80% of Small Business Owners Feel Stressed During Tax Season. Here's How to Get Through It

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  • Filing a small business tax return can be far more complicated than filing an individual tax return. 
  • To make this tax season manageable, get your documents organized and team up with an experienced accountant to walk you through the filing process. 

Don't resign yourself to weeks of feeling worried and anxious.

Whether you work for yourself, an employer, or are retired, chances are, filing taxes isn't your favorite thing to do. But if you're a small business owner, you might find the process of getting your taxes done, well, taxing.

A recent survey by Freshbooks found that 80% of U.S. small business owners feel stressed at tax time. And almost 63% of small business owners rate their stress level at a three or more on a scale of up to five during tax season.

The stress is real

It's easy to see why small business owners consider the tax-filing process so harrowing. Small business tax returns can be complicated. There can be lots of paperwork involved, from bank account statements to credit card bills to invoices and payroll data. Individual tax-filers commonly have far less paperwork to round up and deal with.

How to alleviate the stress of tax season

A good 60% of small business owners would rather get a root canal or be tasked with removing a nest of angry bees than deal with taxes. And that's saying something. 

If the idea of filing your small business taxes has you stressed out beyond belief, first, get organized. Take a look at last year's tax return to get a sense of the documentation you might need. Then, start going through your files and putting those documents together for your 2022 return. A good move is to make a checklist, and then tick items off as you go so you stay on top of things.

Next, don't go it alone. Filing a small business tax return can be tricky, and there are rules you may not even be aware of that you're required to follow. So your best bet is really to hire a seasoned tax professional who has experience working with businesses that are similar to yours. 

Hiring a tax professional might also alleviate another concern of yours related to taxes -- getting audited. In the aforementioned survey, 43% of small business owners cited that as a worry. 

Now, the reality is that any time you're claiming a host of deductions, it potentially opens the door to having your taxes further scrutinized. But remember, tax audits aren't always a terrible thing. 

Sometimes, it's a simple matter of the IRS sending you a letter in the mail asking for more information or documentation with regard to a specific aspect of your tax return. If you're claiming a $5,000 deduction for business equipment, for example, the IRS may just want a more detailed copy of the invoice associated with that purchase.

Working with a tax professional won't necessarily guarantee that you'll avoid an audit. But if the IRS does require more information about your return, you'll have someone you can consult who can walk through the matter. 

All told, it's easy to see why filing taxes can be stressful for those who own small businesses. But one final way to relieve some of that worry is to give yourself plenty of time to tackle your taxes and not wait until the last minute. This means that if you haven't gotten started on your 2022 return yet, carve out some time this week to at least get the ball rolling.

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