IPX1031 Insight Blog

Tax Day 2021: America’s Biggest Procrastinators

NOTE: For the latest data, please take a look at our Tax Procrastinators 2024 report.

We’re all guilty of a little procrastination every now and then, but who procrastinates the longest when it comes to filing taxes?

Tax Day is right around the corner and the window for procrastinating on filing your taxes is getting smaller.

In order to find out where America’s biggest tax filing procrastinators are located, we recently analyzed Google searches in all 50 states and the 30 largest cities in America during last year’s tax season (January – July 2020).

Our analysis included total search volume for phrases and questions related to keywords such as “can I file taxes late,” “need tax extension” and “last day to file taxes” as well variations of those keywords and phrases.

Biggest Tax Day Filing Procrastinators by State

Similar to our 2020 Tax Day Procrastinators analysis, California remains within the top 5 on the list. The “Golden State” ranks No. 5 with its neighbor, Nevada, coming in at No. 4, and then Delaware (No. 3) and Hawaii (No. 2). Alaska tops our list of biggest procrastinators at No. 1.

Our list of states procrastinating the least is relatively unchanged from last year’s analysis. Midwestern states once again rank lowest on our list including states like Iowa (No. 50), South Dakota (No. 34), Nebraska (No. 37), Michigan (No. 49), Wisconsin (No. 47), Minnesota (No. 40), Illinois (No. 38), Missouri (No. 44) and Indiana (No. 45) are among states with the lowest searches per capita and all rank within the bottom 20.

Biggest Tax Day Filing Procrastinators by City

Our analysis also took a closer look at Tax Day filing procrastination by looking at searches within the top 30 most populous cities in the country.

This year’s rankings of biggest procrastinators by city looks very similar to last year’s rankings. Las Vegas is once again No. 1 on our list followed by Denver (No. 2), Seattle (No. 3), Baltimore (No. 4) and Portland (No. 5). Austin (No. 6), Washington D.C. (No. 7), San Francisco (No. 8), Dallas (No. 9) and Nashville (No. 10) round out the remaining top ten.

2021 Tax Day Filing Procrastination 

If you tend to procrastinate when it comes to filing your taxes, you’re not alone. According to respondents in a survey we conducted, one-third wait until the last minute to file their taxes. The most common excuse for procrastination is that filing your taxes is “too time-consuming,” according to respondents.

2021 Tax Refund Expectations

The average federal tax refund for individuals for the 2020 filing season was $2,707, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But it’s interesting to see that Americans expect a lower refund this year. According to respondents, Americans say they expect to receive an average of $2,059.

Tax Refund Spending Regrets

How many Americans regret how they spend their tax refund once they receive it? One in five respondents say they regret how they spent their tax refund last year and men are more likely than women to have tax refund spending regrets. One of the most common regrets Americans have is not saving more of their tax refund.

Stimulus Check Spending Regrets

In an effort to help stimulate the economy due to the impact of the pandemic, the federal government recently began sending out stimulus checks to qualifying Americans. Similar checks were sent out twice last year, but 20% of Americans say they regret how they spent those first two rounds of checks. Similar to tax refund spending regrets, Americans also say they wished they had saved more of their stimulus funds.

How Americans Plan to Spend Their Tax Refund, Stimulus Check

How do Americans plan to spend their tax refund and stimulus check this year? According to respondents, 38% say they’ll spend each check differently while 30% say they’ll spend them in similar ways.

The most common way Americans plan to spend both their refund and stimulus is by saving it, paying off debt and on everyday expenses.

When is Tax Day 2021? 

Before you make plans on how you’ll spend your tax refund just make sure you remember to file your taxes – and file them on time. According to respondents, nearly one-third of Americans need a reminder on when Tax Day is this year, so be sure to set a calendar reminder.

Interested in learning more about 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges?  You can use our Capital Gain Estimator or click here to learn more about how a 1031 Exchange can help preserve and grow your assets when selling and buying investment properties.


In March 2021, we surveyed 1,002 Americans between the ages of 18-75. Forty-nine percent of respondents were female and 51% were male. The average age of respondents was 39 years old.

Using the Google AdWords platform, we analyzed total search volume for more than 100 phrases and questions related to tax filing keywords such as “can I file taxes late,” “need tax extension” and “last day to file taxes” as well variations of those keywords and phrases. Search volume for these phrases and keywords was analyzed for last year’s tax season over the period of January 2020 to July 2020 (last year’s tax filing deadline was extended due to the pandemic). Total search volume during this period was then calculated per capita and visualized per 100,000 for each state and major metro city with a population of 600,000 or more.

Sources: 2019 and 2020 tax return filing statistics – Internal Revenue Service

For media inquiries, contact media@digitalthirdcoast.net

Read more:

1031 Information Exchangers Should Know When Filing Taxes
Tax Day 2024: America’s Biggest Procrastinators
Tax Day 2023: America’s Biggest Procrastinators
Tax Day 2022: America’s Biggest Procrastinators
Tax Day 2021: America’s Biggest Procrastinators
Tax Day 2020: America’s Biggest Procrastinators
1031 Exchange and Defer? Or Sell and Pay Taxes?
Best Large Cities to Buy Investment Property 2020

Locate a 1031 Expert In Your Area

Recent Posts

Will Adding/Deleting My Spouse Impact My 1031 Exchange?

Spousal Vesting Issues: 1031 Solutions When Adding or Removing Spouse from Legal Title Generally, no changes should be made to the way title to property is held shortly before or after property is sold/purchased via a 1031 Exchange. For example, if title to an...

1031 Update on Capitol Hill – April 2024

1031 Coalition Letter & DC Fly-In​ April 17, 2024 IPX1031, in conjunction with our industry trade organization the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA), worked with the Real Estate Roundtable to circulate an updated 1031 Coalition letter to leaders of...

The Build to Suit Exchange

The build-to-suit exchange, also referred to as a construction or improvement exchange, gives the Exchanger the opportunity to use all or part of the exchange funds for construction, renovations or new improvements to the Replacement Property.

1031 Update on Capitol Hill – March 2024

Biden Releases FY2025 Budget Proposal March 14, 2024 Consistent with its prior budget proposals, the Biden Administration has proposed capping the gain that can be deferred through a like kind exchange at $500,000 per taxpayer ($1,000,000 for a married couple filing...

Pin It on Pinterest