Article | 2:16 min read

4 Ways to Conquer the Stress of Tax Season

Budget and Save

Tax season is quickly approaching, so your stress levels may be on the rise. Don’t let the beginning of a new year get the better of you. Here are four ways to beat that tax season stress.

A couple discussing tax questions

1. Get organized.
With tax season often comes a lot of procrastination. The pressure to complete every task in a timely manner can be overwhelming, especially when you feel like you don't have enough time in a day in the first place. This may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid tax procrastination and the stress that comes with it is to stay organized. Clutter has been proven to raise the levels of stress-related hormones [1], so sit down and make an organizational plan that works best for you. For example, don't wait until the last minute to gather all 500 of the receipts lying on your desk, but rather place them into a file folder or envelope as they come.

2. Change your mindset.
Finances are one of the top causes, if not the top cause, of stress for most Americans. In fact, 90 percent of Americans surveyed by the American Psychological Association say that their stress about money has stayed the same or gotten worse [2]. No matter how much money you make, you're not protected from the stress that it causes. So rather than focusing on the check you bring home every month, try to focus on changing your mindset about money. It may be easier said than done, but reminding yourself that life experiences often outweigh any money issue you may have is a small step in the right direction.

3. Leave the past in the past.
Tax season highlights all of your financial activity from the past year, so it's easy to get hung up on any financial regrets you may have had. Even if you don't have any issues with your spending pattern from the past year, you may find yourself getting impatient with a spouse or partner because of their money habits. Rather than focusing on the past, make it a priority to focus on the future. Set goals for the new year, and use the lessons you have learned to grow. Forget about last tax season and work to make this tax season a fresh start.

4. Treat yourself.
While on the topic of setting goals, it's important to note that rewarding yourself for achieving those important goals could pay off in the long run. Tax season isn't exactly one of the most exciting topics, so treating yourself makes the whole process a little more fun. It may seem hard to spice up taxes, but you would be surprised what rewarding yourself here and there can do for your morale.

The more you practice stress management, the better you'll feel when the next tax season comes around.


[1] Home Organization is Major Source of Stress for Americans, Huffington Post
[2] Money issues are still really stressing Americans out, CNN Money


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