April has arrived, meaning millions of taxpayers are scrambling to finish their 2010 tax returns. Except, if this tax filing season is like previous ones, in Houston.
For the fifth time in 10 years, Houston has claimed top honors, if you want to call it that, on TurboTax's annual list of America's most tax procrastinating cities. It was the latest-filing city the year before, too.
In fact, it seems that many of my fellow Texans aren't in a big hurry to finish up federal returns. Three of the five slowest filing cities are in the Lone Star State.
My laid-back neighbors here in Austin helped the Texas capital come in fourth for the second year in a row. Just to our south is San Antonio, which debuted at number five. Dallas eked into the top 10. Big D had been number nine the previous year.
Only California comes close to Texas in tax procrastination. The Golden State had thee cities in the top 10 and another in the top 20.
TurboTax compiled the list, now in its 10th year, based on the number of tax returns electronically filed via the tax preparation software's online service between April 14-17, 2010.
The full list of this year's late-filing cities, with last year's rankings of the top 10 in parenthesis, is:
- Houston, Texas (1)
- Chicago, Ill. (2)
- New York, N.Y. (3)
- Austin, Texas (4)
- San Antonio, Texas (New to list)
- San Francisco, Calif. (5)
- Seattle, Wash. (6)
- San Diego, Calif. (7)
- Los Angeles, Calif. (8)
- Dallas, Texas (9)
- Las Vegas, Nev.
- Washington, D.C.
- Portland, Ore.
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Tampa, Fla.
- San Jose, Calif.
Ask for more time: Tax procrastination isn't limited to these 20 cities. TurboTax estimates that 27 percent of taxpayers wait until the last two weeks of tax season to file their taxes.
If you're one of those who, even with three extra days (until April 18) to file this year, just can't get your 1040 filled out, then send in a Form 4868, electronically or by old-fashioned mail, to get six more months to file.
The IRS says that around 10 million folks a year seek an extension so they can put off their filing duties until mid-October.
Remember, though, that the extension is for the forms only. IRS grants the automatic extension to file, not to pay.
If you owe any taxes, you need to pay that amount or as much of it as you can or the IRS will tack on penalty and interest charges.
- Most tax-procrastinating cities (2010)
- America's most tax-procrastinating cities (2009)
- Texas tops tax procrastination list (2008)
- Putting off today what you can put off tomorrow
- Austin: tax hotbed
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