Tomorrow’s tax day. If you’re still procrastinating, it could be genetic

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Photo: Tax returns, filed at the last minute in Florida 2010 (AP)
A postal worker collects last-minute tax filings at the Pembroke Pines, Fla. Post Office on April 15, 2010.

Tomorrow's the deadline to file tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. If you're planning to brew the coffee for an all-nighter, you're not alone.

"Generally speaking, we usually see about 25 percent of folks wait until the last several days to file their taxes," says Karen Connelly, IRS spokeswoman for Colorado.

Yet we wondered why people put off things like completing taxes when they know for months they'll have to do it. The reason -- at least in part -- is genetic, says Dan Gustavson, a doctoral candidate of cognitive psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder.

He studied more than 300 pairs of identical twins and fraternal twins to determine how likely they were to procrastinate (the results were published in the journal Psychological Science). Gustavson says the research reveals a genetic link to procrastination.

He also says there is a correlation between procrastination and impulsive behavior: Those who are more impulsive are more likely to procrastinate, and impulsive behavior reduces individuals' focus on long-term goals.

Gustavson spoke about procrastination with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

If you've put off filing your taxes and need an extension, the IRS has long accommodated procrastinators. To help motivate you, the IRS reports that, as of April 3, the average return this year was more than $2,800.