Tax expert: Taxpayers are 'in summer mode' as deadline looms

Denitsa Tsekova
·Reporter

Tax day is just around the corner, but many Americans may be still waiting until the last moment to file their taxes, according to one tax expert.

“A lot of people are not really thinking about: ‘Oh my god, my taxes are due,’” Paul Miller, founder of Miller & Company Founder, recently told Yahoo Finance. “We're sending out mass emails to tell people to give them the heads-up. A lot of people are in summer mode and they're not really thinking about it.”

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July 15 is not only the deadline for your tax returns, but also for filing for an extension if you need one. Additionally, for taxpayers who pay quarterly estimated tax payments, the first- and second-quarter payments for 2020 are also due on July 15.

July 15 is not only the deadline for your tax returns, but also for filing for an extension if you need one. Additionally, for taxpayers who pay quarterly estimated tax payments, the first- and second-quarter payments for 2020 are also due. (Photo: Getty Creative)
July 15 is not only the deadline for your tax returns, but also for filing for an extension if you need one. Additionally, for taxpayers who pay quarterly estimated tax payments, the first- and second-quarter payments for 2020 are also due. (Photo: Getty Creative)

“Everybody waits till the last minute. Nobody wants to pay. Everybody wants to wait,” Miller said. “The people who generally file early are the people who want refunds, the people who are getting money back.”

Around 140 million tax returns are expected to be processed in 2020 with 120 million already filed as of May 22, according to a report by the National Taxpayer Advocate.

‘I'm suggesting to people to take their refund’

Taxpayers who mailed in their 2019 tax returns may have to wait longer to get their refunds, according to the report. Nearly 5 million paper tax returns are sitting in mail facilities and it’s unclear when all the returns can be processed. The Internal Revenue Service suspended the processing of paper tax returns at the end of March. 

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“They have just slowly opened the door to us, so as a professional we have access to the professional line,” Miller said. “We have experienced where they are letting us get more information, but I don't think the IRS is fully active yet.” 

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For those who get a refund, Miller advised taking it rather than applying it to next year’s estimated taxes, given the economic uncertainties they may face in the near future.

“It depends on each individual person, a lot of people are taking their refunds if you're in business and if you have your own business, you might be applying it,” he said. “But I'm suggesting to people to take their refund because you don't know how the rest of the year will play out.” 

Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.

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