Let’s face it, most people don’t look forward to filing their taxes every year.
The process of tax filing can be complicated, overwhelming, and time-consuming, so it’s no surprise that many Americans may want to drag their feet and wait until the last minute to file.
In fact, our nationwide survey shows that nearly one-third (31%) of Americans procrastinate during tax season. But which cities are home to the biggest procrastinators when it comes to filing taxes before the Tax Day deadline?
In order to find out, we surveyed Americans and analyzed Google search volume related to filing taxes late in more than 170 cities across the country. Our analysis included terms such as “can you file your taxes late?”, “file tax extension,” “missed tax deadline,” “penalty for late taxes,” and other keyword variations.
Our “Tax Day procrastination” study also gathered feedback from Americans on their experiences with tax filing, why they procrastinate on their taxes, and what type of tax refund they expect to receive in 2023.
- 31% of Americans say they procrastinate and wait until the last minute to file their taxes.
- Nearly one-quarter (24%) expect their refund to be less than what they received last year.
- 69% don’t know that Tax Day falls on April 18 this year.
- Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah are home to the most Tax Day procrastinators.
Tax Day 2023: Which Cities Procrastinate the Most on Tax Filing?
Our analysis looked at search volume related to filing taxes late in more than 170 cities with a population of 150,000 or more across the country. Overall, Florida is home to three of the top 10 cities with the most Tax Day procrastinators. Orlando was ranked No. 2, while Miami ranked No. 4, and Fort Lauderdale came in at No. 5.
Among the top 50 cities, Florida and California are tied with the most appearances within our analysis. Both states have five cities within the top 50. Elsewhere, four Texas cities cracked the top 50, including Austin (No. 11), Dallas (No. 29), Frisco (No. 34), and Houston (No. 49).
Tennessee and Washington were also home to three cities with the most Tax Day procrastinators.
Why Americans Procrastinate on Filing Taxes
Overall, nearly one-third (31%) of Americans say they wait until the last minute to file their taxes. Among all age demographics, Gen Z are most likely to put off filing their taxes, according to respondents. 41% of Gen Z respondents say they wait until the last minute to file. Baby Boomers were the least likely to procrastinate on filing their taxes, with only 21% of Baby Boomer respondents saying they wait until the last minute.
The top reason Americans hold off on filing is because they find the process to be too complicated and stressful (48%). Meanwhile, 39% say they want to take time to double-check their information and make sure everything is correct, while 37% say filing taxes is just too time-consuming, so they put it off until the final hour.
Tax Day 2023: Refunds
Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans expect their tax refund to be smaller compared to what they received last year, and only 18% expect their refund to be larger.
On average, $1,560 is roughly the amount of refund respondents say they expect to receive this year. How does that compare to what Americans received in 2022? According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the average refund in 2022 was $3,176, while the average in 2021 was $2,791.
Two-in-ten say they plan to spend their tax refund as soon as they receive it. Meanwhile, 28% say they don’t expect to receive a refund at all this year.
When is Tax Day 2023?
It’s one thing to procrastinate on filing your taxes, but it’s another to completely miss the Tax Day deadline altogether. An overwhelming majority of respondents did not know that Tax Day falls on April 18, 2023, instead of April 15 this year. Procrastinators will have a few extra days to file this year due to the weekend and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday, which is Monday, April 17.
Even though there’s some extra time to file this year, it’s always a good idea to get the tax filing process started as soon as you can.
To determine our ranking, we analyzed more than 170 census-defined places with a population of 150,000 or more via the U.S. Census Bureau. We then analyzed Google search volume in each city for terms and keywords related to filing taxes late, such as “can you file your taxes late?”, “file tax extension,” “missed tax deadline,” “penalty for late taxes,” and other variations. The total search volume was then calculated per capita and ranked per 100,000 people in each city.
In January 2023, we surveyed 1,000 Americans to ask them about their experience with filing taxes. 49% of respondents were male, 48% were female, and 3% were non-binary/non-conforming. The average age was 38. Income: Under $20-$40K (43%); $40,001-$60K (20%); $60,001-$80K (13%); $80,001-$100K (8%); $100,001 or over (16%).
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service
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