Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Filing Taxes: Pitfalls of Procrastination

Written by Eva Rosenberg on March 7, 2012 in Tax  |   No comments

Tax return filing season lasts for just over 9 months for individuals and around 8 months for partnerships and corporations. You would think that would be more than enough time to gather last year’s data or do last year’s books and start filing taxes. But…

Tax return filing season lasts for just over 9 months for individuals and around 8 months for partnerships and corporations. You would think that would be more than enough time to gather last year’s data or do last year’s books and start filing taxes.

But some people find it impossible to get things done, even with that much time available. What are the consequences for procrastinating on filing your taxes?

Tax consequences of short-term procrastination

As an example, let’s look at the tax return of a woman named Nancy. Nancy’s tax return seemed pretty easy. In February, she brought everything to her enrolled agent (EA)—except her mortgage interest statement. April rolled around and Nancy wasn’t ready to file her taxes so she filed for an extension.

By late September, her EA was calling, emailing, and even sending her mail, begging her for that one missing document. Nancy didn’t have it, but she could have called up the lender, entered her loan number, pressed a key, and voila, she would have been given the amount over the phone in minutes. Unfortunately, she didn’t do this.

Nancy missed the deadline for filing taxes (October 15). She finally got her act together in December, but her EA was on vacation. When the EA returned, Nancy’s problem was not her priority. Nancy finally filed her taxes early the following February. It turned out that her mortgage interest was much less than she had figured, so she owed taxes—plus a penalty and interest.

Had Nancy filed by April 15, she would only have faced a small underpayment penalty. She had $1,000 due, but the underpayment penalty would only have been about $25. Filing late meant Nancy instead owed a 25 percent late-filing penalty, a 5 percent late-payment penalty, and interest at about 5 percent. With $1,000 due, Nancy had to pay an additional $300.

Tax consequences of filing at the last minute

When you’re trying to finish something right at last minute, mistakes can happen. There just isn’t time to do the proofreading necessary to ensure you’ve entered everything into your tax return properly. You also don’t have time to search out credits that you’re entitled to use, which means you’ll often shortchange yourself by hundreds—or thousands—of dollars. Sure, you can amend your tax returns later. But it’s expensive. And it takes about three to four months to get your refund.

Tax consequences of long-term procrastination

If notices from the IRS and/or the state are piling up, you’re probably afraid to open them. But when you get that scary registered letter, you’re going to know for sure that you’re in trouble.

The IRS and the state create substitute tax returns when you don’t prepare your own. They compute your balance due as single with no dependents and no deductions based on information they get from W-2s and 1099s. You end up with the highest taxes possible in this scenario. And if you do nothing, they will start impounding your bank account or attaching your wages or accounts receivable.

Perhaps you’re not really worried. You’ve always been paid on W-2s, with enough withholding. You probably have a tax refund coming to you. You figure you can file anytime.

Meet Stavros. An American pilot based in Europe, he has lots of withholding. He also tossed in an extra $10,000 or $20,000 each year with his extensions, but he didn’t file for over 10 years.

When he got around to filing, he was shocked. He was due over $100,000 worth of tax refunds, but he couldn’t get them. Why? The IRS won’t give you your tax refund if you file more than three years after the due date of your tax return.

So avoid the errors and the terrors of filing taxes late. Cure your procrastination. Put an appointment with yourself on your calendar, and just get your tax return done!

Money Management Tips: Storing Your Paperwork
Last-Minute Ideas for Saving Money on Your Taxes
Documenting Your Donations for Tax Deductions
Tax Deduction for Claiming Elderly Relatives and Dependents
Tax Tips: Tax Implications of a New Baby
Paying Taxes on Self-Employed or Side Income

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Comments are closed.

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Tax Archive