On March 21, 2020, the IRS announced that it would automatically extend both the tax filing deadline 2020 as well as payments to now be due on July 15, 2020. Great news for those that owe taxes. However, not great news for those who like to procrastinate.
And you know who you are. Waiting until the last possible moment. Scouring your home for all the paperwork you need. Frantically working on your taxes just days, if not hours, before you efile or rush to the post office.
But with all that is going on with the coronavirus, the IRS extended the tax filing deadline 2020 to July 15th. There is no reason to wait, however, if you are due a refund. In fact, the IRS is encouraging you to file as soon as you can, in order to get the refund. And with more families in dire situations, that is excellent advice.
Even if you owe taxes, if you are comfortable with the amount, continue to be working and have no major fear of being laid off, you could file and pay. However, if you are in a situation where you cannot afford the tax payment or perhaps do not want to part with the cash, you do have an automatic three months to file and pay.
For those that are procrastinators, you got lucky and earned another three months. However, instead of continuing the not-so-great habit of procrastination, ignore the tax filing deadline 2020 change and get to work. Even if you owe and actually don’t file or pay until the extended deadline, let’s save the stress of doing it on July 14th.
I mean, just imagine it is three months later, a lot has happened and your paper work is even more scattered. Or maybe, even worse, your situation changes and you need the refund faster, but you are still weeks away because you haven’t filed yet.
Plus, can you imagine the amazing feeling of actually not stressing to get something done at the last minute? To have the freedom of it not weighing on you? To cross it off the to-do list?
Here are some tips to stop procrastinating in general:
- Eat the frog. Start every day off with the most important task. Not only are most people more energetic in the morning, getting the big, important task, and one you might dread, out of the way, makes for a better and more productive day.
- Keep a list. Whether you call it a to-do list or something else, keep track of what you need to do and what you did. Hand written or reminders/tasks in an electronic calendar, whatever works for you.
- Take a break. Usually when we procrastinate it is because it is a task we don’t like or don’t want to do. So, take a break when working on the task. Try not to weigh yourself down with the whole task in one sitting. This is especially true if it will take more than an hour.
- Reward yourself. Take a moment and reward yourself once the task is done. Reinforce positive outcomes with a nice treat for yourself.
- Stay organized. Whether it is papers or computer files, stay as organized as possible. There is nothing more frustrating than finally sitting down to complete the tax to realize you don’t have everything you need.
- Eliminate distractions. If that means you have to close the door to your office, or reserve a study room at the library, whatever you need to do to eliminate distractions do it. And this does include turning off your phone.
While we have an extension on the tax filing deadline 2020, if you take the time to apply these tips to your life now, next year’s deadline, which will assume is staying in April, should not sneak up on you. The goal is to have your brain rewired within the year to not procrastinate. So start today, as your future self will thank you for it.