In honor of tax day I thought I would dedicate today’s blog post to tax preparation! Tax preparation can be stressful and can bring out the worst in people.
If we look at how you handle your tax deadline it will tell you a lot about how you handle stressful situations. For example, have you noticed that your super-organized friends usually have their information into the tax accountant months ahead of time? Or that your friends that are always twenty minutes late to everything are up for two days straight before taxes are due?
You read this and chuckle as you contemplate your friends’ personalities, but how do you handle your tax day preparation and what does it say about you?
For all of you that don’t have any stress related to getting your taxes in, this blog is not for you. This is for people that are having trouble getting started with their taxes or who always turn their taxes in at the last minute or turn them in late.
In an article about the psychology behind tax procrastination Kathleen Vohs, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, offers an explanation. She says that people like to feel good as long as possible so doing unpleasant tasks usually gets put off in favor of more pleasurable ones.
Doing taxes, generally speaking, is not considered a pleasurable task, in fact it requires people to deal with their finances, which is a very sensitive subject for many people and causes procrastination. As the article continues, Ruth Hayden shares that procrastination is usually born out of a sense of fear or rebellion because procrastinators feel that completing this process will end up in having hard-earned money taken away from them.
The more you procrastinate, the more stress you may feel around getting your taxes completed. It is a vicious cycle that can exhaust you. You may also notice that whenever you have big decisions you procrastinate as well.
Surprisingly, during tax day procrastination can be dangerous to your health, especially around post offices during tax day.