Burn Out in a Pandemic
It is fair to say that there is a bit of communal stress that the whole world is sharing. The world is bending in ways we didn’t expect and even the unmovable IRS is doing its best to adapt to the ever-changing times (which is saying a lot considering they still rely on Fax machines and paper mail). The extension of taxes to July 15, gives a lot of Americans a bit of relief. However, for the nation’s tax professionals, it is a double-edged sword.
Tax professionals usually breathe a sigh of relief after April 15. They crack open a bottle of wine, put their feet up, and forget about the world of 1099’s and W2’s for a day. This year though, April 15 came and went without celebration. No munchkins came out to sing “the Wicked Witch is Dead” and Dorothy did not click her heels three times to warp back to Kansas. Tax professionals are still working away, humming the tune to “If I Only Had a Brain”.
COVID-19 has presented a lot of opportunities and obstacles for everyone, no one is trying to play the pain Olympics over here, but we do want to encourage our tax professional pals out there to take a moment for themselves every now and then. People working in the world of finance are at a higher risk for stress-related illness, substance abuse, and mental illness pre-COVID-19 to begin with. While workplaces and society have been improving in supporting those suffering, working from home or for longer stretches can leave finance professionals without the support they need. Mental illness is not something you can ‘math’ away. Your responsibility to your own wellbeing is greater than your responsibility to the IRS. At this vital time, we want to remind all our finance and tax professionals to turn off your ‘tax brain’ and take care of yourself too.