Depressed About IRS Back Taxes? Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health

Tax season is tough, especially for independent contractors and small business owners. Most grumble, but ultimately file — and pay — their taxes on time before moving on with life. Some, however, find themselves falling further and further behind. An IRS spokesperson estimates that 8.2 million Americans owe a whopping $458 billion in back taxes. This figure is good as of 2008 through 2010.

Whether you’re mired in tax debt or simply facing a larger than expected bill this year, you may feel stressed, anxious, or downright depressed. The following suggestions may help:

Separating Situational Problems and Mental Health Disorders

Difficult situations can land anybody in a funk for a few weeks. It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed. The real problem arrives when your feelings interfere with everyday life, or if you continue to ruminate about your tax issues after several weeks.

Before you proceed with therapy or other solutions, determine how long you’ve suffered symptoms of a mental health disorder, and whether any factors beyond your tax situation might have contributed to the problem.

Seek Help From Multiple Sources

There’s no need to go it alone as you deal with tax-based stress. While chatting with a trusted friend or family member may help, there’s no substitution for a series of sessions with a licensed therapist. You’ll gain valuable skills for dealing with symptoms and just might uncover factors exacerbating your tax situation and further harming your mental health.

Help can come in many forms. While a therapist may be critical for dealing with feelings of hopelessness, you’ll also want to tackle the problem head-on. Working with an attorney may help you feel more in control of your tax situation — and therefore less vulnerable to the symptoms of anxiety or depression.

A trusted enrolled agent can ease your stress and anxiety as you deal with taxation concerns. The Highland Tax Group offers compassionate representation, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.