Americans have about a month to file their taxes before the May 17 deadline, so last-minute filers need to start prepping.
Across the U.S., 1 in 3 taxpayers are waiting until the deadline to file, according to a survey of 1,002 people by IPX 1031. The most common reasons: Filing is too time-consuming, too complicated or stressful, or filers want to make sure their return is correct.
Who procrastinates the most also seems to vary by state, according to IPX 1031’s analysis of tax deadline Google searches and its survey results.
Taxpayers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Delaware are the most likely to wait until close to the tax deadline to file, according to a survey. Nevada, California, and Rhode Island also break into the top 10 at Nos. 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
Midwesterners appear to procrastinate the least, according to the report, with Iowa ranking at 50th, Michigan at 49th, Wisconsin at 47th, Missouri at 44th, and Indiana at 45th.
Even some cities have more procrastinators. Las Vegas, Denver, and Seattle lead the cities with the most people waiting longer to file their return. Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Dallas also make the top 10.
‘No reason to keep the government owing you money’
Waiting until the last minute to file your tax return has its pros and cons.
If you’ve overpaid your taxes and you’re waiting on a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, the sooner you file your tax return, the sooner you’ll get your money back. There may be an even bigger incentive to file this year because taxpayers can claim the first and second round of stimulus payments on their taxes as a Recovery Rebate Credit, meaning their refund could be bigger.
Read more: 7 things that are surprisingly taxable
“You may have a refund for a variety of reasons.” Lewis Taub, a certified public accountant and New York director of tax services at Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors, told Yahoo Money. “The reasons overall to file as early as possible and well before May 17 is the government owes you money and there's no reason to keep the government owing you money.”
Additionally, filing early can also protect you from tax scams by not allowing fraudsters to file a return in your name.
But if you owe the government, you may want to wait until the last minute to make that tax payment. Rushing your return if it’s not ready also may not be a good idea. The deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments remains April 15, so many tax preparers are working on those returns and may not be able to process yours as fast at this time.
“There are a whole new level of catch changes that need to be studied and need to be considered to properly do a return, so you shouldn't rush the process,” Taub said. “Your accountant may be rushed and won't be able to do a proper job until after April 15.”