Home of the Brave

Why do some people wait right up until tax day to file their taxes?

I must confess that I’ve never been a hardcore procrastinator.  By the same token, I’ve never been a goody-two-shoes either, the one who started doing her homework assignments the moment she got home from school.  Generally, I tend to go the middle of the road: I don’t do things too soon or too late.  And that goes for filing taxes as well.  I’m not breaking down my accountant’s door the moment I get my W-2s, but I’m not at her office on tax day.

What always amazes me at tax time, even when I was a kid barely aware of the existence of the IRS, is watching on the evening news people mailing their tax returns at the post office.  Right on tax day.  I remember some post offices in the past were even open until midnight on April 15 (or whatever day tax day landed on that year), accepting and postmarking tax returns until literally the very last minute.

I can understand that if people owe taxes, they don’t want to part with their money too quickly, but is it really worth the nerves and the worry of getting your forms in on time?  Would it be rushing things to file, say, 2 or 3 days before tax day?  Maybe some people just like the rush of adrenalin that comes with making a deadline.  That’s why a number of people start Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, so I’ve been told.

Each year I think I’m not as brave as some people.  My nerves would be completely jangled if I waited to file my taxes until tax day.  I hate dealing with more stress than necessary; if anything, I do whatever I can to avoid it.  We deal with enough tension stemming from life’s surprises that are beyond our control.  Why bring more stress upon ourselves if we can prevent it?

Why, indeed.


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