Tax Day Stress: BE GONE!
Well, today’s the day! Did you get your taxes filed in time?
Believe me; I know that tax time isn’t easy. Between gathering receipts, worrying about having to dish out money, and dreading the mere possibility of being audited, it’s no wonder we feel stressed at tax time. So stressed, in fact, that a recent study found an increase in fatal traffic accidents on tax day. Yikes!
Tax Deadlines and Traffic Deaths Linked
A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the rate of fatal traffic accidents has risen an average of six percent over the last 30 years on tax filing days. The research found that over the last 30 years there were 226 fatal crashes in the United States for each of the 30 tax filing days, as opposed to 213 fatal accidents for each of the 60 “non-tax” days. Canadian researchers also noted a similar trend related to their end of April tax deadline.
Tax Time Stress and Your Health
Tax stress, like a lot of other deadline-related stress, can take a severe toll on your health. Problems such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, and even increased alcohol and drug use can be the result. Feeling distracted and weighed down by your stress can wreak havoc in your day-to-day life activities, which in turn leads to even more stress. Stress can also cause a myriad of physical symptoms, such as headaches and migraines, gastrointestinal upset, and an increased heart rate.
3 Tips for Dealing with Tax Stress
While one of the best ways to eliminate tax stress is to get started on your taxes early, chances are that you’re here because you’ve waited for crunch time . . . like so many do. However, these simple tips will help you deal with the stress of filing your taxes – if not this year, then in the years to come.
Ask for Help: If you plan on doing your taxes on your own, enlist the help of a tax-savvy friend or family member to help you get organized and fill out the forms. Having someone to help takes some of the stress off of you and gives you a healthy sounding board to vent to during the process. You also have the added security of a second set of eyes to catch any mistakes that you might miss when you’re feeling tired, frustrated, or stressed.
Make it Fun: Taxes may be anything but fun, but by making your favorite snacks to munch on and putting on some music, doing your taxes can be a little more relaxing. Just avoid throwing too much alcohol into the mix which can slow you down or render you pretty useless when it comes to paying attention to detail and calculating coherently!
Hire a Professional: As much as you may cringe at the idea of parting with any more of your hard-earned money at tax time, hiring a professional is a great way to eliminate the stress and hassles associated with filing taxes and provides you with some valuable assistance should you get audited.
And remember, if you got them done on time today, you’re set for another year! Unless you had to file an extension . . . in which case, re-read tips 1-3 above.