Tax filing season is the time of the year that makes you feel like a master of finance or makes you wonder why you can’t handle money. For many taxpayers, the yearning to push filing taxes to the eleventh hour is as strong as ever, hence, a hectic rush to gather receipts and understand forms before it’s too late. However, we need to ask if the last minute is as bad as it looks in the media. Now let us examine the advantages and drawbacks of waiting till the last moment to file our tax returns.


Pro: Extra Time To Gather Required Tax Filing Documents


Discussing further, one of the most important advantages of delaying your tax filing is that it provides you with extra time to collect all the required documents. The delay can either be the search for lost receipts or waiting for some forms to get to you via the mail service. And yes, procrastination can provide you with ample time to ensure all your documents are in order.

This way you don’t run the risk of leaving any important adjustments that might occur in your financial circumstances to the very end. Perhaps you were sent a tax document with a late deadline or finished your tax filing after discovering a deduction you hadn’t thought about before. You may postpone the filing of returns to the extent that you can increase your possible refund or reduce tax payments.

Pro Extra Time To Gather Required Tax Filing Documents


Con: Rise in Tax Filing Anxiety 


However, waiting until the last minute to file your taxes is a sure way to get you to the brink of frustration, irritability, and anxiety. Procrastination is a common occurrence where the work is left for the last minute, thus resulting in a heavy rush and little time to respond to any crisis or unforeseen circumstances.

The dread of fines and the aftermath of missing out on possible rebates can play with your mind as the deadline approaches. Therefore, the longer you procrastinate to do your taxes, the more difficult the job could appear and the heavier it would weigh on your emotions, making you anxious, dreadful, and overwhelmed.


Pro: Potential for Tax Filing Extensions


Believe it or not, there’s a silver lining to procrastination when it comes to taxes: the chance to submit a prolongation request. In most cases, it is recommended to file on time to avoid penalties and additional interest. However, if you are unable to meet the initial deadline, you may need an extension to create more time.

According to the IRS, you may request up to an additional 6 months to file your U.S. individual income tax return. This gives you enough time to get the records together, get the help of a professional if needed, and be sure about the accuracy of the return. A filing extension will only give you more time to file, and not an extension on the requirement to pay the taxes due. Therefore, it is important to pay back any taxes outstanding before the original deadline to avoid penalties.


Con: Increased Risk of Tax Filing Mistakes


To put it briefly, the main disadvantage of procrastinating with filing taxes until the last moment is the increased risk of making mistakes on your return. If the process is rushed through in a hurry to meet the deadline, many deductions can be forgotten, there is a possibility of mistakes in calculations, and missing or incorrect information can also happen.

Even though these software programs or professionals are there to help, the fact that there is a fast-approaching deadline can make you less able to properly go through your return for accuracy. What’s more, the IRS normally provides ways to rectify errors after filing, and it is always advisable to strive for precision from the very beginning to prevent further hassles in the future.

Con: Increased Risk of Tax Filing Mistakes



To sum up, the filing of the taxes at the eleventh hour comes with both pros and cons. On the one hand, procrastination can give more time to gather more documentation and, sometimes it creates possible extensions. However, on the other hand, it is a source of stress and increases the probability of making mistakes. The crucial factor in this is to find a balance between procrastination and careful planning so that you can get the job done before the deadline and bypass unnecessary stress as well as get the maximum tax relief.


If you need financial advice or a financial review, we would be happy to introduce you to a licensed advisor at our sister company, Asset Strategy Advisors (ASA).  ASA is an SEC registered investment advisor.  Contact us, or click HERE, to learn more.



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