Virginia returning transportation 'taxes'
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Texas tops tax procrastination list

I meant to blog about this a couple of days ago, but I just didn't get around to it.

Actually, it's only fitting that I pushed the posting back, since it's about putting off tax filing and I live in Austin, one of the cities on TurboTax's 7th Annual Top 10 Tax Procrastinating Cities list.

Intuit, maker of the popular tax software, determined the 2008 rankings by the number of tax returns electronically filed online via the TurboTax Online service from April 14 through April 17, 2007.

Below is this year's list, along with Intuit/TurboTax's assessment of the procrastination order. The parenthetical numbers are the cities' previous year rankings.

  1. Chicago, Ill. (#2) -- Chicago is the "Second City" no more as it takes the top spot for the first time in the seven years the list has been compiled.   
  2. New York, N.Y. (#5) -- After procrastinating less last year, the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple takes its toll on taxpayers as NYC climbs back up the list to rank at #2. The Giants may be number one in pro football, but New York is second on our list of late filers. 
  3. Houston, Texas (#1) -- Houstonians have topped our list more than any other city (three times) but must have tired of being the top procrastinators. Progress is progress and Houstonians drop two spots this year. 
  4. Austin, Texas (#4) -- Austin continues to procrastinate as they lock up the fourth spot for the second straight year. One of the fastest growing cities in America, Austin may be too busy to worry about taxes until the deadline forces them to. 
  5. San Francisco, Calif. (#5) -- The City by the Bay held steady in the fifth slot for the second straight year. In a year that saw the home run record fall to Barry Bonds, taxpayers in San Francisco waited until they had a full count to take a swing at doing their taxes.
  6. San Diego, Calif (#6) -- The home of the 2008 U.S. Open, and home to TurboTax, can't seem to make up its mind. After topping the list two years ago, San Diegans dropped to sixth last year and are there yet again.
  7. Seattle, Wash. (#8) -- Grunge may have gone the way of disco, but Seattle residents continue to play fast and late with their tax returns. The Emerald City jumps one spot this year.
  8. Las Vegas, Nev. (#11) -- Making its return to the list after a two-year absence is the jewel of Southern Nevada, and former Mormon mission, Las Vegas.
  9. San Antonio, Texas (#7) -- Settled first in 1731, San Antonio ranks as one of America's oldest cities. Despite its age, the home of the Alamo is steeped in today as its residents use the power of online tax prep to file at the last minute.
  10. Los Angeles, Calif. (#12) -- Apparently Los Angelinos were busy chasing Brittney Spears all over town and waited until the deadline to file their taxes. At least they didn't let the forlorn Brittney file their taxes for them.

State_image_texas The delayed battle of the states: Texas and California tied for the lead on the list with the most cities in the top 10, with three each. Even if you go to the next 10, the tie remains, with The Lone Star State and the Golden State each having four cities among the 20 jurisditctions with procrastinating taxpayers:

11. Dallas, Texas
12. San Jose, Calif.
13. Phoenix, Ariz.
14. Brooklyn, N.Y.
15. Denver, Colo.
16. Atlanta, Ga.
17. Washington, D.C.
18. Portland, Ore.
19. Orlando, Fla.
20. Jacksonville, Fla.

State_image_californiaHowever, if you check the order, Texans procrastinate a tad more than Californians. Our cities come in third (Houston), fourth (Austin), ninth (San Antonio) and 11th (Big D). California communities rank fifth, sixth, 10th and 12th.

So we win!

Is it just too perverse that I'm celebrating a "victory" in a less-than-laudable pseudo-competition? Probably.

But you know how we Texans are about braggin' rights. We're proud of everything, dammit!

Getting more tax time: True to my Texas roots, I do tend to put my annual filing duties off until the deadline is sometimes dangerously close. But since I'm working on tax stories and blogging here and at Eye on the IRS, my time is sorta booked up most of the filing season.

Tax_tip_icon_pencil_point_2Putting off filing is not a good idea this year, since you won't get your stimulus payment (aka rebate) until your return is processed.

But if you find you just can't get the forms completed, even using tax software, then be sure to file Form 4868. This will give you an automatic six months -- until Oct. 15 -- to get your 1040 and any associated schedules in to the IRS.

Just remember, the extension is just an IRS OK to file your forms after April 15. If you owe, you still must make a good estimate of how big your tax bill will be and send that money in with the extension request.

If you don't, failure to pay penalties and interest will start accruing.


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Ed Jenkins

Good news for the tax procrastinators (like me). There's a coupon out there for a free tax extension at File Later ( It extends your tax deadline from April 15 to October 15. The coupon code is "freemarch" - I think it expires on 3/31, but there was also one posted for April for $5 off called "5bucks". So, I'll keep procrastinating!

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