Tax Time Stress: Accountants Are Not the Only Ones Frustrated
The least favorite parts of doing taxes for U.S. adults, according to the survey are:
- 29 percent – paying money to the government
- 16 percent – the time it takes to prepare your taxes
- 12 percent – doing the tax paperwork
- 9 percent – paying for an accountant to do your taxes
- 9 percent – finding receipts to start your taxes
- 5 percent – itemizing deductions
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Some accountants have it worse. There are not that many occupations where the workloads increase dramatically for a three-month period each year. Juan Bellu, a New Jersey CPA, told the Asbury Park Press, “I’m working until 10 o’clock at night, every day. Everything else takes a back seat, birthdays and holidays – nothing is celebrated during tax time.”
“It’s just that too much is compressed into too short a time, so you constantly feel you’re under the gun,” James Scannella, another New Jersey accountant, said.
Ralph Albert Thomas, executive director of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, told the Asbury Park Press, “I think firms have gotten a lot more reasonable. They recognize that if they’re going to retain people, there has to be that sensitivity,” to combating employee burnout. Some firms order in dinner two nights a week, put out breakfast spreads on Saturday mornings, promote crazy hat parties and table soccer tournaments to break up the monotony that tax season can bring on.
The IRS recommends you give yourself time to do your taxes, gather your W-2s, 1099s, and other income forms, as well as necessary tax deduction forms needed to even start your taxes. About.com says deductions may also be found in your checkbook and credit card statements. If you are using a software program to prepare your taxes, ensure that it is installed and all updates have been downloaded. You should also ensure that your income, deduction, and credit records are sorted before starting.
Help is available from several IRS resources. About.com recommends you call 800-829-1040 to receive answers to your tax questions. Walk-in offices may also be available in your area. You can also access the IRS web site http://www.irs.gov  to download forms and publications and review information on tax law changes, calculators, links to IRS e-filing partners, and tax FAQs. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)  programs are also available for those taxpayers needing help but who can't afford preparation services. There may also be volunteer sites in your community.
After your taxes have been completed, reward yourself by doing something you enjoy or doing something you have not done before, according to About.com. Relieving the stress of doing your taxes is part of the process.