Once you receive your tax documents around the end of January, it makes sense to file a return as soon as possible for several reasons.
Of course, that doesn’t mean people do. Procrastination is more powerful than Uncle Sam.
Taxpayers in some places are especially likely to put it off until the last minute, according to ChamberOfCommerce.org, which examined web searches in 170 census-designated places with populations of more than 150,000 people. The website looked for search volume related to terms such as “can you file your taxes late?” and “missed tax deadline.”
Based on their findings, the following are the worst cities for tax procrastination.
10. Richmond, Virginia
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,333 per 100,000 residents
Richmond is only a couple hours’ drive from IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C., but that apparently doesn’t scare folks into filing promptly.
Another thing that can be said for these taxpayers: They’re givers. About 31% of Richmond tax returns included charitable donations in 2017.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,379 per 100,000 residents
Washington as a whole ranked No. 4 among states for tax procrastination, according to ChamberofCommerce.org. This might suggest some common Washington thread is the reason for Seattle’s slacking. The state is one of a handful considering a wealth tax this year.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,388 per 100,000 residents
Ohio as a whole ranked low at No. 36 for procrastination, which suggests there’s something specific about Cincinnati that makes people put off their taxes.
The city does have a relatively young workforce, so maybe tax inexperience is to blame.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,450 per 100,000 residents
If Denver’s taxpayers are again big procrastinators this year, they have a handy excuse. Colorado’s state tax filing system won’t be ready until the end of February, a local Fox affiliate reports.
If the government can’t be ready for tax season on time, it can hardly expect its citizens to be.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,462 per 100,000 residents
Minneapolis has been among the cities hardest hit by inflation during the past year and a half. It’s at least possible the extra effort residents are putting into paying the bills has them neglecting tax time.
ChamberofCommerce.org says 37% of Americans believe tax filing is too time-consuming.
5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,473 per 100,000 residents
ChamberofCommerce.org notes there are five Florida cities in the top 50 for tax procrastination — more than any other state, although it’s tied with California.
This could have something to do with the state’s high concentration of wealthy taxpayers. Last year, we noted Florida was attracting the largest number of high earners in the country.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,491 per 100,000 residents
ChamberofCommerce.org found that stress was the top reason to put off filing taxes. Miami is among “10 U.S. Cities Where People Have the Most Financial Stress,” which — aside from wealthy Miamians — could explain the hesitation to file.
3. Salt Lake City
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 1,740 per 100,000 residents
Utah families are more likely than those in other states to miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit, a CBS affiliate recently reported.
Maybe procrastination could help reverse that trend in Salt Lake City, the state’s most populous city. ChamberofCommerce.org notes 39% of Americans procrastinate because they want to make sure their information is correct.
2. Orlando, Florida
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 2,377 per 100,000 residents
As previously mentioned, stress and the time commitment involved are two of the top reasons people procrastinate on doing their taxes. Orlando is among “10 Cities Where Worker Burnout Is Most Likely,” so residents just may not have the energy to crunch the numbers.
That, or they’re overdue for a trip to Disney World.
Searches using tax procrastination keywords: 2,568 per 100,000 residents
People in Atlanta are the most frequent tax procrastinators in the country.
Why? Maybe they’re just especially sick of taxes. Atlanta is among “15 Cities Where People Pay the Most in Taxes.”