Lawrence factory worker Victor Roman didn't procrastinate in giving his answer.

"Procrastination," he said.

Roman wasn't alone. Many Americans put off filing their tax returns until Tax Day, which was Monday, and even then, many apply for extensions. According to the Internal Revenue Service, about one-third of tax filers don't even begin the process until April, with the majority of those waiting to file until the last few days.

It's not always because of laziness or forgetfulness, though.

As Jerry Coatney, of Liberty Tax Service, explained at his office at 1530 W Sixth St. on Monday, taxpayers often wait to find out what their tax liability is before deciding whether to open an individual retirement account to try to reduce it. Also, he said, many businesses spend the days leading up to April 15 gathering their tax information in order to file extensions.

Still, Coatney admitted, "There's a lot of procrastination."

Lawrence students Jasmine Murphree and Kara Partridge would admit they fit that description. Murphree discovered Monday was Tax Day after hearing it announced on the radio, while Partridge learned about it from her boyfriend. They dug up their W-2s and headed over to Liberty Tax Service's Sixth Street office.

"I'm just lazy," said Partridge, who, like Murphree, goes to school at Johnson County Community College and works at Checkers Foods, 2300 Louisiana St. "Usually my uncle does my taxes. Since he's retired from the IRS, he doesn't do it anymore."

The girls wouldn't recommend waiting till the last minute to others.

"Earlier is way better," Murphree said, with Partridge adding: "It's less stressful."

It was a hectic scene at local tax preparers and post offices Monday, as residents rushed to meet the April 15 deadline for filing their income taxes.

"It's been crazy. It's been really crazy," a female employee at H&R Block, 2104 W. 25th St., said Monday, before declining to comment further — because it was too busy.

Coatney once again bailed out the slackers, saying there may be another reason Tax Day 2013 was so chaotic.

"The economy's improving, so there's more people who are filing taxes as opposed to last year," he asserted.

But that had nothing to do with why Roman why was in line behind several other last-minute filers at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, 947 E. 23rd St., early Monday afternoon.

So, when did he realize it was Tax Day?

"This morning, when I woke up and looked at the calendar," he said.

Why didn't he do his taxes sooner?

"I just had a lot of things going on," he said, before adding: "But mostly procrastination."

Comments

dncinnanc 1 year ago

Not necessarily, Fossick... I work for a financial advisor, and I can tell you that some investment companies don't even send their tax forms until mid to late March (mainly K-1s).

What's interesting is the comments from the girls above about not knowing the tax deadline. I was lucky, my parents sat me down and taught me how to file my taxes after my first job at the age of 15. It amazes me how many of my peers (around the age of 30) have still never had to think about their taxes - their parents still do it for them! There really should be a required class in high school on "Real Life 101", teaching tax basics, what compounding interest does, etc...

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Fossick 1 year ago

"Not all last-minute tax filers are procrastinators"

Yeah, they are.

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CMM 1 year ago

I can never figure out why so many people go to places like H&R, Liberty or Jackson Hewitt. If you were injured, would you go see a part-time doctor? Do you take your vehicles to do-it-yourself mechanics?

People should have their taxes done by professionals, not by people who took a two-week course, if anything. And here's a secret not many of those places tell you...they often charge more for their tax services than a CPA does

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