If you live in the United States you are most likely aware that today is tax day. (And if you live somewhere else it’s likely coming right up.)
While paying taxes is not my most favorite thing on the planet, I have come up with a few ways to make it easier, more pleasurable, and more fun.
Why put in the time and energy to make something seemingly so un-fun fun?n fun?
Most of us are going to pay taxes every single year until our last year on the planet. When tax time comes around it should not come as a surprise to you.
Yet, it’s a cultural norm to complain about it. But here’s the thing: why bother complaining about something that’s never going to change?
Instead of complaining about things we can’t change, we can change the way we relate to them. (Tweet it!)
My feeling is this: if we know we’re going to pay our taxes every year, why allow ourselves to be sucked down by the generally griping about it every single year too?
We always have a choice. I choose to make things light whenever possible. You with me?
Here are 6 ways to make the tax season feel lighter this (and every) year:
1. Turn your canoe the other way.
When you find yourself caught in a whiny conversation about taxes (whether it’s going on in your own head or with other people), you can either find a way to change the direction of the conversation, change the topic, or leave the conversation. Don’t get caught in the downward spiral. Paddle the other direction.
2. Be prepared.
Tax season is coming every single year. This is not a surprise. If you’re a business owner or freelancer, put a certain percentage of everything you earn in an account that you don’t touch. Work with a team of financial professionals to help you stay on track. (An accountant is a great place to start. You may add a bookkeeper and financial advisor over time.) Read the book How to Save On Your Taxes Big Time by Sandy Botkin to know how to keep squeaky clean records. Knowing this stuff saved me tons of time and energy when I got audited.
3. Start a home-based business.
Former IRS attorney Sandy Botkin says that people who don’t have a home-based business could by be over paying their taxes to the tune of $3,000 to $9,000 every year. When you run your own business from home there are tons of expenses you can deduct that you’re already spending money on to decrease your taxable income. Examples of this would be mileage, meals out, entertainment, travel, and a portion of your cell phone bill. (I’m not a CPA. Please consult a financial professional for details.) An inexpensive, no-experience-required way to start a home-based business is to work with a high-caliber network marketing company. My family and I have partnered with one for nearly 20 years. To learn more about our product partner and working with our team, click here.
4. Bless your tax payments.
There are certain things that government spends money on that I don’t feel aligned with. But, there are other things that completely resonate with my values. When I send my tax payments in, I send them with the intention that my contribution will go towards building safe roads, maintaining our gorgeous natural environment, improving our educational system, and supporting the arts, to name just a few. I bless the money, release it fully, and see it going towards programs that make the lives of my fellow citizens better, as well as my own.
5. Focus on the season.
Luckily tax day falls in the springtime if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Even in Maine where there’s still a little snow on the ground and we have yet to see any green on the trees, it’s easy to be grateful this time of year. It’s warmer, the sun is out more, the birds are chirping, and the whole world is being reborn. When you go out to pop your tax return in the mail, notice how the world around you is waking up. Breathe the fresh air and take a moment to fully appreciate the energy of this time of year. The likelihood of your being able to do this without breaking into a smile is slim to none. And remember, the energy that we surround our financial activities with infuses our entire lives. Choose gratitude. Choose abundance.
6. Choose freedom, not guilt.
In years past when I was just starting out as a business owner, I didn’t save enough money for my taxes. And even more recently I’ve needed to file an extension because life has been so busy that I haven’t gotten my paperwork together in time. I have spent months wracked with guilt about these things. I’ve felt like a failure, like a total loser, and like a poor excuse for a business woman. But, a few years back, I realized I had a choice: I could choose guilt or freedom. So, while always setting the intention to improve in my preparedness every year, I have chosen freedom. I realize that my ability to file receipts is not the only thing that determines whether or not I am adding value to the world, and I’ve let myself relax a little when my taxes aren’t filed by April 15th on the nose. And I get a little bit better about it every single year. It’s possible to improve while still being gentle with yourself.
May tax season this year and every year forward become a lighter time for you and your family. And may we all continue to find ways to enjoy the seemingly unenjoyable in every area of our lives.
OVER TO YOU:
Which of these strategies for lightening up your tax season resonates with you the most? Got any to add to the list? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please leave a comment below. I’m excited to hear from you!
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