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They both have significant financial implications and can cause you a lot of stress. But it doesn’t have to be so.

The overwhelming feelings brought on by the impending tax deadline can lead to high anxiety. Becoming aware of your tax-time stress triggers is the first step in reducing that stress. Once you do, you can shift your attitude and consider the solutions.

Almost everyone procrastinates.

Is your paperwork disorganized in piles everywhere, causing your cortisol hormones to rise and pushing you into a stressful state? Or are you a worrier constantly thinking about what you may owe, which makes you avoid the whole process? Experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Stop worrying and start making a plan…and write it down.

Does math anxiety contribute to your stress factor?

Investing in tax software or one of the many tax services may be helpful. Free tax services are available to help with cost and preparation. And did you know the IRS offers free tax counseling for the elderly?

Preparation is key.

Divide the job into manageable chunks.” Then, make appointments with yourself in writing on your calendar. Keep the appointments and avoid procrastination (there’s that word again!) While you’re at it, think about next year. This is a great time to find an improved method for tracking your expenses and monitoring your money. Plan ahead by reading the IRS sheets on tax planning.

The IRS is your friend.

Ironically, in the IRS Tips to Help Take the Stress Out of Tax Season, step 9 says, “Avoid errors.” Reading this brings up my stress level, especially since I went to Catholic school and, oh, those nuns, they made an impression. As some experts explain, people can have unresolved issues around authority figures, and that can cause anxiety and fear. But there are many great tools provided by the IRS including the Interactive Tax Assistant, also known as ITA.

Get the information you need.

Review the IRS Credits and Deductions page to find out about new provisions.

Read What You Need to Know for the 2024 Tax Season from the New York Times.

How did the Buddha get through tax season?

There is a reason why there are many statues of the Buddha laughing. If working on your paperwork puts you on edge, listen to music while organizing your data. Or reward yourself with something fun as you complete each step. During any stressful period, taking care of yourself by eating well, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, and relaxing is essential. “Find something that makes you laugh and smile, get a massage, or just breathe deeply.” And again, plan for next year and start “cultivating financial mindfulness.”

Wishing you the best this tax season. Remember, to take the stress out of your real estate decisions, stay calm and call me at 617-797-9497. If I don’t pick up, I’m probably relaxing and I’ll call you back as soon as I’m done.

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