Tax Day Freebies and Deals 2014

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By David Muhlbaum

When Tax Day rolls around on April 15, you can find relief from the stress of getting your return in on time by taking advantage of a bunch of freebies and special deals that businesses will be offering on or around the filing deadline.

We'll add more of these Tax Day bargains as we find 'em, so be sure to check back. Also note that while many businesses distribute deals via Facebook, you don't have to be signed up to the service to view and download any necessary coupons. The offers are available only on April 15 unless otherwise noted.

Arby's. The fast-food chain is offering a free value size order of curly fries again this year. You'll need a coupon that you can download from a few days prior to April 15.

BLT Restaurants/ESquared Hospitality. All cocktails, beer, wines by the glass and bottles of wine will be 50 percent off all day April 15. Most of this chain's 15 locations start their name with BLT.

Boston Market. The fast-casual restaurant chain is offering two individual meals, each including a half rotisserie chicken with a choice of two home style sides and freshly baked cornbread, for $10.40 (as in IRS Form 1040). No coupon required. Take your accountant out to lunch?

Bruegger's Bagels. The bagel chain is reprising its "1040" special: 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese for $10.40 -- about a $3.50 deduction. You have to download and print a coupon from Bruegger's Facebook page or sign up for its email club by April 10. The deal is available April 12-15.

California Tortilla. Mention the secret password, "taxes shmaxes," when you place your order on Tax Day at the fast-casual Mexican chain and you'll be rewarded with free queso and chips. A purchase is required. The cheese-intolerant can substitute salsa for queso.

Great American Cookies. Get a free chocolate chip cookie from participating Great American Cookies locations; no purchase or proof of filing (or even of an extension) required. First come, first serve.

Hard Rock Cafe. Musically talented (or low on inhibition)? %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%You can take the stage at Hard Rock Cafes across America and earn a free dinner entree by completing a whole song in front of the entire restaurant. The song is up to you -- how about The Beatles' "Tax Man"?

HydroMassage. HydroMassage is offering a free massage "experience" on its user-controlled massage beds. You have to download this coupon and call ahead for availability; calling ahead isn't required if you use a bed at a Planet Fitness location but there might be a wait. The freebie is good April 14-18.

Kona Ice. On April 16, Kona Ice will hand out free cups of shaved-ice from its trucks and other locations. "No taxation without relaxation" is the tagline.

Office Depot. Office Depot is letting customers shred up to 5 pounds of tax records (or anything else) for free through April 29. You'll need this coupon.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. Customers can fill their cup with froyo and toppings for only $4.15 (as in April 15) via a coupon that will be posted on Orange Leaf's Facebook page. The chain says that amounts to approximately 50 percent off the regular price, depending on how much froyo and toppings a customer typically chooses.

Schlotzsky's. If you buy a 32-ounce fountain drink and a bag of chips, the deli-sandwich chain will give you a small "The Original" sandwich for free. No coupon required. This sandwich consists of ham, two kinds of salami, three types of cheese and an assortment of fixings.

Sonic Drive-In. The chain's drinks and slushes will be half price all day on Tax Day. No limit, and no coupon required.

Sonny's BBQ. Once you've given the government its pound of flesh, head on over to Sonny's BBQ to get half off on a plate of Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-Rubbed Ribs. It's the Irresistible Ribs Special (IRS, get it?). No coupon is required, and the chain estimates this tax break is worth about $6.25 to you.

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Tax Day Freebies and Deals 2014

Taxpayers may forget that donations they gave last year may get them a bigger refund. If you cleaned out your bulging closet and dropped off clothing or household goods at your favorite charity, this may be deductible on your tax return.

Taxpayers taking a full course load and working toward a degree can receive education benefits through the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses. But even those who just took one class to further their career may be able to take the tuition and fees deduction. With this credit, you can deduct up to $4,000 for tuition and fees, books and educational supplies for you, your spouse or your dependents.

Taxpayers can deduct state income taxes, but what about residents of states that don't have a state income tax? In this case, the state and local sales tax deduction is especially useful because these taxpayers can deduct sales tax paid on purchases. Even people who live in states that pay state income tax can benefit if they paid more sales tax due to large purchases.

The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit given to filers who earn low to moderate income from their jobs. The credit can be worth up to $6,044, depending on your income and how many dependents you have, but one in five tax filers overlook this opportunity, according to the Internal Revenue Service. You must file your taxes to get it, so even if you make less than $10,000 (the minimum income filing requirement), you should still file your taxes.

If you were looking for a job last year, you may be able to deduct costs related to your job search -- even if you didn't secure a job. Job search expenses such as preparing and sending resumes, fees to placement agencies and even travel related to the job search can be included.

This credit is often overlooked and seldom talked about. If you have an income up to $29,500 ($59,000 for married filing jointly), you can save for retirement and get a tax credit worth up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples if you contributed to a qualifying retirement plan such as an individual retirement account or 401(k). The retirement saver's tax credit is a win-win situation since contributions to your IRA may also be a deduction from income.

Taxpayers who weren't so lucky gambling last year should know that losses can be deducted if they itemize their deductions. However, your amount of losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported as taxable income. For example, if you have $2,000 in winnings and $4,000 in losses, your deduction is limited to $2,000. Make sure to collect documentation such as receipts, tickets and other records to support your losses.

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