A Web site that helps taxpayers file for tax extensions has created a map that shows tax procrastination trends across the country.
The map, which can be viewed at http://www.FileLater.com/procrastinate, is supposed to show a real-time view of tax extensions being filed by taxpayers across the U.S. At the time I’m writing this blog post, the site showed over 8 million tax extensions filed, with the tally climbing by the second.
Of course, it’s only the tax extensions filed through the FileLater.com site that are being tabulated. The IRS isn’t supposed to display that kind of information for fear of violating taxpayer privacy. Anyway, it’s got enough trouble just dealing with the tax returns being filed everyday, and can worry later about the tax extensions.
Banks.com, the company that recently acquired FileLater.com, has some ideas, though, about why so many taxpayers are filing for extensions.
"It's little wonder why people procrastinate in doing their taxes,” said Banks.com CEO Dan O'Donnell in a press release. “Dealing with the IRS is up there with public speaking as far as human fears go and the fear is so acute that some people say they fear the IRS more than they fear their own deaths! Last year, over 10 million taxpayers opted to file tax extensions prior to the April filing deadline to extend their tax return due date to October 15th."
FileLater.com allows taxpayers to file a tax extension with the IRS online and receive a quick acknowledgment from the IRS. Naturally, taxpayers can also do that without the help of FileLater.com, but the site does automate the process to some extent.
The company also announced Tuesday that FileLater.com customers who file an online extension using their Facebook account to login and who share their experience with five of their Facebook friends can file their extension “absolutely free.”
Of course, they can also file their extensions for free directly with the IRS, but then the IRS isn’t really set up to “friend” you on Facebook (though it is at least on Twitter now).
"FileLater customers who utilize their Facebook logins not only get to file their tax extension online for free, they also get to share a discount with their friends who need to file an extension," O'Donnell noted.
Procrastination loves company, you might say. See you at the post office on April 15.