The first income tax in the United States was enacted in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln to help pay for Civil War expenses. At this time, taxes were relatively straightforward. Those earning over $10,000 a year owed 5% while those who earned between $600-$10,000 paid 3%.

Today, the United States tax code is lengthy and confusing even for those who spend years studying it. Millions of American are falling behind on their taxes, and an estimated $83 billion is owed to the government.

A lot of things can come between people and their taxes, and it’s easy to lose control of the situation quickly. Unfortunately, tax issues often come with feelings of stress and financial guilt. Here are some ways to combat the stress of a tax issue so you can reclaim control of your life.

Stop worrying and start acting.

The first step to feeling more in control of your tax situation is to actually start acting to solve the issue. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your tax issue, whether you owe back taxes, are facing an audit, or you are unsure how to file your taxes properly. You might feel tempted to ignore phone calls and official notices from the IRS.

The harsh reality of the situation is that ignoring it won’t make it go away. The longer you avoid acting on your problem, the more anxiety you will develop over your situation. The sooner you can begin acting, the sooner you can put the problem behind you completely.

Create positive habits to avoid making matters worse.

If you’re suffering from financial troubles, you might feel hopelessly lost when it comes to managing your own money. Don’t let yourself get lost in an aura of shame and disappointment. Remember, things don’t have to get worse. You can start creating positive money habits to help improve your situation, no matter how small the steps.

There is no shame in needing help from a professional. Accountants and tax advisors specialize in helping others take control of their situation. They have years of experience in financial planning and resolving tax issues, and they can help you create a plan for change.

Solve the problem by consulting a tax advisor.

Sometimes, tax problems can become so large you no longer feel capable of handling them on your own. When this happens, it’s time to seek the help of an expert tax advisor. There is no reason to feel nervous or embarrassed about speaking to a tax advisor about your situation. They are familiar with all tax problems, and your situation is not unique. A tax advisor can help resolve any tensions you’ve been feeling about your financial well being, and you’ll likely leave your consultation feeling like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

Speak to a tax expert today and schedule a free low-pressure consultation to explore your options.