They say only two things are certain: death and taxes. Add procrastination to the list. Even though everyone knows the deadline for filing federal individual income tax returns is April 15, many people still wait until the last minute to do anything about it. According to the Internal Revenue Service, 20 to 25 percent of all Americans wait until the last two weeks before the deadline to prepare their returns. At that late date, there are only two things you can do: File your taxes pronto, or request an extension.
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with waiting. If you owe taxes, you might want to earn interest on your money right up until the minute before it departs your bank account. Maybe you've been too busy with your business to keep track of the time. Or maybe you just plain forgot. Whatever the reason, to avoid scrambling at the last minute, experts recommend preparing in advance by keeping yourself organized year-round with all-important documents — including receipts — maintained in one place.
"For one reason or another, we often advise a client to extend their returns."
- Mike Scholz, tax director, Wegner CPAs, LLP