10 Ways to Reduce Stress During Tax Season

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Tax season can be gruesome if you are constantly stressed out while trying to get all of your financial information together for the IRS. It dones't have to be this way and can actually go quite smoothly.

Instead of waiting until midnight on April 15th to finally file your taxes, here are a few tips to prepare in advance and reduce the stress during tax season.

  1. Be prepared - You know April 15th is coming. Every year it happens on the same date; 4/15. Keeping in mind that tax time is right around the corner will help reduce some of that stress because you will be more prepared when it actually arrives.
  2. Keep good records - Right along with being prepared, is keeping good records. Keeping your records organized and exact on a daily basis, helps keep you from stressing over the deductions you have been missing.
  3. Start early - Starting at the end of January will always reduce the stress of tax season. Starting April 10th, however, will most likely do the opposite.
  4. Finish early - Even though you started early, in your effort to reduce stress, finishing early is another big component. If you start early, but put off completing your tax forms, it will make it even more stressful.
  5. Stay on task - Studies have shown that sticking with a task will reduce stress and also allow you to finish it up faster than if you tried to multitask. Decide to finish what you start instead of being distracted by another task.
  6. Take breaks - Taking a short break every hour will help your body to reduce stress by staying loose. Taking a break does not mean sitting there at the computer and surfing the web. Stand up, get a cup of tea, look out into the distant horizon to relax your eyes, and breathe deeply. In other words, relax.
  7. Double check - Once you have the weight of the world off your shoulders because your taxes are finally finished, you should probably double check to make sure everything is filled in correctly and signed. If you don't take a second glance, chances are you will stress over that one thing you "know" you forgot to do.
  8. Exercise - Getting up and moving around is good to get the blood flowing, but actualy taking the time to exercise will greatly reduce stress. By increasing the oxygen to your brain by exercising your body, your mind will be able to focus on the task at hand.
  9. Get professional advice - Getting a professional opinion on your tax return will greatly reduce your stress because you will have peace of mind that, in the eyes of someone who prepares taxes for a living, you have done everything correctly and in accordance with the latest laws.
  10. Reward yourself - This doesn't have anything to do with taxes, but it will reduce stress if you promise yourself something as a reward for finishing. A dinner, a show, a vacation...While you are having a good time you can reflect on how nice it is to not feel the stress while others are trying to beat the deadline. There is no better feeling than the absolute absence of tax time stress!

-Unknown author at FocalPoint International Newsletter

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