Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Top 20 tax-procrastinating cities

Texas and California lead the nation in residents who wait until the last week to file their returns.

By Kay Bell Apr 4, 2011 8:06AM

April has arrived, meaning millions of taxpayers are scrambling to finish their 2010 tax returns. Except, if this tax filing season is like previous ones, in Houston.


For the fifth time in 10 years, Houston has claimed top honors, if you want to call it that, on TurboTax's annual list of America's most tax procrastinating cities. It was the latest-filing city the year before, too.


In fact, it seems that many of my fellow Texans aren't in a big hurry to finish up federal returns. Three of the five slowest filing cities are in the Lone Star State.


My laid-back neighbors here in Austin helped the Texas capital come in fourth for the second year in a row. Just to our south is San Antonio, which debuted at number five. Dallas eked into the top 10. Big D had been number nine the previous year.


Only California comes close to Texas in tax procrastination. The Golden State had three cities in the top 10 and another in the top 20.


TurboTax compiled the list, now in its 10th year, based on the number of tax returns electronically filed via the tax preparation software's online service between April 14-17, 2010.


The full list of this year's late-filing cities, with last year's rankings of the top 10 in parenthesis, is:

  1. Houston (1)
  2. Chicago (2)
  3. New York (3)
  4. Austin, Texas (4)
  5. San Antonio, Texas (New to list)
  6. San Francisco (5)
  7. Seattle (6)
  8. San Diego (7)
  9. Los Angeles (8)
  10. Dallas (9)
  11. Las Vegas
  12. Washington, D.C.
  13. Portland, Ore.
  14. Atlanta
  15. Phoenix
  16. Philadelphia
  17. Orlando
  18. Jacksonville, Fla.
  19. Tampa
  20. San Jose, Calif.

Ask for more time


Tax procrastination isn't limited to these 20 cities. TurboTax estimates that 27% of taxpayers wait until the last two weeks of tax season to file their taxes. 


If you're one of those who, even with three extra days (until April 18) to file this year, just can't get your 1040 filled out, then send in a Form 4868, electronically or by old-fashioned mail, to get six more months to file.


The IRS says that around 10 million folks a year seek an extension so they can put off their filing duties until mid-October.


Remember, though, that the extension is for the forms only. IRS grants the automatic extension to file, not to pay.


If you owe any taxes, you need to pay that amount or as much of it as you can or the IRS will tack on penalty and interest charges.


More from Don't Mess with Taxes and MSN Money:


Don't be so fast to label the people who do not file early. It very well could be that these people are more financially knowledgeable than the average person. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the late filing could have something to do with the screwed up complications of the tax code? Form 1099 Div, with qualified dividends comes to mind. In my opinion the smart person will plan to always owe taxes and pay at the last minute. Why would anyone be happy with a tax refund? Yes, those who are stupid enough to loan the government money for free. I did not start my tax until the first week of March and since then I have received 2 corrected copies of 1099 forms. Because I would rather file at the end of the season, than fool with an amended return, my return will be transmitted on or about April 15.
Apr 9, 2011 10:29AM
The majority of the cities are bastions of liberal thinking and rhetoric.  They want every body else to pay taxes but not liberals
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.