Whatever your feelings about tax day, retailers want you to know they feel your pain (or relief).
The tax day freebie has become something of a modern tradition as corporations angle for new customers by dangling promotions on the federal deadline for filing tax returns. (By the way, April 18 isn’t actually the final deadline: If you file for an extension, you can get an additional six months. Still, any tax payments are due on April 18.)
Tax day freebies range the gamut from free food to discounted services, with the most topical coming from Office Depot, which is offering free shredding on five pounds of documents.
Taxpayers are procrastinating this year. Bloomberg News reports that 4 million fewer people had filed their returns by April 7 than at the same time a year earlier. One culprit could be the increasing popularity of online filing, which could play into taxpayers’ inclination to postpone the inevitable.
“For many people, that flurry of filing is stressful,” said Sarah Berger, who writes The Cashlorette blog at Bankrate.com. “Companies realize that, and see Tax Day as an opportunity to help their customers destress, decompress and get them inside their store’s doors.”
She added, “Like with most freebie offerings or big sales, the company is banking on the customer spending more money once they get in the door.”
Here are some of 2017’s tax day freebies:
Bob Evans: The chain is offering 30 percent off carry-out or dine-in meals with this coupon.
Boston Market: The prepared-food purveyor is selling a half-chicken meal with two sides, cornbread, a fountain drink and a cookie. The cost? $10.40.
Bruegger’s Bagels: The bagel chain is offering another “1040” deal, selling a baker’s dozen and two cream cheese containers for $10.40. The deal is good through April 19.
JetBlue: If you owe money to the IRS, you can enter JetBlue’s tax-return drawing. The company is giving away 1,000 one-way flights at JetBlueTaxReturnFlight.com.
Office Depot: If you’re ready to get rid of old documents, Office Depot is offering five pounds of free shredding. The coupon is good until April 29.
McDonald’s: While it’s not a national promotion, some restaurants will be selling a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder for a penny if customers buy one at the regular price. Among the locations participating are some restaurants in Florida.
P.F. Chang’s: The Chinese-food chain is offering 20 percent off takeout orders with the promo code TAXDAY through April 18.
Sonic Drive In: Burger fans can buy their cheeseburgers at half price at Sonic on April 18.