Market Overview

Tax Day Freebies To Lighten The Load

It used to be, back when everyone filed their taxes by snail mail, that post offices nationwide made it a habit of staying open until midnight, many handing out free donuts and coffee to last-minute filers.

Those days are gone, thanks in part to the cost of all that overtime for postal employees, but also because most people file electronically these days. A few post office locations have extended hours (click on this link to locate one near you) but most close around 6 p.m.

This does not mean, however, that the news is all bad, or that freebies on tax day are a thing of the past. A number of businesses – who also happen to see an opportunity for some positive publicity – use April 15 as an opportunity to hand out free food, BOGO offers and other deals in honor of the end of tax preparation misery.

Related: Common Tax Filing Errors Made By College Students

Arby's will hand out free snack-sized curly fries Tuesday for customers who bring in a coupon from the Arby’s website.

That's not all. Here’s a sampling of some others:

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) has a great BOGO deal – buy one Big Mac, get a second one for just a penny.

Sonic (NASDAQ: SONC) has half price drinks and Slushes all day long.

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) will shred up to 5 pounds of paper with a coupon from the Office Depot website. The coupon doesn’t expire until April 29, so it isn’t necessary to gather up those documents immediately.

Fortune Brands (NYSE: FBHS) owned MasterLock Vault is providing last minute tax tips and a chance to win one of five $1,000 prizes in the company’s “Tax Relief Rewards” Sweepstakes.

Some April 15 deals involve a creative play on the theme of the day. The Burritt Room in San Francisco’s Mystic Hotel, for example, created a special “Tax Man” cocktail priced at $12. The Hotel Monaco in Chicago features an IRS (Imbibe, Relax and Save) special, including a $25 beverage credit, $50 in room spa credit and no taxes on your room rate. In addition, the Starwood (NYSE: HOT) owned Westin New York Grand Central hotel is offering a 15 percent reduction rates through December 31, essentially making the room tax-free.

Some of these upscale offers have no coupons or special stipulation. Others require you to show your tax return. If you are in the area and want to take advantage, it’s always wise to call ahead and ask.

At the end of the day – and yes, tax day does end – freebies on April 15 are promotions and provide businesses with an opportunity to put a positive spin on an otherwise dreary day for many Americans.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Posted-In: arby's Big Mac BOGONews Events Media Personal Finance General Best of Benzinga

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