Tips to Help Stop Procrastinating (on Your Taxes)

As autumn is approaching here in the United States, there’s another milestone coming up soon.  October 15 – the tax deadline for filing your 2011 tax return. If you’ve been procrastinating on filing your taxes, you’re not alone. Approximately 45% of Americans surveyed listed procrastination as the reason they hadn’t taken care of their filing. Interestingly the younger generation tended to file their taxes earlier than their older counterparts.

Tax Deadline

Tax Deadline

Besides procrastination, some are delaying getting their taxes completed because they are worried about getting them done correctly. Fortunately there are ways to help with both.

Tips on Getting Your Taxes Done

If you’re worried that you won’t get your taxes done on time, here are a few tricks you can use to get it completed and off your already full plate.

  • Create Your Own Deadline: October 15th is the official tax deadline, but you can do yourself a big favor and pick an earlier date to be your deadline. Mark it on your calender (offline or online) and make sure it’s listed as a big event. You don’t want to miss the date. Just think of it this way – the sooner it’s over, the sooner you can relax.
  • Break It Down: Do you feel overwhelmed at the amount of work ahead of you? Break it down into little pieces of work. Get your W-2s in one day, take care of your 1099s the next, and so forth. When we were doing our taxesthis year, I simply entered the information bit by bit into TurboTax online as it came in. No stress, no mess.
  • Enlist an Accountability Buddy: If you need a bit of a push, ask a friend or relative to keep tabs on you until you filed your taxes.

Try out any one of these tips starting today and add another if you need a bigger boost.  Don’t avoid filing your taxes even if you didn’t properly file an extension.  You may be missing out on a nice tax refund.

Thoughts on Tax Extensions

Please remember that the tax extension is an extension of time to file and not an extension to pay. If you owe money and you don’t have the total amount, please go online to the IRS.gov or call them (800-829-1040) to request a Online Payment Agreement and get on a payment plan. If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments below.

I’d love to hear from you about how you’re doing this year. How many of you had filed an extension for your taxes? How many of you still need to file before the deadline? What is the biggest barrier for you?

Elle Martinez

Elle helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second.

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