Tax season, unlike any other time of year, has the ability to draw groans from business owners and employees alike. Unless your business files a tax extension each year, you’ll likely be completing your business and personal returns at the same time. While this can put even the calmest among us on edge, keeping tax season stress at bay is possible.

Organizing to Avoid Tax Season Stress

Whether you prepare your own business tax return or you use the services of a tax professional, there will be papers you’ll need to find before anything can happen with your taxes. In a perfect world, you’ve kept a file with all relevant tax paperwork throughout the year, allowing you to put your fingers on the information you need in an instant. Understandably, not every business owner is able to maintain that level of organization while carrying out the day-to-day tasks of running a business.

As the April 15 deadline fast approaches, it can feel like every aspect of your business is conspiring against you to keep you from taking the time you need to organize for tax preparation. In order to create time to deal with the taxes without creating more stress in your life, consider:

Arriving an hour early. During this time, only focus on your tax preparation. Don’t worry about phone or email messages; they can wait until normal business hours. This gives you one uninterrupted hour to work on your taxes without worrying about ringing phones.

Coming in on the weekend. Although few people relish the idea of giving up a day off to go into the office, it may be your only opportunity to get a solid block of time without employee or customer interruptions. If you need to tear into your files to find everything, this is also the best time because you won’t have to worry about customers seeing the office in disarray.

Staying an hour late. As long as you can stop yourself from continuing the days’ work, you’ll be able to focus on your tax paperwork after everyone leaves for the day. If you can stay even later, you can get a block of time without giving up your weekend.

Employee Stress During Tax Season

During tax season, you may notice that your employees are grumpier and less rested than usual. Since they’re dealing with their personal taxes while you handle the company tax return, it’s understandable for them to experience an increased level of stress as well. If you can open a dialogue with your employees about tax season stress and encourage them to be more patient with each other – and with you – you can avoid working in a tense office during tax time.