“Money is a major source of stress on people, and what tax season does is shine a great big spotlight on the issue,” says Michael McKee, a Cleveland Clinic psychologist and former president of the U.S. branch of the International Stress Management Association
It’s that time of year again. Tax season! For many of your employees it’s a time of heightened stress:
“Money is a major source of stress on people, and what tax season does is shine a great big spotlight on the issue,” Michael McKee, a Cleveland Clinic psychologist and former president of the U.S. branch of the International Stress Management Association, tells WebMD.
Employers are in a unique position to help workers reduce stress during tax time which can boost productivity, mental health and wellness. 40% of Zoomers and 46% of millennials say they rely on their tax refunds to make ends meet per a recent Credit Karma/Qualtrics survey. Translation: tax returns are a big deal for many of your employees.
Here are six steps you can take to boost employee productivity and reduce stress this tax season.
Over-communicate about W2s.
Communicate to your employees that W2 forms have been distributed. Remind them that it’s available, and avoid mailing if possible. Post on your company Intranet in a clear, visible place.
Set automated reminders.
“Did you file? The deadline this year is April 18.
Inform about Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation help to workers who generally make $60,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers. They can find a VITA site on the IRS website and also take advantage of free online tax filing services available on the IRS website.
TrustPlus Personal Finance Coach Ashley Hannah here offers a detailed, step-by-step, guide to finding your local VITA site.
Dispel myths and educate.
Even after years of filing, many employees are still unaware of most key deductions as well as many of the most common tax rules. You can help by sending trusted resources and tips. For example, a way to save on taxes could be through HSA’s tax benefits. Plus, you can even pre-schedule follow-up tips after tax season to keep your employees engaged and thinking of their finances ahead of time.
Remind them not to leave money on the table.
Your employee could benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a benefit for working people with low to moderate-income, particularly those with children. Only about 78 percent of people who are eligible for EITC actually utilize it, so if they are eligible let them know so they don’t miss out.
Show them you’re here to help.
Schedule a meeting (Lunch & Learn, anyone?) with your team to talk about tax season or hold tax season office hours. Everyone’s in the same boat and needs to file taxes. Remind your employees that you are a resource if they have any questions.
Schedule a time to speak with a TrustPlus financial health and productivity expert about how TrustPlus can help your business or organization capture the benefits of a financially healthy workforce.