Whether you're dropping your bag of tax receipts off at your overworked CPA office on April 15th, or wading through the tax mire yourself, if you act fast, you can take some of the stress out of Tax Day by collecting freebies all over town. Here's a roadmap.
Start with free mini-biscuits at Chick-fil-a (oops, too late - that ended at 10:30 am). Next up is Starbucks. If you take in your reusable coffee mug, they'll fill it for free. That's their salute to Earth Day combined with their deepest sympathy for those still plowing through tax receipts.
That free coffee will taste great with your two free cupcake bites from Cinnabons. And when the coffee runs out, buy another cup at Dunkin' Donuts and you'll get a free donut with it.
By now you should be on a sugar high, so find a McDonald's and settle in for lunch. Only some McDonald's locations are having giveaways, and of the ones that are participating, the freebies could be McCafes, McMuffins, or Big Macs. It's a good idea to call around first to see if McDonald's fits into your Tax Day brunch plans.
By the time you've visited all these places… it should be time for lunch. Drop by Taco Bell for a little tax relief in the form of a free taco. And since one taco is never enough, continue on down the road to Taco Del Mar, where you'll get another. This may be a good time to conduct your own taste comparison test.
Next … dessert will be served up at Maggie's Moos – but only at some locations. They are giving away free samples of their ice cream pizza. Ice cream pizza?
By the time you've meandered all around town picking up these little cost-free treats, you're going to need some relaxation and relief from the worry over your tax bill. Plan ahead before you leave the house by visiting the Hydro Massage Web site to see if there's one near you. If there is, print the coupon and use it to get a free massage … not just today, but April 15th through the 18th.
Long about dinner time, round up the kids and head to IHOP. Their Tax Day promotion is good for the whole month of April, and it gives kids 12 and under free meals from the kid menu, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
No kids? No problem. Several other places are celebrating Tax Day, not with freebies but with special deals and discounts.
Papa John's Pizza has a large cheese pizza with three free toppings, which they call the 1040 pizza in honor of the tax form we adore… and the price is only $10.40 until midnight, but you have to order online. That's for those of you who will still be trying to beat the postmark deadline in the waning hours of the day.
P.F. Chang's is easing the April 15th burden with a 15 percent discount for eat-in or take-out diners. And TGIFridays is giving customers who spend at least $15 (excluding sales tax and alcohol) Bonus Bite cards worth $5.
Finally if you'd rather cook dinner yourself, Whole Foods stores in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia are sympathizing with taxpayers by paying the sales tax for us on Tax Day.
If you're making the rounds collecting all these freebies while your CPA or tax preparer does the heavy lifting, don't forget him or her back at the office. A free Cinnabon could do wonders to jog the memory when it comes to obscure but legitimate tax breaks. Then again, if you are one of the brave souls who is going it alone without the help of a pro… stop reveling in the free loot, get yourself home, and tackle those receipts. The clock is ticking!