Health Watch - Tax Time: Procrastination

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


It’s tax season, and those who haven’t filed their tax returns yet are probably feeling some stress. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about tax time and dealing with the related stress. If you haven’t done your taxes yet, that may say something about how you feel about your finances.

Generally, people who expect to have to pay additional taxes are more likely to delay filing, while those who expect a refund will file sooner. Dr. H.M. “Monty” Evans, a psychologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says psychology may also play a role in tax procrastination. Preparing your taxes forces you to face facts about your finances that you might prefer to ignore. You may not want to be realistic about your finances or you may not want to acknowledge just how much your stocks have fallen. Procrastination may come from anger about bureaucracy or the government. Taxes could also be an unpleasant reminder of personal events like a divorce.  

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April 2011


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