The 14 Emotional Stages Of Doing Your Taxes

by Chelsey Grasso

Ah yes, April 15th — a day of dread, a day of taxes. Things get real mid-April, and the emotional stages of filing your taxes are proof of that. Nothing good has ever come of this day. I mean, just look at the Titanic. (Note: The Titanic sunk on April 15th, 1912).

Doing your taxes is a process, and even if you have large amounts of cash coming back to you (you lucky, lucky duck), I think it's fair to say that doing your taxes is never fun. At 25 years old, I still have to call my dad every time I fill out a tax-related form to ask if I'm a "0" or a "1." (Some people just never learn — I am one of them).

In theory, filing your taxes is pretty straightforward: report what you made, report how much money was already being taken from your paychecks, report whatever deductibles you can think up, and submit. However, when it comes to actually sitting down to file, everything seems to get real complicated, real fast.

Brace yourself, friends. On April 15th, it's not just you who's having the most anxiety-filled, panic-ridden, day of the year... it's most of us.

1. You feel prepared

You set aside a day to do your taxes, wanting to finally be ahead of the game this year.

2. You feel confident in your skills

Your scheduled filing day comes around and you totally have this under control. But then your friends invite you to do something that's way more fun than filing taxes (which is basically anything). You push back filing taxes in your calendar.

3. You feel certain that you'll get it done eventually

Except all of a sudden it's April 14th, and you have no choice left but to sit down, stay down, and file your taxes. Sh*t's about to get real.

4. Panic sets in

You realize you have no idea what you're doing, so you try a quick Google search to get some answers. However, in your manic attempt to figure it all out, you decide to take a breather and get distracted by a classic game of Google Bricks.

5. Anxiety strikes

It's been three hours. You stop playing bricks and call your parents. They quickly explain the gist of filing taxes to you, but then have to go (or at least that's what they say). You still have no idea what to do next.

6. A false sense of hope takes over

You give in, and download a tax program from the web. The program's testimonies say that it makes doing your taxes "fun" and walks you through the whole process. If your parents won't help you, then the professionals will (at a small cost).

7. You begin to regain composure

You get to work. You start off by filling in all your basic information and are feeling like you're on top of the world for about 30 seconds. You've got this.

8. Unease, fear, and desperation creep in

Then you get to the actual filing. You make three pots of coffee, second-guess yourself for three hours, and sit like a zombie in front of your computer screen in a stupor for what feels like three decades.

9. You see a glimmer of hope

You finally reach the last page of your worksheet and hit submit. What's done is done.

10. You lose all hope

Then you realize you still have to file your state taxes. It never ends. You brew another pot of coffee, and try to get comfortable.

11. Slowly, you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel

You get through your state taxes, feeling better about your work the second time around.

12. Elation takes over

You hit submit — this time for real.

13. You get really emotional

You find out whether or not you owe money and whether or not you'll be getting money back. It's the moment of truth, and regardless of the result, your emotions are running high.

14. The cycle repeats itself

You promise yourself you won't wait until the last minute to do your taxes next year.

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