This April 15, Uncle Sam (and Staples) wants you

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So I started my taxes today. I have a history of doing this. I've never gotten to the point where I've been running to the post office at midnight on April 15, though I think 5 p.m. might be my record, if we don't count the one or two years where I've done an extension, but even then, of course, you have to file.

Anyway, I know I have a lot of hours ahead of me, over the next week (I pause, looking at the calendar on my wall). Wait, the 15th is this TUESDAY. I thought it was Wednesday! Aaah!

(Yes, in case you're wondering, I'm writing in a stream-of-consciousness.)

OK, well, anyway... if you're a diligent, organized tax-payer, I'm sure you've been getting a lot of good advice from my buddy, tax expert Tracy Coenen. But see, she's out there to help you do your taxes better. I'm here to give you my fellow procrastinators some handy-dandy tips that will make your life more comfortable while you rush to do your taxes.
Working late? Hungry?Papa John's Pizza, for the third year in a row, will offer a $10.40 deal on a large, original crust pizza with up to three toppings -- named after the 1040 tax form. If you order online, just enter the "1040" promotional code. Oh, incidentally, Papa John's calls their late filing customers procrastinators "pro-crust-inators." Hopefully, instead of going into comedy, they'll just stick to making pizza.

Filing late? Hungry? Papa John's franchisees in 15 markets are going to be handing out free slices of pizza at high-traffic post offices. More of a doughnut person? Dunkin' Doughnuts are offering a free doughnut to every customer on April 15, provided you buy a cup of coffee.

Finally finished? Want a copy of your forms?
Office Depot from a couple days ago until the 15th is allowing customers to print up to 25 pages of their tax forms for free. On the 15th, Staples will offer up to 20 free pages to their customers.

Wondering what to put down as a deduction for furnishings or anything else in your home?
Go visit a Goodwill store. They have a list in their stores of what typical items (say a lamp) you may be donating. And if you owe anything for your taxes and are feeling poor, well, hey, you're in Goodwill. Good place to be.

You know, I'm sure there are more stores that are doing something to benefit procrastinating last minute filers, but I can't find anything else at the moment. And it just hit me a second ago. What am I doing, trolling the Internet for sales gimmicks when I could be doing my taxes?! Gotta go!

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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