Tax procrastinators: New research show 20+ Americans took advantage of 2020 tax extension

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – When the nation faced a massive shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those who hadn’t filed their taxes gained a little extra time to file their taxes…a three-month extension. Now that “second tax day” is just weeks away and according to new research from IPX 1031, National finance company, about 22 million Americans took advantage of the extension deadline. In fact, the week the filing extension was announced, 2.4 million fewer Americans filed their taxes compared to the same week in 2019.

The study gathered data by analyzing Google searches in all 50 states and the 30 largest cities in America during last year’s tax season (January – April 2019). The analysis seached phrases and questions related to keywords such as “can I file taxes late,” “need tax extension” and “last day to file taxes” as well variations of those keywords and phrases.

Researchers found the states in west are the biggest procrastinators (No. 1), Nevada (No. 2), Colorado (No. 4), Oregon (No. 5), Washington (No. 6) and Arizona (No. 9). Texas (No. 3), Hawaii (No. 7), Georgia (No. 8) and Maryland (No. 10) round out the top ten, Utah ranked (No. 19).

In regards to states who procrastinate the least, most are located in the Midwest such as Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Indiana.

But procrastination isn’t just something that’s common in certain parts of the country. According to the IRS, the most popular time to file taxes is the very last week you can file without an extension, according to the IRS.

Courtesy: IPX 1031

In 2019, the IRS received the largest amount of tax returns during the week of Tax Day, with 17,806,000 tax returns being filed that week. The second most popular week to file taxes last year was the first week of tax season. A total of 16,035,000 tax returns were filed during that week, according to the IRS.

With the economic downtown caused by Covid-19, 2020 saw significant changes as to when Americans filed their taxes. The IRS and Treasury Department pushed the original Tax Day of April 15 to July 15. In fact, during the week that the filing extension announcement was made, 2.4 fewer Americans filed their taxes compared to the same filing week in 2019. One of the biggest year-over-year drops in filings occurred the week ending in April 10. Compared to the same week in 2019, 9.3 fewer Americans filed their taxes.

According to IRS filing data, over 20 million Americans utilized the extension.

Other notable takeaways from the study:

  • Millennials expect to receive to the most money back on their tax returns $2,476
  • Baby boomers expect the least $946
  • 27% of Americans say the pandemic has changed how they plan to spend their tax refund (if they’re getting one).
  • 42% of Americans were unaware the new tax day is July 15.

Coronavirus has also affected this year’s Tax Day deadline. The IRS has moved the Tax Day deadline from April 15 to July 15. With this year’s deadline being extended, it’s OK to procrastinate a little when it comes to filing, but before you do, make sure you know the new deadline.

IPX 1031 Sources: 2019 and 2020 tax return filing statistics – Internal Revenue Service.

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