Don’t stress about tax day during National Stress Awareness Month 2017

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cat working at a computer in a frenzy to meet tax day deadlineIt’s ironic that tax day falls in April during National Stress Awareness Month.

Who doesn’t experience at least a little anxiety when it comes to collecting receipts, firing up the calculator, and filling out what may sometimes seem like endless forms?

Even if taxes don’t make you anxious, they still take time and can create worry and dread.

That worry and dread can spill over into our sleeping lives and cost us important hours of rest while we chase racing thoughts in the dark. 

The stress of tax day

Many of us begin to think about taxes in late January when companies send out 1099 forms.

But April seems so far away, so we put aside the task while deep cleaning closets, shoveling snow, or watching basketball games all weekend.

Then we get busy with yard chores and projects with our kids, and Spring break arrives, and Wham! Tax Day lurks right around the corner, suddenly, like a scary man in a dark coat in the shadows.

Stressful enough for you?cat would rather nap than face tax day

This year, the news is all good for procrastinators! The usual tax filing date of April 15 falls on a Saturday, so it has been extended this year! You have until midnight on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 to file your 2016 tax return, which is a 3-day extension!

So, as you sit down to sort, calculate, organize, and review the numbers, remember that taxes may be stressful, but don’t let that stress interrupt your sleep.

Here’s a simple plan to get through the tax hump:

  • Pencil in an ample block of time on
    your calendar to take care of your returns (ideally well before April 18, 2017), and then dig in and get them done
  • If, for some reason, you have particularly complex returns (say, due to unexpected inheritance taxes) and you don’t think you’ll be ready by then, don’t sweat it: file an extension, if appropriate
  • Once your returns (or extension) are filed, take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back, then think about ways you can make your taxes even easier to do next year