Procrastinating income tax filing could create high financial penalties

Katie Greenwald

Students procrastinate on studying for exams, working on projects and finishing up assignments.

And many times the cost is a low grade.

But the cost of procrastinating on filing taxes could be high fines.

Taxes are due to be postmarked by tomorrow at 11:59 p.m., and the Akron Post Office on Wolf Ledges Parkway stays open until that time every April 15 to take on the swarm of procrastinators.

Late filing can cost taxpayers up to 25 percent of what they owe in interest rates, according to

And it says taxpayers should file on time even if they can’t afford to pay what they owe.

Adell Pound, tax preparer at the tax agency H&R Block, agrees.

“They’ll penalize you for not filing,” she said. “If you file but don’t send the money, there’s not as big of a penalty. At least they know you’re trying.”

IRS officials may set up installment plans with individuals or be willing to consider a compromise, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

But some still don’t file taxes on time, or at all.

When that happens repeatedly, IRS officials take the liberty of sending those individuals a tax bill, but they don’t factor in deductions, and the taxpayer could lose out.

For those who will receive a refund, there are no penalties for late filing, at least not for three years. At that point the taxpayer could lose the whole refund.

An incentive for filing the return on time is the speed of the return.

Anyone with a checking account will receive a refund within two weeks of filing, said Becky Anoman, operations manager at Jackson Hewitt tax agency, even if they wait until tomorrow to file.

She said the swarm of forms doesn’t hold the IRS up. It categorizes forms received on a daily basis, and those refunds are sent back within two weeks.

Taxpayers without a checking account will have to wait longer, up to eight weeks to receive their refunds.

Anoman said this is because the forms have to be processed manually instead of by computer, and that takes longer.

Contact student finance reporter at [email protected].