For a lot of people, Tax Day isn't a happy day. Maybe you found out you owe a lot of money to the IRS; maybe you just spent way too long waiting in line at the post office. The good news is that several companies go out of their way to offer great deals and freebies on April 15 to ease the sting of dealing with the IRS. Here are a few:
Freebie Finding Mom flags a few junk-food freebies. Cinnabon is bringing back its popular "Tax Day Bites" promotion, where it offers two free Cinnabon Bites from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Great American Cookies is offering free birthday cake cookies all day, dubbing them "Cookie Currency Tax Rebates." And Arby's is offering free value-size orders of curly fries or small potato cakes all day on April 15 -- just print out this coupon.
Want to hit the movies after you finish your ordeal at the Post Office? AMC is offering a free small popcorn with this coupon Unlike many of these freebies, this one is actually valid for all of "tax weekend" -- it can be used from April 12 through 15. You can print it out or present it on a smartphone.
BeFrugal.com passes along a freebies that's truly relevant to Tax Day: Up to 5 pounds of free shredding at Office Depot with a coupon. The deal is good through April 16 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. (Just be careful not to shred any important documents, as you'll need to have them handy in case you get audited.) Another helpful coupon from Office Depot lets you get a free black-and-white copy of your tax return, up to 25 pages; the coupon is good through May 1.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.
How I'm spending my tax refund
Taxes Got You Down? Here's All the Free Stuff You Can Get on April 15
After seven years of amusing audiences in the Dallas area, comedian Laura Bartlett is ready to take her four-woman stand-up troupe, the "Four Funny Females," to the next level.
She plans to use her expected $2,500 tax refund to help her stage her biggest show ever: A nightat the 1,800-seat Wagner Noel theater in Midland, Texas, 350 miles away.
As the show's producer, she's putting up all of the roughly $10,000 budget, which includes advertising, travel and other costs.
She hopes they can fill the theater, which is about 3 times the size of their usual performance spot. "I could (make a profit), but it's a risk,"she said. "We're known in Dallas, but to take it on the road for the first time, it's a gamble."
Lisa Fine and her fiancé Josh Valinsky are using theirtax refunds to get a dog.
The couple fell in love with Tibetan terriers during a trip to the Westminster Dog Show in New York.
"When we both found out we were getting refunds that was kind of the extra push," Fine said. "We decided we have the extra money, let's get a dog."
Sothe Vermont residents used part of their $2,500 in combined refund money to put a deposit down for a Tibetan terrier puppy from a Connecticut breeder. The refund will also cover immunizations and supplies for the new puppy, which they expect to bring home in May or June.
While Jessica Ann Samson would love to spend her $1,200 refund on travel -- her goal is to visit every continent before she turns 30. But the recent graduate of New York University has decided to put it toward her student loan debt instead.
"I think the faster I don't have that thought in the back of my head (about my student loan debt), the more at peace I'll be," she said.
Professional artist Deb Keirce plans to use her family's tax refund to support her fellow artists and buy a new piece of art.
The fine art she has purchased in the past has always grown in value so Keirce sees it as a good investment. With her husband, she expects to receive a few thousand dollars back from the federal government.
"We have three kids who are college-aged," the Virginia resident said. "We don't have extra income to have fun things to do with usually."
For Erika Searl, deciding how to spend her expected $3,500 tax refund was easy.
"I spend it on my dogs every year," said Searl, a New York City resident. "I love my girls. We do everything together."
She plans to spend the cash onteeth cleanings for her two dogs, Cubby and Ginger, and to help pay for their upcoming trips to a dog camp in upstate New York and a friend's "dog wedding" in Connecticut.