My first experience with the IRS was an unpleasant one. It came in the form of a threatening letter that was mailed to my house. Essentially, the letter informed me that I had been somewhat of a delinquent taxpayer since I started my first job at age 14. I was at least 21 when I received the letter. Apparently, I didn’t file my paperwork correctly when I first started working and the correct amounts of money were not being deducted from my checks for taxes. And simply put, it was time to pay Uncle Sam. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. Seriously. I was able to retrace my steps and eventually, clean up the mess. However, it was a daunting task. This experience taught me not to play with Uncle Sam and apparently, most of my fellow millennials realize that he’s not to be played with either.
According to a recent NerdWallet survey, millennials fret over filing their taxes more than any other group. 80 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds who responded to the survey expressed that they fear making a mistake on their returns, not getting a full refund, or paying too much money. Interestingly, although Uncle Sam has us shaking in our boots, there are clearly levels to the fear because approximately one-third of millennials turn to family and friends for tax-related questions instead of tax professionals. Millennials are also less likely to hire professionals to file their taxes.
“In some ways, it makes sense: Millennials tend to have less experience with a deeply confusing tax code, less cash to seek professional help and less need for the more complicated returns that having children or a mortgage can bring,” said Liz Weston, NerdWallet columnist and personal finance expert.
“Millennials have the most concerns about taxes, but unless their friends and family are accountants, turning to loved ones for tax advice is the least-reliable source for accurate, up-to-date information,” she continued.
Even years after sorting through my own tax-related nightmare, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel nervous each time tax season rolls around.
What about you? Does tax season give you anxiety?