Published on March 26, 2018

Taxes and financial stress: How tax time can cause mental anxiety

Millions nationwide are talking to their trusted accountant or logging into online tax services to see if Uncle Sam will give them a refund or if they’ll have to write an unexpected check. For many, the thought of a surprising and large tax bill can cause incredible stress.

“Whether it’s taxes or just making the mortgage or rent payments, money can cause stress,” says Essentia Health Psychologist Jo Ellison. “It’s sad that money has such a hold on a person’s life, but there are ways to mentally cope with your financial situation.”

Ellison says people can develop nagging thoughts about money that can affect their ability to rest, relax, engage with friends or even fulfill duties at work. In those situations, it’s important to use problem-solving techniques, such as financial goals and coming up with options.

“If you are married or in a committed relationship where you share finances, it’s also important to have those conversations with the other person,” Ellison says. “If you’re focused on becoming debt-free, but your partner wants to save for a vacation, you need to sit down and talk about it. All too often, finances can be what breaks up relationships.”

If you’re stressed about finances or need to talk about your mental well-being, we have someone on our team who can help. Go to and click on “Find a Service/Specialty.”

To coordinate interviews, photos, and/or video, contact the media relations team.

Like most websites, we use cookies and other technologies to keep our website reliable, secure, and to better understand how our site is used. By using our site, you agree to our use of these tools. Learn more.