Is Mercury Retrograde Coming For Your Taxes?

Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
It's official: This Mercury retrograde cycle is one for the books. No matter what your sign might be, you've probably felt its effects, maybe in the form of a dropped call, fender bender, or tiff between friends. Fortunately, the end is in sight for this current backspin.
The planet of communication will go direct this coming Sunday, April 15. That date already stands out in our minds, here in the U.S., thanks to one itty bitty little thing known as tax day. Since the 15th falls on a weekend this year, our last day to file is technically April 17 (procrastinators, breathe a sigh of relief). Nevertheless, we'd be lying if our palms didn't get a little sweaty when we heard that Mercury retrograde would bump up against the tax deadline. After all, won't the shadow period (the two weeks immediately following a retrograde) interfere?
If you've never heard of a shadow period, think of it as a transitional phase. Yes, the retrograde is over, but things aren't totally back to normal. During these two weeks, we're still on shaky ground as far as plans, communication, and logistics go, so your best course of action is to return to the regular pace of your life gradually.
While it's totally within your rights to ease back into, say, participating in your group text or social media, when it comes to your taxes, you need to hurry it up. If you haven't filed yet, you're going to have to do so under Mercury's watchful gaze, but, according to financial coach and money witch Jessie Susannah, that doesn't have to be a total disaster.
Sometimes, all it takes to get through the final days of a retrograde is trusting that things will ultimately work out, she says. After all, you can always file an extension. But, that doesn't mean you won't encounter a challenge or two along the way. "Sometimes, your highest self needs a hard lesson," Susannah says. In this case, that lesson probably pertains to how you manage stress in the moment (and how you manage your time in the future).
"Waiting until the last minute to file will potentially be a set up for things to go wrong," Susannah says. "[That] will mean needing to feel okay with a plan B if your original vision doesn't work out." Not used to thinking on your feet? Here's your opportunity to practice. And again, she says not to let your anxiety over being late or messing something up keep you from getting the work done: "The universe handles the details."
On the other hand, waiting until the very last minute, specifically once the shadow period has begun, could make the process feel much more straightforward. "If you have had a hard time getting some of your needed documents, clarity and access may come as retrograde comes to an end," Susannah explains. When retrogrades end, it can feel like a great weight is being lifted from our shoulders — that might make the burden of your taxes easier to bear.
Whether you're a master procrastinator or hate leaving things to the last minute, Mercury retrograde is only as a catastrophic as we make it feel in our heads. So, as long as you double- or maybe triple-check your work before filing, you shouldn't be in for too much of a headache. Besides, as someone who filed her taxes and signed a lease during this retrograde, I can tell you firsthand — it's kind of fun to tempt fate.

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