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15 U.S. Cities With the Most Tax Procrastinators, Based on Google Searches

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Tax Day is less than two weeks away, but a third of Americans will wait until the last minute to meet the April 18 filing deadline, according to a recent blog post from Investment Property Exchange Services (IPX1031), a unit of Fidelity National Financial.

Here are the reasons respondents in a survey cited for procrastinating: 

  • Not getting refund/no rush: 32%
  • Too complicated/stressful: 25%
  • Want to make sure it’s correct: 20%
  • Too time consuming: 11%
  • Worried I’ll owe money: 7%

The survey also found that 56% of respondents did not know that Tax Day is three days later this year. Thirty-seven percent thought it was on the usual date of April 15.

On a positive note, 50% of survey participants reported that they had filed their taxes — and 11% of those have already spent their tax refund money.

The average federal tax refund for individuals for the 2021 filing season is $2,815, IPX 1031 noted, citing the Internal Revenue Service; this is $108 more than the previous year.

Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents who will receive a refund said they plan to save it. Twenty-two percent will pay off debt, and 18% will use it to pay everyday expenses.

For its report, IPX1031 surveyed 1,112 Americans, ages 18 to 80 in March; respondents’ average age was 40. 

To determine where procrastination might be widespread, researchers analyzed Google searches around phrases like “what happens if I file my taxes late?”, “when is it too late to file taxes?” and “can I file late taxes?

Using the Google AdWords platform, IPX1031 analyzed total search volume for tax filing keywords and phrases between January and May 2021 for that year’s tax season. They then calculate total search volume during that period per capita, and visualized per 100,000 people for each state and major metro city with a population of 600,000 or more.

See the 12 cities with the largest number of tax procrastinators per 100,000, based on searches related to the tax filing deadline.