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Most tax procrastinating cities

TurboTax has once again looked at its data and ranked U.S. cities according to how many of their residents put off tax filing.

This year's winner, or loser depending on your point of view, is Houston.

Yay, Texas! Yeah, we're obnoxious that way. We like to be top of the heap even when the statistics are bad!

Infographic by Column Five Media, courtesy of TurboTax.com.
Click here for a larger version.

Actually, the list is from the 2009 filing season, which makes sense since the 2010 numbers are still coming in. TurboTax arrived at rankings based on the number of tax returns electronically filed via its Online service last April 14 to April 17.

Houston's top 2009 ranking is an improvement (?) over 2008, when it came in second.

Austin cracked the latest top 10 in a big way, ranking number 4 in 2009 after being 11th in 2008.

Big D held steady in the ninth spot.

California also had three cities in the top 10. San Francisco "lost" the 2008 procrastination crown by falling to number 5 last year. San Diego came in seventh and L.A. was eighth.

Rounding out the 2009 list of "we'll do it later, promise" are Chicago at number 2, New York City coming in third, Seattle at number 6 and Las Vegas coming in tenth.

TurboTax also has an extended list of 11 through 20, with Florida the champs there with three cities making the secondary list.

You can check out one through 20 in TurboTax's text announcement of its annual survey.

Take more time: If you haven't started your return yet, don't panic. You've still got three weeks to get your 1040 done and into the IRS.

But at this late date, you're probably going to have to take care of it yourself. Most tax professionals are too swamped right now to take on new clients.

And here's something the most hardcore procrastinators will love. If you just can't complete all your necessary paperwork by the deadline, file for an extension.

Send in Form 4868, either via snail mail postmarked by midnight April 15 or file electronically on that day.

That will give you six more months to get your Form 1040 and all associated schedules and other forms filled out and to the IRS.

Remember, though, you still have to send in any tax you owe (or a good approximation thereof) with your extension request or the IRS will start tacking on interest and penalty charges.

But the important thing is to file something.

Even if you can't pay all or any of what you owe, you'll face lesser penalty charges by getting a form into Uncle Sam. The IRS charges you more for not filing anything than it does for not paying what you owe.

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Wes Masters

We actually did something we think is a lot cooler - a real-time map. With our map you can tell what areas of the country REALLY are procrastinating b/c they are filing a tax extension. Here's is is: http://www.filelater.com/procrastinate



I have a theory as to why Houston is the procrastinatingist city.

It's because of all of those oil magnates waiting on their K-1s.


<-- procrastinating in Houston


Good advice on filing an extension - and paying as much of what you think you might owe when you do. I've seen people bit by that bug more than once, and dig themselves a hole they never quite climb out of.

Two things happen to tax preparers in our office at this time of year: we are always tired, and it takes very little to set us off. So please remember all of your documents and vital info when you do come in - if it SAYS "Important Tax Document", it probably is!!

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