Tax Season and Stress Management: Where Did the Money Go?
It’s tax season. Money is a major source of stress and tax season just puts that stress center stage. Let’s talk about how you can reduce your stress this season.
3 Simple Tips for Stress Reduction
Keep in mind that not all of the changes are drastic!
As the tax season kicks off, remember that nothing has happened to the standard deductions and personal exemption amounts for 2017. They’re still on your 1040 for 2017. The standard deduction doubles during the 2018 tax year. The new withholding tables for 2018 don’t affect your 2017 tax return due this year. And there are no significant changes to the 2017 Schedule C, E, or F.
Here’s how you can relieve some of that stress in 3 actionable steps:
- Get started early with an accountability partner.
The earlier you start, the earlier you finish. File early and get the job done by breaking it apart into smaller, more manageable pieces. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, getting started is the hardest part. Get an accountability partner to nudge you to prioritize your taxes this year.
- Hire a preparer or use tax software.
If you have math anxiety, tackle that stressor first. You can use a tax preparer, but you need to choose wisely because you’re legally responsible for what’s on it. According to the IRS, more than half of taxpayers hire a professional when it’s time to file a tax return. Check that the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which authorizes them to prepare federal tax returns. Consider that there are differing levels of skills, education and expertise when you’re selecting a tax return preparer.
Tax software collects information through an interview and a computer does the calculations for you. Online tax services get the job done. They provide context sensitive help when you have questions and some sites offer connections to tax professionals via chat, email or phone. Check out some of your better options.
- File an extension if you’re overwhelmed.
Tax-time stress can be cut off at the stem if you work on better money management. But that’s easier said than done. If you missed out on mapping a plan for tax season, then it’s likely that your stress has built up to the point where you’re completely overwhelmed. Consider filing an extension with the IRS. In this case the right solution is buying more time for yourself.
Yes, taxes feel scary. If you haven’t been meticulous about keeping your tax papers in order during the year, you can set yourself up in the right place for the following tax season, whether you’re simply sorting things out for yourself or your business.
And this year’s taxes?
Deep breaths. Follow these simple steps and realize by the time you’re done, you’ll have finished one of the hardest things you need to get out of the way this season.
LegalShield is here if things get complicated. From making simple mistakes to a full audit, we’ve got you covered.
This is not intended to be legal advice, financial planning or tax advice. Please contact a professional for further information.