Washington state residents ranked No. 10 in putting off taxes

(The Center Square) – With Tax Day only a few weeks away, a new study from IPX1031 shows Washington state residents cracking the top 10 in terms of biggest tax procrastinators among the 50 states.

IPX1031 is Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. The number refers to Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code, which allows investors to defer capital gains tax on the proceeds of a recently sold investment property by reinvesting the proceeds into another like-kind property of equal or greater value.

The company analyzed data from last year’s tax season to measure Google searches for questions like, “What happens if I file my taxes late?” and “When is it too late to file taxes?” and “Can I file late taxes?”

By that criteria, Washington state ranks high, according to Tricia Harte, who works for media relations on behalf of IPX1031.

“An analysis of Google Trends found that online searches related to late tax filings were higher, per capita, in the Evergreen State than in 40 other states during the 2021 tax season,” she said via email.

She went on to note, “Between January 2021 and May 2021, Washington saw spikes in searches related to tax procrastination that other states simply did not see.”

In comparing the states of the Pacific Northwest, Washington fare slightly better than No. 8 Oregon, but lagged far behind No. 31-ranked Idaho.

When it comes to tax procrastinations by city, Seattle cracked the top five on the list.

“When IPX1031 compared major metropolitan areas across the country, Seattle ranked 4th for highest search volume for tax procrastination-related phrases,” Harte explained, “indicating many Seattleites may be finding themselves in a pinch as the tax deadline approached.”

Another city in the region – Portland, Oregon – came in at No. 5 on that list.

Still, Washingtonians aren’t alone.

“Tax filing procrastination is not uncommon nationwide,” Harte pointed out. “The study revealed nearly one-third of Americans surveyed admit to waiting until the last minute to file their taxes. For some, their rationale lies in the anticipation of no return, while 25 percent put it off because it’s too complicated.”

Based on data from the IRS, the IPX1031 study found that the average federal tax refund people received in 2021 was $2,815, which is $108 more than the previous year. Per the study, Americans expect an average return of $1,915, which is 32% lower than the actual average tax refund.

When a tax deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, it's pushed back to the next available business day. April 15 is on a Friday this year, so the weekend rule doesn’t apply. But Emancipation Day – honoring the end of slavery in Washington, D.C. – is being observed in the District of Columbia on April 15. Since April 15 is a legal holiday in D.C., the IRS can't require tax returns to be filed that day. The next business day is April 18, so that becomes the new federal income tax filing deadline for most people.

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts get an extra day – April 19 – to file their federal income tax return. Patriots' Day, an official holiday in Maine and Massachusetts commemorating Revolutionary War battles, falls on April 18 this year.

The most procrastinating states are:

1. Nevada

2. Hawaii

3. Georgia

4. Alaska

5. California

6. Maryland

7. Colorado

8. Oregon

9. Delaware

10. Washington

The least procrastinating states are:

50. Iowa

49. Wisconsin

48. Minnesota

47. West Virginia

46. South Dakota

45. Indiana

44. Missouri

43. Oklahoma

42. Ohio

41. Louisiana

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