Last week, I wrote about the most tax procrastinating cities in the United States. Texas and California are prime do-then-later states, an approach that's generally not a wise one to take.
Putting off filing means you likely will be a bit harried if you do try to finish your forms by April 15. And, as we've all found out at one time or another, haste does indeed often make waste.
If you delay too long, you might even end up prolonging your tax headaches by getting an extension to file. Sure, that gives you more time to fill out the forms, but you still have to pay any taxes you owe (or a close approximation of the due amount). Plus, it just means you'll end up worrying about your taxes that much longer.
And this year procrastination has an added cost. You won't get your stimulus package payment, popularly referred to as a tax rebate, until the IRS processes your return.
No special plans: Of course, some people might not be so worried about getting that money because they don't have any special plans for it. While a lot of folks over withhold just to create an annual tax refund that they can spend for fun things like upcoming summer vacations, a major tax preparation firm says most folks have no such plans for their rebate checks.
More that 65 percent of taxpayers surveyed last month by
In fact, reports Block, almost the same number of respondents to the online survey said that's how they plan to use their regular refunds this year, too. Apparently, widespread worries about the economy and how it could adversely affect individuals played into the survey, which was conducted during the latest wave of bad financial news and warnings on how long it might take for the tide to turn.
Here's the breakout for rebate spending plans:
- 45 percent will pay bills
- 21 percent will purchase necessary goods or services, such as groceries or car repairs
- 18 percent will put it into investments
- 16 percent will splurge, for example, on jewelry, electronics or a vacation.
And here's what folks told Block they will do with their regular refunds;
- 45 percent will pay bills (deja vu!)
- 17 percent will purchase necessities
- 15 percent will invest it
- 7 percent will indulge themselves.
Use it elsewhere: H&R Block's survey also revealed some taxpayer ambivalence about the rebate plan itself.
More than 40 percent of respondents indicated they'd prefer the government use the $168 billion allocated for the economic stimulus program elsewhere, such as reducing the national debt
Do your rebate and refund attitudes jibe with the H&R Block survey findings? Let us know what you think about the rebate plan and what you plan to do with any money you might get back this year from Uncle Sam.