Procrastination & Taxes


According to Psychology Today, procrastination can vary from low self-esteem, anxiety, not having structure, or not being able to motivate oneself to finish an unpleasant activity. They also link it to being fixated on negative thinking patterns, which could lead to depression.

Here are common reasons people procrastinate filing taxes:

Fear of owing money

Fear of owing money can be challenging if you already are struggling financially. However, filing your return on time means no late filing fees. It gives you the opportunity to set up a payment plan and calculate your tax withholding for the upcoming year. If you wait until April 15, that’s 3 months of unadjusted withholding. 

Daunting task

Doing your own return is a daunting task, but it’s definitely doable. The earlier you start, the more time you will have to review it. The IRS will adjust the return if you have omitted something or made a mistake. You can also amend your return

File for an extension if you cannot file on time. Just remember, it’s an extension to file your return and not for payment. Pay what’s due by April 15th if you have a balance due to avoid penalties. Payment is 100% of what you owed the previous tax year or 90% or projected income for the current tax year. Apply for a payment plan if you cannot pay in full. Consider setting up a routine around your finances to make the task less overwhelming.

Fear of being audited

If you are afraid of being audited, examine the root of your concern and seek help. See my blog on Work Accommodation Ideas for Anxiety if it’s interfering with your work. Additionally, speak to your accountant about your fears, as they can provide you with a different perspective. You can find information on audits here. This will help you understand what to expect. Of course, seek professional help to assist you with the matter.

Mindful Reminder

Be patient and give yourself ample time to gather your information. Refer to the previous year’s return as a guide. Use a method to recollect and focus yourself if you get frustrated. Then, return to it when you are peaceful again. Being calm will make the process a lot easier.

Attend a Workshop

If you are interested in attending a live webinar on improving your relationship with your finances, please visit my events.


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IRS. (2023). Correct/amend your return. Retrieved from:

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IRS. (2023). Tax withholding estimator. Retrieved from:

IRS. (2023). What is the due date of my federal tax return or am I eligible to request an extension?  Retrieved from:

Psychology Today. (2019). Late filing taxes? Blame your brain. Retrieved from: 

Psychology Today. (n.d.) Procrastination. Retrieved from: