April 15 is almost here. You know what that means.
No, not that your federal and, for many, state tax returns are due. OK, it does mean that.
It also means that many businesses across the country are offering free items or special deals to reward us for making it through another tax-filing season.
Here, in alphabetical order, are some Tax Day deals and freebies. I’ll add to this list as more goodies show up. You can help by letting me know by leaving a comment about any that I overlook.
For the fourth consecutive year, Arby’s is offering customers a free Snack-Sized Curly Fry order on April 15. The freebie will be available at all the fast food chain’s locations nationwide. You’ll need the official coupon, which you can download from Arby’s website beginning April 14, to redeem the fries.
Thanks to the Form 1040 digits, you can get two chicken meals at Boston Market for $10.40 on April 15. The special of a half rotisserie chicken and sides plus cornbread doesn’t even require a coupon. Just show up, on your way home from mailing your tax return, perhaps?
“Taxes Shmaxes” isn’t just the reaction of most of us this time of year. It’s also the password to say at California Tortilla restaurants to get free chips and queso on April 15.
I’m a big fan of the “eat dessert first” philosophy, so on April 15 I’m heading to a Great American Cookie location. The specialty bakery will mark Tax Day 2014 by providing a free Original Chocolate Chip Cookie, while supplies last, to customers who stop by participating shops. No purchase or proof of completed taxes is necessary.
Feeling a little tense? Of course you are. It’s tax season!
HydroMassage participating locations are offering a free massage between April 14 and April 18. You’ll need to download the coupon from the company’s website, where you also can find a locator map.
You’ll want to keep some tax records, but there’s also plenty of material you can dump.
Office Depot is offering free shredding of up to 5 pounds of documents. That should clear a 1-square-foot area in my office. You’ll need to download the coupon from the office supply company’s website to get the deal. The offer is good through April 29.
Still got a sweet tooth?
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt customers on April 15 can get a cup of froyo and toppings for $4.15. Depending on how much of the treat and toppings a customer typically chooses, the company says the Tax Day deal could be as much as 50 percent off the regular price. Check Orange Leaf’s Facebook page for the claim details as filing deadline nears.
An offer from Uncle Sam, too
The Internal Revenue Service has a freebie for eligible taxpayers. Its Free File service is open not only through April 15, but also through Oct. 15 for folks who need a six-month extension to file their returns. Uncle Sam, however, is not offering any discount on what you owe. You must send in that amount, or a close estimate of it, when you submit your Form 4868 extension request.
Finally, remember that all deals, like tax forms and instructions, require you to pay attention to the rules. Some of the offers are available only at certain locations. Check the companies’ websites or call your local retailer to make sure the special offer is available before you head out.
More tax info from Bankrate
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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book “The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes” and co-author of the e-book “Future Millionaires’ Guidebook.”