If the words “tax season” or “Tax Day” immediately make your heart race, you’re in the company of many stressed-out, anxious people. Even before those dreaded W-2 forms arrive in the mailbox, anxiety about money is a constant companion for millions of people. According to Everyday Health’s Women’s Wellness Survey, 62 percent of millennials and 56 percent of Generation Xers worry about finances on a weekly basis. Sometimes people procrastinated filing taxes for three reasons: Being nervous about making a mistake, afraid to owe money and the anxiety over confusing forms.
Kayce Hodos, a licensed professional counselor, tells us that tax season evokes anxiety because it’s natural to be afraid of things we can’t control and things we don’t understand. “For most of us who do not have CPA training and expertise, strange terms like W-2, 1099, 1040, Schedule K and all the others send fear up our spines,” Hodos says. “It’s because we are extremely worried, we have made some kind of major error throughout the year or we’re going to make some huge mistake or forget something important that will cause the IRS to come arrest us and throw us in jail.”
Let’s make sure we have a solution to calm down the anxiety so that we can all move forward this season with a clear mind, re-educating ourselves and being prepared can make tax season a little easier. Common coping techniques include learning to stay grounded, guided meditation and mindfulness exercises such as focusing the 8 ways we can get through the season.
Be proactive, not reactive
Clear your desk
Anticipate complex issues
Set reasonable, achievable, daily goals on collecting your information
Plan a vacation for the end of tax season