Home Technology Top Stories Business Most Featured Sports Social Issues Animals News Fashion Crypto Featured Music & Pop Culture Travel & Tourism

Tax Filing Affecting the Mental Health of Young People

Author Avatar
By Christian Webster - - 5 Mins Read
Young Asian woman filing taxes looking fustrated at a computer
Filing taxes is never fun | kittirat roekburi/Shutterstock

As a young adult, tax season probably ranks right up there with studying for finals and being ghosted - majorly stressful events you must white-knuckle your way through.

Whether you're filing taxes for the first time or the fifth year in a row, gathering all those baffling forms and crunching numbers is like getting a huge pimple right before a date—no fun at all!

A recent survey by Cash App Taxes found that a quarter of Gen Zers said they'll basically need therapy to cope with the stress of tax filing season this year.

Over half admitted that tax filing has made them cry in the past, or they expect to shed some tears over it in 2024. I'm honestly shocked the percentages aren't even higher!

Think about it - when you were a kid, did your parents or teachers ever really prepare you for the bureaucratic hellscape of filing taxes?

Maybe they covered the basics of addition and subtraction, but definitely no lessons on where to hunt down those elusive W-2s and 1099s that young filers never know what to do with.

The Cash App survey found that a whopping 62% of first-time filers aren't even sure where to get those all-important tax forms from their employers and banks.

As one expert pointed out, they sometimes don't know what the heck a 1099 even is!

The Survival Guide for Young Tax Filers

Okay, since schools seem to have dropped the ball on tax education, allow me to offer some tips to my fellow young adults on navigating this yearly torment:

Making a Checklist is Checklist

The first step is just making a checklist of all the tax forms and documentation you might need. That way you can be prepared this year and refer back to it every filing season instead of screaming into the void. Some key docs:

  • W-2 from employers 
  • 1099s for freelance/contractor work, interest from banks, etc.
  • Anything related to student loans, tuition, investments
  • Crypto transactions (yeah the IRS is onto you!)



A person filing taxes; dark background
Photo | Dimitri Karastelev/Unsplash


Don't Ghost the IRS

I know it's tempting to pull a disappearing act when taxes start looming. But avoiding it will only lead to penalties and interest fees piling up like unbought birthday gifts.

Tax Day is April 15th every year, so file on time!

Also read: Tax Evasion Crackdown Gets Tougher with IRS Now Using AI

Phone a Friend 

If all the IRS instructions and tax software has you ready to yak, don't be afraid to get help.

Tax pros and national/campus resources can translate all that gobbledygook. Or maybe a smart friend or family member can walk you through it.

You're Not Alone

Just remember, about every other young adult is suffering right along with you.

We're all novices at this joyless annual ritual. But making an effort to get organized and ask questions will go a long way towards reducing those tax season panic attacks! It may never be fun, but it doesn't have to be soulsucking either.

So keep calm, young adults, and try to embrace the life skill of tax filing this season rather than letting it harsh your zen. I'm rooting for all of us!