Magazine article Psychology Today

The Tax Man Cometh

Magazine article Psychology Today

The Tax Man Cometh

Article excerpt

TAXES TRIGGER STRESS AND ANXIETY SO RELIABLY, IT SEEMS AS IF THEY WERE DESIGNED TO DO SO.

TAX DAY, THE anti-holiday, looms. Why is the concept of paying the government so psychologically, ahem, taxing? The obligation to pay taxes summons a perfect storm of classic stressors, but you can take shelter with these simple strategies. -Matt Huston

1 Take the Wheel

Taxpayers report feeling a loss of personal freedom, not just money, finds a recent study in Symbolic Interaction, and feelings of powerlessness can amplify the stress response.

the fix Knowledge is power: Learning the basics of tax preparation can help you feel more in control. Take a comprehensive course with a major tax preparer or peruse free taxes guides online.

2 Give Tax a Chance

Many Americans assume their tax dollars are spent unwisely. People even prefer tax discounts over other, larger savings, find University of Warwick's Christopher Olivóla and Princeton's Abigail Sussman.

the fix Look on the bright side. …

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