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Survey: Eating Well During Tax Season Has Many Benefits

By:
S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Feb 15, 2023

Busy tax season could also mean a bad eating season for many, but better options are available.

Almost all (96 percent) of tax professionals admitted to regularly skipping meals they would usually eat and 81 percent said that they don’t eat as healthily during busy season, a survey by business catering site ezCater found.

Their food choices are fostered by convenience, the survey found. Twenty-seven percent reported eating snacks such as chips and granola bars as meals, about the same proportion as those opting for foods such as frozen meals, and 36 percent consumed fried, fatty or sugary comfort foods. Female respondents were 20 percent more likely than male respondents to eat snacks as meals, and Gen X respondents were 86 percent more likely than Gen Z respondents to reach for comfort food during the busy season.

But employers can contribute to their employees’ healthier eating habits at this time, the survey found. Sixty-six percent of those who had the option of free meals at work said that such an option helps them to eat healthier food. More than half—55 percent—of those who don’t have such an option reported that they would feel less stressed if they did have it.

Providing meals at the office has more than just a physical health benefit; it is also good for mental health and morale, the survey found. Almost all of those surveyed—98 percent—of those given free meals during busy season said it made them feel appreciated.

The benefits extend to in-person work. Eighty percent said that catered meals encouraged them to come into the office. Seven in 10 said that free meals during busy season made them more likely to stay at their current company.

"When meals are provided to tax professionals, they can take a much-needed pause in their day to take a breath, connect with colleagues, and, most importantly, eat," said Diane Swint, chief revenue officer at ezCater, Accounting Today reported. "The takeaway for employers is that providing meals for their staff makes them feel appreciated, keeps them fueled, and can serve as a powerful retention tool.”

To compile the report, ezCater surveyed 633 individuals currently employed as tax professionals, audit professionals, and tax preparation workers between the ages of 18 and 76 living within the United States, according to its press release.

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