April 15 Syndrome

Economic Inquiry, Volume 35, Number 4, October 1997

Posted: 11 May 1998

See all articles by Joel B. Slemrod

Joel B. Slemrod

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Charles W. Christian

Arizona State University

Rebecca London

Berkeley Planning Associates

Jonathan A. Parker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

In tax year 1988, delaying filing income tax returns cost the 73.2 million taxpayers claiming refunds nearly one billion dollars of interest. "Impatient" tax filers, who mail in their tax payments before the filing deadline, passed up $46 million in interest. We develop a model of tax filing based on stochastic opportunity cost, and then investigate whether filing times are consistent with that model. We find some evidence for this because, ceteris paribus, higher refunds are associated with earlier filing and complex returns are associated with later filing, as are higher incomes (as a proxy for higher costs of time).

JEL Classification: H24

Suggested Citation

Slemrod, Joel B. and Christian, Charles W. and London, Rebecca and Parker, Jonathan A., April 15 Syndrome. Economic Inquiry, Volume 35, Number 4, October 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=57387

Joel B. Slemrod (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Room R5396
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-936-3914 (Phone)
734-763-4032 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Charles W. Christian

Arizona State University ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3606
United States
480-820-7016 (Phone)

Rebecca London

Berkeley Planning Associates ( email )

Oakland, CA
United States

Jonathan A. Parker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA
United States
617-253-7218 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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