Tips to Surviving Tax Season

Being in the thrall of extended deadline season aka “mini tax season” has gotten me thinking about the coming tax season. I know this is something no one wants to think about. But, I also know there are going to be a lot of new accountants out there where this is going to be a big adjustment. Most of us will be working 60+ hours a week, and you will need all the help you can get to survive January- April 15, especially with the new tax laws to learn and navigate. Let me give you a few tricks of the trade that I have learned in my four tax seasons as a public accountant:

  1. The crock pot is your best friend. Make a list of recipes you love and schedule them out so you can have leftovers on the days in between. It makes life a little easier and your home will smell really good at the end of the day. Some of my favorites are:
    1. Three ingredient tacos (chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, and fajita seasoning)
    2. Taco soup (I like it best with hot ground sausage)
    3. Chili
    4. Chicken Alfredo (I tend to do this one in steps, so it will be a “make it Sunday and eat it all week” thing)
    5. Gumbo (okay, I know most of these are turning out to be like soup, but soup is easy. Gumbo has a lot of parts and meat, so I tend to do this one only once during the season)
    6. Chicken tortilla soup or chicken enchilada soup (just chop all the peppers and onions ahead of time then throw everything in the pot before you head to the office)
    7. Pinterest has a lot of other good ones. Or just throw random things in there and see what happens.
  2. Get used to not sleeping. It’s just not going to happen, and when it does, you will dream about taxes. I’m sorry.
  3. If you’re like me, you have families that like to get together every weekend. I struggle with this, but it is okay to turn them down. You only get so much time for yourself. Be selfish. Take it.
  4. You won’t have time to clean the house. Which means you may be spending your one day off to clean for fifteen weeks straight. Just stick to the essentials. It will be fine.
  5. Stock up on snacks and caffeine. I like Crystal Light and teas when I don’t want coffee. Good snacks are nuts and fruits and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
  6. Stay organized, if you can. Keep track of what you are working on and for whom. It will make it easier when the partner is searching for a certain client you probably have somewhere in the mess that is your desk.
  7. Take breaks. Walk around the office or just look away from the computer for a few minutes. Your brain will thank you.
  8. Be prepared for everyone you ever knew to ask you tax related questions. Even if you are not a tax person (audit exists during tax season, and they are just as busy as we are), you will get asked if something is deductible.
  9. I meal prep. I make a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday and I make the egg white muffins I posted about a while ago. This makes rushing out in the morning easier.
  10. It’s fifteen weeks of hell. You can do it. Just breathe and apologize to your loved ones in advance. We are all suffering together.

Bonus: Have an awesome playlist to get you through the long days. I always do a complete listen through of Welcome to Night Vale, but I also throw in some boy bands and “Duel of the Fates” to keep me motivated.

Are you ready for tax season? Let me know your tips to survival as we dread the new year.

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